WHETHER he’s an adventurer, sports fan or gadget geek, men are notoriously hard to buy for and sometimes the best gesture on Father’s Day (June 17) is to shake hands and bend an elbow with the old man.
Showing your appreciation and treating dad to his favourite wine or spirit is the perfect excuse to pull up a chair, raise the bar and enjoy some quality time together.
For a dad planning to put his feet up, why not surprise him with an interesting white to match spicy snacks or an Indian takeaway?
The picturesque Alsace region of France produces some of the world’s best food wines including riesling, but the lesser known pinot blanc is sometimes overlooked.
Family-owned Dopff has been producing these steely dry, minerally wines since 1574 and Dopff Au Moulin 2011 Pinot Blanc, Alsace, France (£11.90, www.slurp.co.uk) registers two out of nine on the winemaker’s sweet indicator. The high acidity and fresh style suits cream-based dishes such as red chicken curry or prawn korma, and if you really feel like pushing the boat out, foie gras on toasted brioche.
New Zealand’s South Island is home to the country’s largest wine region, Marlborough, where the sauvignon blanc leaps from the glass.
Hugely successful, Invivo released its first wines in 2008 and gold medal-winning whites such as Invivo Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2011, NZ (£12.99, Harvey Nichols) remind us how a young Kiwi winery can turn out seriously stylish vino in a very short time. The pungent green aromas, tropical fruits and limey zestiness of its 2011 sauvignon blanc are quite delightful.
Flavoursome, manly reds compliment sizzling barbecued meats and The Rustler Pinotage 2011, South Africa (£7.99, www.laithwaites.co.uk) is the perfect pick for a Father’s Day cookout. Made from South Africa’s flagship grape, pinotage (a cross between pinot noir and cinsault), it’s big and bold with blackberry, cassis, blueberry and dark chocolate with a leathery component and surprisingly smooth finish. There’s also a nice Rustler story on the back label if the conversation runs dry - which this wine isn’t.
Australian through and through, Bootstraps Shiraz, McLaren Vale 2010, Australia (£9.99, Sainsbury’s) has a violet nose and the rich flavours of black cherries, blackberry and cassis are laced with pepper and a hint of sandalwood. With its smooth velvety texture, it’s just the ticket with a family Sunday roast.
Alternatively, for something to really remember you by, Wakefield Jaraman Shiraz 2009, Australia (£19.99, www.ozwines.co.uk) will delight the most discerning dads. Spicy, juicy and jammy with fresh acidity, a cigar box element and grippy tannins, it’s a blend of the very best shiraz from two famous wine regions, Clare Valley and the Mclaren Vale.