It’s hard to pick out the perfect gift for Father’s Day year after year. So, how about something easy like cooking for the man of the day? We mean the basics, easily achieved with a great bottle of wine and steaks sizzling on the grill. Uncork these Dad-approved wine suggestions at various price points and prepare a beefy recipe sure to please. You grill, he chills!
WINES HE WANTS FOR FATHER’S DAY
Revered for classic Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay, this impressive estate (with its own art gallery) produces a dozen different wines led by Dave Guffy, director of winemaking. Mount Veeder 19 Block Cabernet Sauvignon ($38) is winner-winner for your steak dinner, but also consider the just-released 2014 Treo winemaker’s blend (about $19). Take it to any barbecue and you’ll instantly have friends. See the steak recipe here.
Try it: Del Frisco’s Steakhouse, Del Frisco’s Grill
Buy it: Spec’s, Total Wine & More, Richard’s
Toad Hollow Merlot
The 2015 Sonoma County Richard McDowell’s Selection (about $15) defies the typical ho-hum Merlot. Luckily, it’s balanced with acidity and sports complex flavors, making it a food wine. Richly textured with bright cranberry, currant, black cherry and a hint of baking spice and chocolate, it will grab Dad’s attention.
Try it: The Raven Grill, Danton’s Seafood, The Tasting Room
Buy it: Tony K’s, Total Wine & More, Spec’s, Kroger
Las Rocas Garnacha Spain
As juicy as summer watermelon, this 2014 Grenache (about $12) exhibits intense fresh-picked black cherry flavors with a dash of clove and pepper, making it impossible not to enjoy. Pair it with any grilled meat, but it also tastes great on its own.
Try it: Ibiza, Oporto Cafe, Batanga
Buy it: Spec’s, HEB, Houston Wine Merchant, Total Wine & More
Nicolas & Jay Pinot Noir
Look to the Willamette Valley, Oregon, for some of the best-made Pinot Noirs in the country. This just released 2015 beauty (about $65) has aromas of black cherry fruit and hints of violet and cassis. On the palate, bright fruit is supported by minerality and a lasting finish. Tip: It benefits from a few hours of decanting.
Try it: Pappas Bros. Steakhouse
Buy it: Houston Wine Merchants, Spec’s
Guigal Côtes du Rhône Rosé
Rosé season is upon us, and this 2014 vintage – a blend of Grenache, Cinsault and Syrah (about $14) – is top notch. It displays strawberry, honeysuckle and Provençal herb characteristics with a beautifully supple texture on the palate. A big bang for the buck, pair it with grilled tuna steaks, salmon, pasta or anything really.
Try it: Brennan’s of Houston, Brasserie 19
Buy it: Spec’s, Richards, Total Wine & More
Charles Smith Wines
These Washington State wines with cool labels – that cool Dads would love – are meant to be consumed when you buy them (notice most have screw top closures). Fun to tote to a gathering and equally tasty are these 2014 picks: Velvet Devil Merlot; smoky Boom Boom Syrah; smooth and affordable Château Smith Cabernet Sauvignon (about $9 to $16).
Try it: Liberty Kitchen at the Treehouse, Russo’s Coal-Fired Kitchen
Buy it: Whole Foods, Spec’s
Known for Cabernet Sauvignon grown in exceptional vineyard sites, this Napa mainstay also produces mouthwatering Chardonnays and a stunning Chenin Blanc. The 2014 Napa Valley Cabernet (about $65) beckons with black raspberry, boysenberry and ripe plum aromas swirled with cinnamon and vanilla crème brûlée, plus hints of mint and white pepper. It begs for big beef!
Try it: Fleming’s, Pappas Bros. Steakhouse, Truluck’s
Buy it: Whole Foods, Houston Wine Merchant, Spec’s
Native Houstonian John Harrison and team are cranking out some terrific wines in Calistoga, California, using grapes from the Napa Valley and Sonoma County. The 2014 Amici Pinot Noir Russian River Valley ($35) boasts heady aromas, vibrant cherry and berry flavors with delicate tannins. Optionally, its Olema Pinot Noir Sonoma County is gently priced (about $20) with nice spice notes from French oak aging. Both Pinots are ideal with grilled beef and mushroom kabobs or salmon.
Try it: Max’s Wine Dive, Carrabba’s, Sorrento
Buy it: Spec’s, Richards, Central Market
Cupcake Vineyards Shiraz
Despite the cute name, Cupcake wines have a sense of place; hence the Shiraz grapes are grown in Barossa, Southern Australia. Full bodied and smooth with blackberry and plum flavors, plus black pepper and mocha notes, it pairs well with grilled pork, lamb and peppered beef. Bonus points: affordable (about $10) and easy to locate in a pinch.
Try it: Bollo Woodfired Pizza
Buy it: Spec’s, Kroger, Total Wine & More, HEB
Beaulieu Vineyard Rarity
And, finally, for the ultimate splurge, here’s a wine for the serious wine collector or the man who has everything. A blend of the best barrel lots of Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit Verdot, the ultra luxury Rarity 2013 magnum ($1,000) has only been produced four times in the winery’s 117-year history. Never fear, more accessible wines exist in the portfolio: 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley (about $30), 2014 Maestro Collection Merlot Carneros (about $34), 2014 Maestro Chardonnay Carneros (about $36) and the Maestro Pinot Gris Carneros (about $20).
Try it: Vic & Anthony’s, Tony’s
Buy it: Spec’s, Houston Wine Merchant