Treat your dad to one of these wines for Father’s Day

Does wine have a gender? There was a time when tasting notes would refer to a wine as feminine or masculine — a delicate fragrant chablis might be feminine but a big fruity hermitage from the Rhone would always be masculine.

Such adjectives are rarely used anymore and it is for the best as such words tend to place wine (and sometimes wine drinkers) in categories they don’t deserve.

Wine enthusiasts whether male or female tend to have exactly the same tastes (they like the good stuff!). 

However, it could be argued that among people that ‘just like a nice glass of wine’ you will see a bias towards white among women and towards rich reds among men.

I mention this because Father’s Day is tomorrow and remember that if you are buying a gift for Father’s Day, wine of any hue is a most welcome gift among all the fathers I know. 

It is difficult to generalise but in my experience the clichés are true and men generally like big beefy flavours as found in Médoc Bordeaux, Californian cabernet sauvignon or Australian shiraz (see below).

I have judged sausage and barbecue competitions a number of times in recent years for the Craft Butchers Association and while there are a few women butchers, this is still a very male world so I would also recommend the butcher’s favourite wine. 

Obviously, this is anecdotal but I have chatted with dozens of butchers and inevitably the conversation always touches on their favourite wine. 

To a man, they seem to favour malbec from Argentina over all others. 

So if your dad is getting a big lump of steak as part of his Father’s Day you won’t go wrong with a chunky malbec from the likes of Catena, Luigi Bosca or the more expensive versions from Pascual Toso or Dona Paula.

Centra has a summer sale on at the moment with Invivo Marlborough sauvignon blanc for €12 until next Wednesday (normally €15). 

I’m not featuring it as a recommendation as I found it a little blousy but if you like Graham Norton’s sauvignon you will probably like it (same producer). A

lso in the sale is the good value Abellio Albarino (€12) which has featured here in the past.

BEST VALUE UNDER €15

Viña Albali Tempranillo 2016, Valdepeñas, Spain — €8

Treat your dad to one of these wines for Father’s Day

Stockist: Centra Stores Nationwide

Viña Albali from South East Spain has always been a good value producer and their Reserva and Gran Reservas have likely been on this page before. 

This is very much their entry level wine but it is cleanly made and has fresh blackberry fruits and hard to pass up at this price. Their Verdejo is also clean and fresh but be warned that it is rather light.

M&S Manzanilla, Jerez, Spain — €12

Treat your dad to one of these wines for Father’s Day

Stockist: Marks & Spencer

I haven’t mentioned fino or manzanilla Sherry in a long time but it is an excellent summer drink — crisp, bone-dry and fresh but also with character and body. 

This is a classic example and sourced from the house of Williams & Humbert — yeasty, zingy and delightful with aromas of brioche and the seaside. Perfect for barbecued or fried fish, especially mackerel.

Tapada de Villar Vinho Verde 2016, Portugal — €11

Treat your dad to one of these wines for Father’s Day

Stockist: Marks & Spencer

A blend of Loureiro, Arinto and Trajadura (all worthy local grapes) from schist slopes in northern Portugal to the east of Porto. 

This is light and dry with a fresh lime leaf and light floral aroma and a touch of spritz to liven it up. A perfect summer wine.

BEST VALUE OVER €15

D’Arenberg Hermit Crab Viognier-Marsanne, McLaren Vale, Australia — €16-16.99

Treat your dad to one of these wines for Father’s Day

Stockists: Bradleys, SuperValu, O’Briens, Jus de Vine, Gerries in Skerries

D’Arry Osborn who created this fine estate celebrates his 90th birthday this year and while the estate’s reds are justly famous (cf. Dead Arm Shiraz), I’ve always loved their rich complex white wines. 

This is fragrant and soft with rich stone fruits with a dried lemon edge and a dry finish.

De Bortoli Woodfired Heathcote Shiraz, Australia — €19.99-20.99

Treat your dad to one of these wines for Father’s Day

Stockists: 1601 Kinsale, Mortons Galway, Lilac Wines Fairview, LaTouche, Salmons Balinasloe

Imported by Febvre and a wine they reckon is perfect for barbecues. 

Heathcote in Victoria is famous for its Shiraz and this is a good example with a full hit of spice and stewed plums on the nose, dense smoky and textured fruits on the palate and lingering complexity.

Wirra Wirra Catapult Shiraz, McLaren Vale, Australia — €19.00

Treat your dad to one of these wines for Father’s Day

Stockist: Marks & Spencer

McLaren Vale Shiraz is always intense and richly fruited with touches of eucalyptus (gum tree). 

This is drier than many with smoky aromas and dense ripe black fruits and lingering chewy plums and soft tannins. One for fire-grilled meat or a big T-Bone Steak.


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