Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Wines for Father's Day

By Liza B. Zimmerman

My dad only drinks Champagne. And a touch of sparkling wine. So I might fête him with a classic bottle Gosset Brut. If we were going to go domestic he might enjoy a California sparkler or delicious bottle of Gruet, that he might even think was Champagne.

While my father is not much on rosé sparklers, yours might be and there are plenty of good ones being made everywhere from New Mexico to Cavas in Spain and Proseccos in Italy. Rosé sparkling wines also tend to be very food friendly and can pair with all kinds of flavors from spice to sweetness and umami flavors.

Some fathers like to celebrate with big reds for Father's Day. The Sobon Estate "Fiddletown" Zinfandel is big and muscular but soft and luscious. Other big, meaty red worthy of the BBQ you might help him make to celebrate would include some inky Cabernet Sauvignons, intense peppery Malbecs from Argentina or a mysterious red blend such as the Spanish Cims del Monstant, which has rich layers of Grenache and Carignan.

Wines for a Sunny Day
If you want to take your dad for a picnic in Central Park, to the beach or for a ride on the Cyclone at Coney Island. Beautiful summer weather would call for lighter wines: perhaps a little Sancerre if your dad likes oysters and other fresh, shelled delights from the sea. Bright and crisp Sauvignon Blancs are also favorites of mine to sip outside. South Africa and Chile are some to some of the world's best versions of these wines, and often among the most affordable. Regions all over California are also distinguishing themselves by producing some stellar and balanced bottlings of Sauvignon Blanc as well.

In France truckers drink pink wines in the summer and they are no less macho. So why not toast dad with a little rosé? Mulderbosch from South Africa is a rich and intense wine made from Cabernet Sauvignon. Bordeaux and Spain's Navarra region also make some luscious, fruit-forward roses. If dad is adventurous have him try the Di Giovanna "Gerbino" Rosato di Nerello Mascalese. This is a rosé made from one of Sicily's truly great cool climate grapes.

For An Old-School Dad
To wrap up his day you dad might enjoy a little fortified wine. A Cognac, such as Pierre Ferrand's "1840 Original Formula" from Grande Champagne in Cognac is a classic. A touch of sherry is as nice after a meal as before. Savoring the layers of a vintage or Tawny Port is a another great way to conclude the celebration. Calem is a great producer.

Cheers from DrinkUpNY!

Liza B. Zimmerman has been writing and consulting about wine and food for two decades. She is principal of the San Francisco-based Liza the Wine Chick wine writing, education and consulting firm. She has worked on staff and freelance at national magazines such as Wine Enthusiast, The Magazine of La Cucina Italiana, Wine Spectator, Where SF and the Examiner. She currently contributes to Cheers, Wine Business Monthly and the Examiner, among others.

Zimmerman focuses on demystifying wine and transforming it into a tool for business and networking for companies all over the country. Past clients include Genentech, Roche and IBM.

She has visited all the world’s major wine regions and is one of select few in the U.S. to hold the Diploma of Wine & Spirits (D.W.S.), the three-year precursor to the Master of Wine.

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