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Lessons From Dad

I remember the last time my dad came to visit me in the States about 20 years ago. We climbed 10,000 feet to the top of Mount Lassen in Oregon, and despite his failing health, he wouldn't rest until he reached the top. This was a quality he possessed his whole life -- often tidying the yard until well after dark, or scrubbing the cooking pot spotless before bed. I learned from him that nothing is worth doing half-heartedly. It is a philosophy that has served me well in life and work. It has also shaped my philosophy about wine. As my dad might say, if you are going to do it, do it right. In the wine world the saying goes, life is too short to drink bad wine. For me that means if I am going to indulge in a glass, it must be delicious wine, made by careful winemakers in a way that is considerate of the earth. Wine Friends is in many ways a reflection of this gift my father gave me, so this Sunday I'll be raising a glass to him.

This week we have some suggestions for great wines to gift or share with the wonderful dads in your life.

This wonderful, earthy red comes to us from the Penedès region of Spain. Most famous for its production of high-quality Cava, Penedès lies just below Barcelona in the Catalonian countryside. The Castell d’Age Estate has been women owned and operated for three generations. They are also pioneers of organic farming in the area, and are 'Demeter’ certified -- an accreditation few winemakers pursue reflecting their deep dedication to earth-friendly practices. This elegant and powerful wine is made from 100% Grenache and zero sulfur. It has an expressive nose with ripe, concentrated fruits like dark cherry and lingonberry, and lovely smokey undertones. It is a wine of incredible depth that makes you stop and appreciate its nuances. Try with a smoked duck breast and blackcurrant sauce.


For those of you looking for a treat for father’s day we remind you of some current favorites below! Domaine d'Henri Chablis, 1er Cru, Fourchaume, Héritage, VV 2019 ($87) This is a super fresh white Burgundy with notes of citrus and green fruits, intense mineral complexity and a very long finish. Wonderfully layered, vibrant wine. Tameran Malvasia Volcanico 2021 ($48) An unbelievably drinkable Malvasia from Gran Canaria. We were enamored by this glass when we first sat with it. It's wonderful volcanic minerality and notes of orange rind, honeysuckle, hay, florals, and a slight saline character that is just so delicious. The wine opens up beautifully in the glass, and possesses an undeniable complexity. Diego Conterno Barolo 2018 ($51) A stunning glass of wine with a nose full of raspberries, cherries, leather and licorice that combines rustic power with a lively character. Will go beautifully with grilled steaks, sausages, or a piece of Parmigianno Reggiano cheese.

The Lopez de Heredia estate has been a hallmark of quality since its inception in 1877. Their 2011 Rioja Reserva has deep notes of plum, blackberry, black cherry, tobacco, lead pencil, and smoke! This wine is highly complex and bright and has such a long finish and a richness that just can’t be beat.

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