We know the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach, so this Father’s Day, make your gift a gourmet one. Whether he’s a whiz on the grill, a master behind the bar, or king with a corkscrew, you don’t have to spend a fortune to impress. Raise a glass to the best Dad in the world – yours.
For the grill master dad: Hearst Ranch pairing
If your pop appreciates a tender steak and a hearty glass of red, then order up a duo that will make him smile.
With 80,000 acres of land surrounding the iconic San Simeon Castle on the central California Coast, the Hearst family (of the famous publishing company) focuses on raising world-class grass-fed beef. Not only are the cattle happier, the grass-fed beef is healthier for you and there’s a purity of taste that captures the great outdoors. Hearst Ranch New York strip steaks and center-cut sirloins are stars of the lineup with their moist, flavorful character, but the beef jerky is also a must-try treat. This isn’t that dusty jerky you find at the grocery store, this is sweet and succulent. The Hearst Ranch items range in price from $10 for a bag of the beef jerky to $15-$20 per steak.
2007 Hearst Ranch Winery “Lone Tree” Cabernet Franc, Paso Robles, California $35
Hearst Ranch recently launched a wine company that provides vinous complements to their signature meats. A talented trio -- owners Steve Hearst and Jim Saunders with winemaker Adam LaZarre -- are responsible for growing and crafting this sexy sip. Dark fruit notes with a tinge of earthiness make it a beef-lover's drink.
For the sophisticated sipper: A Pinot pack extraordinaire
For a wine collector or simply a man who knows what he likes, Pinot Noir is the savvy choice. Uncork these two superstar wines to celebrate your superstar dad.
2009 Melville Estate Pinot Noir, Sta. Rita Hills, California $32
Melville is a name to know when it comes to Pinot – it’s one of my top picks for quality and value in the Pinot Noir category. Hailing from the cool Sta. Rita Hills of Santa Barbara County, this luscious red from vintner/winegrower Chad Melville -- also known for his boutique SamSara label -- is a wine not to miss.
2009 Patz & Hall Pinot Noir, Sonoma Coast, California $42
Patz & Hall is another producer who crafts many of my top-pick California bottlings. Known for their single-vineyard wines, this vibrant, berry-scented cuvee blends choice northern California coastal vineyards in a stylish wine. It’s a wine that drinks beautifully now with grilled salmon, but will age well for years.
For the cocktail dude: Chic spirits to satisfy
Dad not a wine guy? No worries, stock his bar with these unique spirits.
Jim Beam “Devil’s Cut” Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey $24
Celebrate the devil in your dad with a new product from the makers of Jim Beam (who also produce my favorite bourbon, Basil Hayden’s). The name refers to the portion of the spirit that seeps into the wood during aging as opposed to the angel’s share, which evaporates from the barrel. Smoky, toasty and bold, this 90-proof bad boy is devilishly good.
Corsair Artisan “Wry Moon” Unaged Kentucky Whiskey $34
Think white lightning with class. A boutique distillery in Nashville, Tenn., Corsair is hand crafting mind-blowingly unique spirits, including this moonshine. A clear whiskey based on the grain rye, it’s peppery and powerfully pure.
Casa Noble “Crystal” Tequila, Mexico $38
If you don’t know this singular spirit get ready to be impressed. Casa Noble is a certified organic producer of tequila. (I adore the spirit so much I’ve been known to put myself in TTOs --Tequila Time Outs.) This blanco is made using mature blue agave, then triple distilled. Elegantly packaged, it’s an ideal gift for any dad.
For the fortified father: Pleasure and Port
Porto (the real thing from Portugal) is the ultimate gentleman’s drink. With a rich history dating back centuries, this fortified wine pairs with chocolates, cheeses and, of course, cigars. My two picks range from bargain to bling so no matter what you spend, there’s a Port to please your pop.
Fonseca Bin 27 Porto, Portugal $20
The name originated from Portugese winemaker David Guimaraens’s family, who made their own “bin” for family gatherings. In 1972 it was released as a wine everyone could enjoy, and has ranked among the best values on the market ever since. Lightly sweet with classic flavors of orange peel and spice, it’s an ideal entry point for those who want to try Port. In the summer, serve well-chilled over ice and even add a slice of frozen orange for fun.
Taylor Fladgate “Scion” Porto, Portugal (price = ouch)
Once in a lifetime you have a chance to taste history. I was lucky enough recently to do just that, and so can you. The “Scion” is tawny Port dating to 1855. Stored for 15 decades in cask, this intensely concentrated wine has a magical mélange of aromas ranging from caramel and toffee to apricot and candied ginger. It’s liquid gold for the dad who has everything. Only about 1,000 bottles are available for the world at $3,200 each. Pricey, yes, but worth every penny.
Leslie Sbrocco is the author of "The Simple & Savvy Wine Guide" and founder of ThirstyGirl.com.