Wine of the Week: Father’s Day wines

This weekend is Father’s Day. In my house, that means I am presented with gifts that are suspiciously correlated with specific chores on my wife’s “honey do” list.

For example, last year, I got a really cool cordless power tool set, including a drill and circular saw. I wasn’t skeptical until I noticed that the battery pack was already fully charged and a pile of lumber had mysteriously materialized overnight in our backyard.

Before I could say, “Um, thanks?” I was sawing, drilling and hammering a frame for my wife’s new vegetable garden.

But the one genuine luxury that always awaits me at the end of the day is dinner. I get to throw a couple of thick-cut porterhouse steaks on the grill and open up a great bottle of wine — assuming of course, all of my chores are done.

To kick off Father’s Day on the right note, pop open a bottle of Nonvintage Pierre Gimonnet 1er Cru Blanc de Blancs Brut Champagne from France. Made from 100% Chardonnay grapes, the tiny bubbles carry hints of citrus fruit and creamy yeast on the floral bouquet.

The palate possesses a creamy mouthfeel with notes of crisp green apple, nectarine and pear. Hints of citrus highlight the medium-crisp finish, and the bubbles add a certain measure of elegance. Perfect all by itself and even better with fried chicken. $50

Of course, a big, fat juicy steak is always a surefire way to reward Dad on his special day, especially if you pair it with the 2016 Rodney Strong Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon from Alexander Valley, California.

A lot of oomph for the money, this powerful red wine is big enough to stand up to heartier fare. Scents of black plums, cocoa and espresso entice the nose while flavors of earthy red plum and black cherry coat the palate on the well-balanced frame. The sweet tannins provide great structure, capable of cutting through the fat in the meat while delivering a long finish where notes of blackberry jam and roasted coffee leave a wonderful impression. $17

One of the varietals that I routinely head for when I am in the mood for grilled lamb is Shiraz. There is something about the big tannins and peppery frame that seems to be made for lamb.

The 2016 Oliver Hill Red Silk Shiraz from the McLaren Vale region in South Australia has everything that I am looking for in a Down Under beauty. From the warm bouquet of black cherry, cassis and pepper, to the flavorful and muscular frame of jammy black fruit, blueberry liqueur and spices, this well-balanced wine has a lot to offer. The notes of toasty oak and cracked black pepper add a spicy character to the long, powerful finish. $20

From the Tuscany region of Italy comes the wonderfully textured 2016 Il Fauno Di Arcanum Toscana IGT Bordeaux Blend. This avant-garde offering is produced by world-famous winemaker Pierre Seillan using a blend of Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit Verdot and is perfect for any “good father” who wants to enjoy a little pasta with Bolognese sauce this weekend.

The aromas of earthy plum, orange peel and smoky cedar give way to flavors of cassis, blackberries and roasted meat upfront and a hint of dried cherry and tobacco on the powerful finish. The soft tannins give this wine elegant structure and age-ability so you can enjoy it now or save it for future celebrations. $30


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