Slideshow: Ask a Sommelier: How to Choose Wine for Father's Day

Personality is Everything
Personality is Everything

"I think Father's Day wines should be selected based on personality. It's the way I buy wine as a gift no matter what the occasion. You also need to consider if your dad is more inclined to pull the cork that afternoon or give the wine a few years in the cellar. Not all wines are designed for immediate consumption. Some, just like Dad, get better with age.

Soft spoken dads are better paired with elegant wines like Gamay from the Burgundy region, or Pinot Noirs from the Willamette Valley in Oregon. For the more outgoing, rough and tumble dads I think you're better selecting a bold Syrah from the northern Rhône Valley in France or California's north coast."— Patrick Cappiello (Pearl & Ash)

Tools of the Trade
Tools of the Trade

"I was thinking about how people often buy their fathers tools for Father's Day and, with that in mind, I thought it would be a great idea to buy wine tools for Dad. It'll allow him to enjoy each glass of wine at home even more. Some considerations that should be taken into account when buying tools is that you want to make this an investment; make the items you get worth it and things that will last. Also avoid gadgets, stick with important key tools. One recommendation is a great decanter, with this you can really see how wine can open up&emdash;warm wine up if it's too cool, cool it down if it's too warm, take sediment out of old wine, oxygen into new wine. It has a lot of uses. Another recommendation would be really good glassware. I am a fan of Riedel.

I also think it would be nice to start a tradition: get two bottles of wine, one to drink now and one to save. This way you get to enjoy one bottle with your dad on the day and you're also helping him build a cellar." — Keri Levens (Aquavit)

Keep it Grill-Appropriate
Keep it Grill-Appropriate

"When selecting a gift for Dad it's important to take into consideration what he would really like. If that didn't matter you could just get him another tie for his collection, like everyone else. Since Father's Day falls right in the middle of grilling season, I recommend going with something to pair with grilled foods and outdoor dining. With this theme in mind, you can go one of two routes for a gift. Either a killer bottle of rosé to drink while working the grill to keep cool, or a juicy bottle of red to pair nicely with a smoky piece of tri-tip that just came off the flames. If you want to go the safe route, pick up a bottle of 2010 Faury St. Joseph. This is one of my favorite syrahs from the Northern Rhone that you can find under $30. The smoky, meaty, peppery flavors go great with a thick cut of meat. For rosé, try a bottle of Gioielli Rosé from the Cap Corse AOC in Corsica. The briny minerality and bright acidity found in rosés from Corsica make it extremely easy to stay cool and composed will manning the flames, and again for less then $30." — Eric Railsback (Le Comptoir Bar a Vins)

Do the Research
Do the Research

"If you really want to hit one out of the park for your dad, think about whether something wine-related is really the ticket before going to any lengths to procure a bottle. If you know it's got to be wine, find out what he likes and where he likes to buy it. In all likelihood, a little bit of digging (Hi, Mom) will turn up some favorite wines and probably his preferred wine shop. If it's small enough of a shop, they might even know him and/or have some records of his purchases. Wine is so polarizing that even an expensive, well-recommended bottle from a good shop can be a slightly disappointing gift for a wine-obsessed dad, not to mention an expensive misstep for you, so doing a little research on the sly can pay off quite a lot. 

With that said, maybe your dad is only interested in wines that are out of your price range, but you would still like to pick up a wine-related gift. Decanters can be inexpensive ($30-something, retail) and a good wine nut can never have enough of these. Same goes for a good wine opener... Either a nice Screwpull or even a Pulltap's with a Teflon worm. They're cheap and do a great job.

 

Also, as a dad myself, I'll remind you that he will most likely be thrilled that you even remembered Father's Day at all. Any effort put into an actual gift is really just icing on the cake. So don't overthink it." — Collin Casey (Namu Gaji)

Know His Preferences, Riff on Those
Know His Preferences, Riff on Those

"Know your father's preference in wine style and choose something that will truly please him. That said, you could add a bit of variety into his cellar with a unique twist on a favorite style. Does he like Bordeaux? How about a Bordelaise blend, but from Lebanon, such as Guy Hochart's age-worthy Chateau Musar? Is he a fan of California Chardonnay? Perhaps Sylvia Prieler's "Leithaberg" a rich, creamy, yet mineral drenched Pinot Blanc from Austria. A pleasurable alternative will double as a thoughtful gift from you, and memorable wine drinking experience for Dad!"— Colleen Hein (Eastern Standard Kitchen & Drinks)

What Kind of Guy is He?
What Kind of Guy is He?

"When picking out a present for Father's Day, I would take into account the kind of guy and wine drinker Dad is to help paint an accurate picture as to what things he would actually use. For the artsier, more creative type, I would find advertising art work from a Champagne or Port producer that has a nice vintage feel. Another option would be a nice wine bag for when you travel with wine. For a wine-curious father who likes to read, I would get a subscription to Sommelier Journal. It's written by sommeliers— and is in my mind the best wine publication on the market. For a dad who is fun and up for anything, I would get a Laguiole sabre-ing sword and send him a Youtube clip on how to saber a bottle of wine." — Brent Kroll (Birch & Barley, Churchkey, GBD, Vermilion)

Chill Out
Chill Out
"When I think of Father's Day, backyard barbecues immediately come to mind and rosé would typically be in order. However, dads don't usually jump up and down with excitement over rosé. So I'd buy him a light red that can be chilled down and casually consumed with the family. Some of my favorites are Castello di Verduno's Pelaverga, Arnot-Robert's Trousseau, and Chamonard's Beaujolais Morgon."— Chad Zeigler (RN74)

Try Something New
Try Something New

"When it comes to gifting, there are no beings in the entire universe that are easier to please than dads. I actually don't think they even see what it is we give them. It could really be anything. They are just happy we are around, handing them stuff. I say might as well go with something delicious that you think is interesting and has a cool story you can pass on to your pops. Who knows, maybe you'll get him away from his usual ho-hum Cabernet for one day out of the year." — Steven Grubbs (Empire State South, 5&10)

Spend Quality Time Together
Spend Quality Time Together

"When selecting a wine gift for Father's Day, it's always fun to find a wine that fits in with Dad's personality. If Dad is going to spend the summer by the grill, choose a wine that goes great with grill marks, like Wind Gap Syrah 'Griffin's Lair' from Sonoma Coast or Meteor 'Perseid' Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley.

If Dad has more of an analytical mind, try putting together a mixed vertical by sourcing a few different vintages of one of his favorite wines. It is fascinating to compare and contrast the same wine in different years and see how Mother Nature changes things.

But in my personal experience, the best wine gift I ever gave my father was a bottle that I opened up and drank with him. So spend some time choosing a wine, but spend more time enjoying it with Dad. Happy Father's Day!"— Chris Bagetta (Quince)