Father’s Day – Wine Gifts for the Dad in Your Life

Father’s Day can be perplexing, as buying gifts for men can be a challenge. The kids usually have the cute factor covered, with their arts and crafts, and frames proclaiming that “I Love Daddy”… but where does that leave the rest of us? He assuredly does not need another tie, does not want the workout clothes you’re so desperate to buy him, but probably would love a really nice bottle of wine. And whether you’re buying for your spouse, your significant other, or YOUR dad, there are some amazing wine gifts out there that will make them feel loved and appreciated this Father’s Day.


The Classic Dad

Your dad may be as classic as old Blue Eyes, but let’s lead him toward a more modern crooner instead.

2013 LVE Cabernet Sauvignon “Legend Vineyard Exclusive” Napa Valley, California $85
LVE is a collision of superstars. John Legend, the famous musician, and Jean-Charles Boisset, the wine business’s version of a rockstar, have joined forces to create LVE. The wines are created by Boisset’s Napa property, the historic Raymond Vineyards, with input from Legend. The Cabernet Sauvignon is a stylish sip. Lush, opulent and sexy, it’s destined for wine collectors’ cellars but can be enjoyed now. Pour it alongside a seared sirloin while listening to music from who else? Legend-ary.

LVE Cabernet

The Spirited Dad

For the man who appreciates wine, but loves spirits, this gift can’t be beat. 

Distillery No. 209 Gin $35
Being a gin devotee, one of my favorite picks is Distillery No. 209. When the brand’s owner, Leslie Rudd, bought the historic Edge Hill wine estate in Napa Valley, he uncovered an old building with the words “Registered distillery no. 209” painted above the door. He traced the background of the verbiage to the property’s original owner, William Sheffler, who was an award-winning distiller in the late 1880s. Using this as inspiration, a new distillery was built in San Francisco on Pier 50. The gin now being crafted there is a marriage of botanicals such as juniper – the key ingredient in gin – as well as up to 11 other botanicals from bergamot orange and lemon peel to coriander seeds. It’s a crisp yet aromatic gin that I love with a simple splash of tonic and fresh lime or as the base for a classic martini. Bottoms up.  



The Classy Dad

Not to confused with the Classic, this Dad appreciates the finer things in life and will appreciate the quality of this iconic wine. You will appreciate it’s reasonable price, so make sure to stock up on a few bottles (or cases) for yourself.

2012 Le Domaine Saget, Pouilly-Fumé, France $28
The Saget family has been in the wine business for more than three centuries with nine generations at the helm. This legendary time frame has afforded them ranking among the best producers of the Loire Valley. But, they don’t rest on their laurels and accolades. General Manager Arnaud Saget has taken the reins and is focused on innovation as well with a new line of affordable Vin de France wines dubbed “La Petite Perriere.” This wine, however, falls into their masters category. Made from Sauvignon Blanc planted in the Pouilly-Fumé appellation, this classic style of white encompasses citrus and passion fruit aromas with a driving force of minerality. Pure, focused flavors fleshed out with a luscious texture make it a wine to pair with oysters, scallops or salmon, but also to enjoy on its own as a respite from the day. Though collector-level quality, it’s priced with drinking in mind so stock up for summer time sipping. wine gifts for dad

The Fun-Loving Dad

For the Dad who appreciates the latest Facebook meme and laughs at most anything, this offering from JaM Cellars is both whimsical and delicious.

JaM Cellars is the brainchild of John and Michele Truchard (who own John Anthony Vineyards, a downtown Napa hotspot). As part of the Truchard clan — one of Napa’s great grape-growing families — John knows a thing or two about vineyards. He and his wife also clearly know what appeals to consumers. I come across a myriad of brands with eye-catching labels, but this trio is the most creative I’ve seen in years. Offering up a smile-inducing lineup of wines entitled Toast, Butter and JaM, each has a purpose and unique character. All three pack a high-quality punch while telling you exactly what you’re getting in each bottle.

Toast Brut Sparkling Wine, California $25 wine gifts for dad
Crafted from Chardonnay, this bubbly is made in the traditional sparkling wine method in a dry —or brut— style. It’s got a luscious texture with a touch of toasty richness, yet finishes with crisp fruit flavors. A terrific choice for celebrations year round.

2014 Butter Chardonnay, California $16

wine gifts for dad
Creamy with succulent pineapple fruit notes and a hug of oak, this is an unapologetic style of Chardonnay. It wraps you in buttery pleasure and sports melt-in-your-mouth goodness. If you crave lush Chardonnay, you’ll love Butter.

2014 JaM Cabernet Sauvignon, California $20

wine gifts for dad
As the name says, you get jammy dark fruit flavors in this full-bodied red wine. Made with 100 percent Cabernet, it’s a crowd-pleasing style to pair with barbecue ribs, grilled lamb chops or meat-lovers pizza. It could also saddle up to a PB&J slathered with what else? Jam.

Gifting Tips

Still confused or think that Dad might not be a big wine guy? Check out my spirit tips on Scotch, Pisco, Gin and Tequila. You’re certain to find some gift ideas to get for the Dad in YOUR life!






Holiday Gift Guide : Part One | Fashion, Food and Fun

‘Tis the season to eat, drink, shop and make merry. What better way to do that than with some of my favorite items of 2014. From wearable wine-related fashion statements and accessories to bites to savor, these selections make ideal gifts (treat yourself to one or two, as well).

Happy Holidays!



Wine Wardrobe: Create your own style with these beautiful wine-themed wearable art items


Olive and Poppy – Cheers to the Sweet Life Necklace $74


I’m a jewelry lover and when I first saw these beautiful pieces with a northern California wine country feel, I was impressed. The quality is top notch and the designs unique. The company was founded by Napa Valley residents, Anne Siegel and Nicole Hughes, and as they tell it “The name Olive and Poppy is inspired by the vibrant, visual representations of the two parts of nature that are synonymous with wine countries throughout the world. Come spring, there are always thousands of colorful poppies growing right alongside the groves of olive trees that line winery driveways.” Cheers.


Crawford Denim for Robert Mondavi Private Selection – Vintners Shirt  $135


Everyone needs a high-quality denim piece in his or her wardrobe and this shirt fits the bill. Created by artisan producer, Crawford Denim, the richly-textured shirt can be worn belted over leggings or open in a coat style. The collar and accompanying bandana gains its deep purple hue from using Robert Mondavi Private Selection’s blend, Heritage Red, as a dye. Go ahead and splurge…you deserve it.


The Grateful Girls – Jerry Garcia-inspired Silk Scarf — $25

jerry garcia scarfWhether you know the classic band, The Grateful Dead, I bet you’ve heard of the band’s icon, Jerry Garcia. He was a musician, wine lover, and artist who made his home in northern California’s wine country (and at one point even had his own wine label). Now, two inventive ladies named, The Grateful Girls, have taken Garcia’s art to a line of scarves. They’re festive and affordable making an ideal gift for friends and family.


Delicious Bites from Sweet to Spicy: These mouthwatering treats will impress for less


Chateau Bakery – Clair de Lune Cookies

Large container $28 or 4 Small Containers for $16



I’m not a big chocolate or dessert eater, but you put some butter cookies in front of me and I melt. These are the best I’ve ever tasted. Chateau Bakery makes the Clair de Lune cookies with an original family recipe dating to their European family bakery started in 1989. Today, owner and baker Esther Buss, continues the tradition with these melt-in-your mouth bites. Only five ingredients are used to make the cookies: cane sugar, flour, butter, sea salt and vanilla. Purity pays off and you will fall in love. (You can kiss me later!)



Maille Old Style Mustard – $5.00

Dijon mustard is my go-to condiment. I put it on everything from cheese to chicken as it’s so food-friendly, adding a dash of acidity to dishes making most pair much better with wine. Maille (pronounced My) mustard is a French classic started in 1747 by Antoine Maille. He went on to supply the European Royal courts with mustard and vinegar. Though I consider the “Old Style” whole grain Dijon a staple, the company has not been stuck in the past, launching delicious new styles like the Honey Dijon and Honey Dijon with Modena Balsamic. Amazing.

Paulie’s Pickling – Spicy Green Beans $8.00

I discovered this small San Francisco spot when shooting my show, Check Please! Owners Liz and Paul Ashby are East Coast transplants that have created a pickling business and sandwich shop that will have you making pilgrimages to the city to find their fare. The spicy green beans are just that – packing a serious pickle punch. Try them in Bloody Mary’s with a dash of their homemade horseradish.

Piment d’Ville – 1.2 oz tin $15.00

Next to my stove I have four items: olive oil, sea salt, cracked pepper, and Piment d’Ville. I discovered the spicy treat while dining in Boonville, California at the Boonville Hotel’s Table 128 restaurant. Locally grown from seed and hand harvested in Boonville, it’s from a pepper known as piment d’espelette from the Basque region of southern France. It’s fiery yet sweet and oh so delicious.

Wine Whimsy: the affordable accessories add flair to any gift bag


Holiday Gift Guide (5 of 8) 

Capa Bubbles – $15.95

Capabunga is a product I use daily. What is it? As winemaker owners and inventors Máire Murphy and Walt Averill describe it, “Capabunga is a reusable silicone cap that reseals a bottle of wine after you remove the cork. Once you remove the cork and re-seal the bottle, it is liquid tight and the bottle can rest on its side or even upside down without leaking.” They have recently added a CapaBubbles topper and fun glass tags called GlassWhere by CapaBunga ($11.95) to their lineup. Stock up on all their useful items for yourself, too.

Ring for a Drink BellPier 1 Imports or Cost Plus World Market $6.00

I buy a stash of these whimsical bells with the saying “Ring for a Drink”. Given with a bottle of wine, it makes a clever and inexpensive gift.

Wine Writers

Wine Glass Writers –$9.95

The proliferation of wine charms – rings that look like jewelry and that hook on wine glass stems — has always confused me. Many of them are pretty, but as soon as you have a few glasses you tend to forget if your glass was the one with the cork charm or the cheese slice charm. Have no fear, use these pens to write your names on the glass then simply wash off with a sponge.



Love these ideas? Then stay tuned for the rest of the week as I look at my favorite wines, spirits, splurges and saves.

Happy holidays!