Fathers Day is Wine Day -
Rampant commercialism or an opportunity to give the dad in your life a little extra love, whichever way you look at it many of the regular gifts you might choose this Fathers Day might be, because of you know what, unsuitable, unavailable or unusable. Happily there is a wine for pretty much every occasion and pretty much every man.
Take Trad Dad. He might have been the one you would buy a tie or pair of cufflinks but Zoom meetings don’t need dressing up for and even socks are probably unnecessary. So how about an absolute classic wine instead? Something über-traditional like a bottle of fine red Burgundy, preferably from a family who have been working the same vineyards since their ancestors were Welsh mercenaries for Marguerite, Duchess of Burgundy in the 14th century.
Metro-cultural Dad loves visiting art galleries, going to gigs and has an instagram feed that is beautifully curated. He’d love a bottle of wine made by that guy who after he left Central St Martins became the hot DJ in Brooklyn. Now he’s retired to make wine in deepest Provence. He keeps his artist hand in by painting the labels, abstract, synaesthetic responses to the flavour profile of each cuvée and plays the wines sleeping in barrel the latest breaks and beats.
Fitness Dad, forced indoors, has quit Strava but is taking part in a virtual Tour de France, sweating in solitude on his static bike, racing competitors around the world via Zwift. To celebrate his stage win in his age class he will want some fizz but most has some sweetness added at bottling. Sugar is The Enemy so choose him a Brut Zéro ‘skinny’ Cava or Champagne that has none added and he can drink happy in the knowledge he won’t be piling on pounds that will disadvantage him when they get to the Alpine stages.
Thrill Seeker Dad is looking for the next adrenaline rush so give him a bottle of Méthode Ancestrale sparkling wine. Also known as Pétillant Naturel, these wines are made by bottling the wine just before it finishes fermenting, the last few grams of sugar giving a little more alcohol and a natural foam rather than fizz. Very often they are not disgorged, leaving the wine in the bottle hazy. Each one ends up tasting ever so slightly different and even better, occasionally and entirely unpredictably, because of that cloudiness, they can erupt spectacularly when opened soaking onlookers and everything else within a radius of a lot more than 2 metres.
Hipster Dad is, let’s be honest, on home turf shopping at Iron & Rose. His sourdough starter has hit a sweet spot and is producing loaves with, he thinks, amazing depth and complexity of flavour. His home grown veg is doing incredibly well after a fine spring and a lot more hours attention than it usually gets. So when the band comes round to rehearse he will need something suitably organic, natural and delicious to drink with the meal he makes them. Go for a new-wave orange wine that treads the fine line between having that extra depth and complexity that time macerating on the white grape skins gives and being so austere that even his mate who’s into experimental free jazz would have difficulty actually enjoying.
Incredibly all of the wines I’ve suggested above exist and whether the father in your life is a trad dad, hipster, collector or maverick there’s something to suit that’s got to be more fun than another tie. Here are two to try for real -
Two to try:
Funàmabul, Equilibri Natural, Brut Nature Reserva Cava- This would be perfect for Fit Dad. Made from organically grown grapes by Maria Barrena at Entre Vinyes in Penedès, Northern Spain. There’s no dosage, just beautiful ripe fruit giving great balance to the wine. Dry as, but clean as a whistle and ever so drinkable.
Slobodné, Veltlina, Slovakia - Hipster Dad will love this. Agnes Lovecka & Mišo Kuropka
run a 350ha mixed farm in Zemianske Sady. The farm is certified biodynamic and their wines, from 17 hectares of vines, are progressive and experimental, and informed by traditional techniques. Veltlina is made from Grüner Veltliner, 70% of which was treated conventionally, destemmed and pressed into open vats for fermentation. The remaining 30% was added as whole bunches to the fermenting juice. This created a sort of partial ‘semi- carbonic’ type of skin contact. Aged in Ovoid (egg shaped) tanks for one year the wine is dry and spicy with beautiful fruit flavours of yellow plums and citrus peel.
Both wines available at Iron & Rose in Shrewsbury Market Hall and at Glouglou Wine Bar | Shop on Castle Gates.
This article first appeared in MyShrewsbury Magazine.