Noelle Harman knows exactly how she will celebrate Father’s Day — with a glass of Chablis.
Harman’s father was a big fan of the light, crisp and inexpensive jug of Chardonnay produced by Carlo Rossi. And though she plans to open a bottle of the famous French version, the wine educator and co-founder of Elevage Wine Coaching feels it’s important to celebrate her dad with a style of wine that he enjoyed, and one that sparked her wine journey.
“This will be my first Father’s Day without my dad. Years ago, he introduced me to Carlo Rossi Chablis. I think I’ll raise a glass of the real Chablis in his honor,” says Harman.
A gift of meaning
A bottle of wine can make a meaningful gift, and choosing something with sentimental value — a bottle of wine your father enjoyed in the past, or something you both like to drink together — can show how much you care.
And it doesn’t have to be a big, bold red wine either.
Although studies have shown that men buy more classic reds like Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, there’s no doubt that many enjoy their fair share of white wines, rosés, and sparkling wines too. In fact, a 2019 YouGov poll found that though red wine was the most purchased category among men and women, 65% of wine drinkers admitted they also enjoy white wine, while 59% of drinkers also like rosé.
Instead of giving into gender-based marketing ploys, take a beat to think about dad’s preferences and pick a wine that will truly excite his palate. For Fiona Adams’ father, that’s a bottle of something pale pink and refreshing.
“If the weather is nice, I am going to drown my father in rosé,” Adams says. “He will love that.”
Wines made by dads
Wine can also serve as a tool of adventure and reflection. Look for wines from lesser-known regions to tap into dad’s appreciation for geography or feed the history buff within with a bottle made with old-vine grapes.
Even something as simple as giving a bottle made by a winemaker who’s also a father can make an impact. After all, no one quite understands the trials and tribulations of parenthood more than other parents.
“Thorne & Daughters owners John and Tasha Seccombe are making some of the most exciting white wines in South Africa. But what I really love is that all of their wines are named after children’s toys or other references to their children. Every bottle is like a beautiful homage to parenthood,” says Hai Tran, a sommelier and father. “The Rocking Horse is a capstone wine in the Thorne & Daughters portfolio and gets its name from a wooden rocking horse that they made for their daughters out of old oak barrel staves. How cool is that?”
It’s the thought that counts
One of the best ways to find a bottle your dad will genuinely appreciate, according to Tran, is by popping into a local wine shop with dedicated wine specialists, instead of roaming the aisles of big box supermarkets.
“The sommeliers and buyers at a wine shop are very knowledgeable. Don’t be afraid to use them as a resource for finding the perfect gift,” Tran says.
With a little consideration and planning, wine can make for one very thoughtful gift that dad can enjoy on Father’s Day.
Sparkling wine to buy:
The Lampley Demi-Sec North Coast Sparkling Wine (~$40)
Made with Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Meunier fruit sourced from vineyards across California’s North Coast, this classic sparkling wine is bursting with tropical fruit aromas and flavors. Mango, pineapple, sweet citrus — it’s all there, giving a perception of sweetness and acidity that lingers long after the finish.
Rosé to buy:
Los Vascos Rosé (~$14)
This wine is produced by French icon, Domaines Barons de Rothschild (Lafite). Nearly clear with a faint lilac highlight, this rosé from the Colchagua Valley in Chile is electric with acidity and fruit flavor. The nose displays intense aromas of strawberry and melon. The palate is fresh, with balanced acidity.
Billecart-Salmon Cuvee Louis Blanc de Blancs Millesime (~$179)
One of Champagne’s oldest houses makes this sparkling wine, which displays excellent purity and minerality. It’s pale gold in color, and yellow fruit and citrus aromas spring from the glass. Those evolve into lemon zest and brioche notes on the finish.
White wines to buy:
Colterenzio-Schreckbichl Prail Alto Adige Sauvignon Blanc (~$21)
This is the wine to get dad if he appreciates an easy-drinking white that’s full of flavor. Green apple and lime lead the aromas, while the palate is packed with orchard and citrus fruit flavor. Fresh acidity makes this medium-bodied wine mouthwatering through the lingering finish.
Thorne & Daughters Rocking Horse White Blend (~$25)
From South Africa’s Western Cape, this wine is a blend of Roussanne, Semillon, Chenin Blanc, Chardonnay, and Clairette Blanche. It offers savory undertones that accentuate the fruit and floral notes.
Lightwell Survey Hintermen Shenandoah Valley Riesling, Petit Manseng (~$32)
This racy and vibrant blend of Petit Manseng and Riesling is produced with fruit grown in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia. The wine is bright with apple, pear, and apricot fruit flavors, making it a perfect pairing partner for seafood, veggie dishes, pastas, and white meats.
Domaine du Cellier aux Moines Les Combes Montagny Premier Cru (~$45)
Nothing says, “Happy Father’s Day,” quite like a bottle of white Burgundy. This one, however, won’t necessarily break the bank. From the Montagny subregion, this Chardonnay is aromatic with lemony sweet citrus and delicate floral notes. On the palate, the wine is bright with minerality and white fruit nuances while acidity provides balance. A hint of toast is present on the finish.
Red wines to buy:
Ippolito 1845 'Colli del Mancuso' Cirò Classico Superiore Riserva (~$24)
This wine hails from Cirò, in the Calabria region of Italy and is made with the indigenous Italian variety, Gaglioppo. Perfumed with fragrances of cherry, plums, and spice, this wine is a full-bodied and smooth alternative to Cabernet. If dad is grilling for Father’s Day, this wine will pair with all of the meats.
Château Maris Minervois Naïve (~$37)
Château Maris produces this organic and biodynamic red wine in Minervois, situated in France’s southern Languedoc wine region. It’s a deep ruby blend of Grenache and Carignan that features intense aromas of red fruit and savory herbs. Medium-bodied, this wine is fresh with juicy acidity and round tannins. While it has the structure to drink now, the wine can also be cellared, as it will only get better with time in the bottle.
Bonterra The Butler Biodynamic Single Vineyard Red (~$53)
Now here’s a wine with power, depth, and complexity. Produced with grapes grown in Mendocino, California, the wine is a bold blend of Syrah, Petite Sirah, Mourvedre, Grenache, and Viognier. Intense in color and aroma, the red wine has pepper, herbs, and blueberry notes. Meanwhile, the palate tastes of black-and-red berries and plum. Hearty tannins and slate undertones give the wine a sturdy backbone. Tell dad to save this wine and drink it with him for Father’s Day in a few years.
Vietti Scarrone Vigna Vecchia Barbera d'Alba (~$74)
This full-bodied, aromatic, and ruby purple-hued wine comes from the Piedmont region of Italy. Fragrances of ripe red cherry and baking spices are predominant. The palate is complex with black fruit, plum, earth, and spice, while a hint of menthol adds liveliness to the finish.
Concha y Toro Carmin de Peumo Cachapoal Valley Carmenere (~$157)
This elegant Carmenere from Chile earned a 93-point score from Wine Spectator for its complex and intense aromas and flavors. Fragrances of cherry are abundant, but the palate is saturated with robust nuances of leather, olive, spice, and a hint of dark chocolate. With its rich and powerful texture, the wine is balanced with velvety tannins and lively acidity through the incredibly long finish.