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Father’s Day Wines: Pick a Wine For Dad

Written by Madeline Puckette

Your dad is out there doing his thing —being himself— and that’s what you love about him most. A wine that will be meaningful should personify him in some way. Otherwise, it would just be another bottle of wine.

Aaron Epstein photo by Tim Hardy
Aaron Epstein drinking Champagne with his son. Photo by Tim Hardy

Picking a Wine for Dad

Since all dads are unique, here is a compelling list of wines based on what your father’s passions may be. The perfect Father’s Day wine is one that fits his personality! From the Adventurist to the Bibliophile (head in a book) there is a wine to honor your dad.


Your dad is out there —literally– exploring new things. He’s always been that way. Perhaps he brought you along on some of his explorations of the world and it’s made you more open-minded.

If there’s anyone out there who’s willing to try something new, it’s your pops. You don’t have to spend a fortune to find him something really out there.

A Short List of Amazing Esoteric Wines

Included on this list are several amazing indigenous Italian varieties that are delicious and will expand your dad’s horizons. We particularly loved Gaglioppo!


Your dad is a staunch idealist; he might be the last of his kind. Over the years you’ve observed his well-crafted set of values and some of the best ones have rubbed off on you.

If we played our cards right, chances are your father has an appreciation for the subtleties of the elite. Let’s arm you with the secrets of what they’ve been drinking at the White House for the last 80 years.

Wines Enjoyed at the White House

Included on this list are not only fancy and expensive wines like $1,000 Château Haut-Brion Blanc (Kennedy) and $245 Shafer Cabernet Sauvignon “Hillside Select” (teetotaler W. Bush!) but also some great values like $26 Saintsbury Pinot Noir (Clinton)

Sporting Enthusiast

Saying your dad is a ‘bit’ competitive is an understatement. You’ve had your eyes opened to sports, challenges, games, etc. and it’s made your life more exciting.

A Strong Wine for a Strong Guy

Look no further than an Australian Shiraz or a Paso Robles Syrah. We’re not saying that your dad doesn’t appreciate the nuances of something light, like Gamay, but he’s one of the few people out there that will love getting a little kick in the jaw.


Your dad is a creator, whether he’s a jeweler or a chef or a builder, you’ve seen many amazing things come out of him over the years. Creative people express themselves in so many ways.

A Wine for Creative Juices

Not only will Spanish Monastrell get the creative juices flowing, the Spanish continually lead the market with the most contemporary wine label designs in the world.


Your dad is a bonafide gadget freak. Every time you see him, there always seems to be a strange new gadget that he wholeheartedly swears by to solve his problems. Your dad would be impressed by a wine that takes an amazing amount of technology to produce.

The Most Technologically Advanced Wines on Earth

Believe it or not, Champagne and Cava employ the most advanced winemaking tools in the world. For instance, at Jaume Serra (a Cava producer just South of Barcelona) there are no people, just forklifts working in the pitch dark underground. Jaume Serra worked with German engineers to revolutionize the sparkling wine riddling process; making Champagne-quality wine much more affordable.

You won’t find anything about their riddling system anywhere… it’s a secret!


Your dad just sucks up culture —he is like a sponge of knowledge— and his favorite media is film. He loves the stories and the history that go into great movies, so you’ll want to pick an equally storied wine.

Pick the Perfect Wine by a Favorite Classic Film

Included on this list are some of the top classic films of all time. From Godfather (Sangiovese) to Monty Python’s Holy Grail (Lambrusco), there’s a wine for that!

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Your dad is that guy who’s always the center of attention. It’s not because he is demanding, it’s because people seem to gravitate towards him. He is the light of many people’s lives, including you.

The Most Lovable of all Wines

No matter how much flack Merlot gets, we knock the socks off experts and novices all the time when we blind taste high quality Merlot. The truth is, Merlot is hard to craft and I bet your dad works hard to be the man he is. He will love a superb Super Tuscan, Right-bank Bordeaux or Hillside Merlot from Napa or Sonoma.

Bibliophile (your dad always has a book nearby)

Your dad is a thinker and thinkers need to work with an arsenal of concepts, ideas and history. That’s why he is constantly reading. Your dad wants a wine that will compliment his amazing brain.

The Perfect Wine for People Who Live Inside Their Heads

Pinot Noir is one of the only wines in the world that can be made into Sparkling, White, Rosé, Red and even a Sweet Red wine. Despite the fact that Pinot Noir is so diverse, it remains one of the most subtle in terms of flavor. It’s no surprise that this grape is very ancient. Pinot is a sipper and deserves a big round glass.

Jackson Rohrbaugh
Wine Sommelier, Jackson Rohrbaugh a dad sommelier in Seattle.

Written byMadeline Puckette

James Beard Award-winning author and Wine Communicator of the Year. I co-founded Wine Folly to help people learn about wine. @WineFolly

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