When the kids were younger, a “World’s Greatest Dad” coffee mug made a wonderful Father’s Day gift.
We Dads also cherish the hand-made cards, doodles and other knickknacks – complete with hand prints and smily faces – they made for us when they were little. And even though the kids are older, we still have them pinned to the wall in our office, faded from many Father’s Days gone by.
But, alas, the kids are now closer to college than kindergarten, and their teenage years are in full-bloom. The art project days are over.
Kids, listen up. What dear ol’ Dad really needs nowadays is a good, stiff drink. He battles Interstate-10 and his Bozo bosses on a daily basis. No more goofy ties or golf club head covers. He wants liquor.
But not the fruit-infused sweet stuff the 20-somethings are drinking. He wants a real drink. Have Mom go to Total Wine, BevMo, AJ’s Fine Foods, Basha’s or Fry’s Food Stores and buy something beyond mainstream. You can still make him a homemade card (he will love it!), and he will toast you after a long day at work and battling the Broadway Curve. Cheers!
• The Macallan 12 Year Old, single-malt scotch, Scotland. The venerable distiller's catchphrase - “Greatness Comes in Small Packages” - certainly rings true at first sip. The Speyside distillery, founded in 1824 by teacher and barley farmer Alexander Reid, uses curiously small copper stills to ensure quality. The master distiller only use a select “cut” of the spirit run off, which is treated to years of maturation in years of Spanish oak sherry casks and American oak sherry and Bourbon barrels. These seasoned barrels impart The Macallan's hallmark fruit and spice impressions, which is just the thing that brings a smile to Dad's face. $50.
• Hangar One Vodka, California. Before there was boutique this and that, there was this amazing vodka crafted in an old World War II hangar at the Alameda airport in California. And what was once a cult-like following - and still is - you can enjoy at post-recession pricing. I recently snagged a few 750 ml bottles at Costco for just $18 each. This was a $50 bottle 10-15 years ago! Let me be clear: This vodka is awesome, and worth $50 a bottle. It's supremely smooth, and dare I say flavorful, in a sea of vodkas trying to taste as neutral as possible. The secret is a small-batch copper still and Viognier grapes that impart fruitiness. The mouth-feel is like savoring a super moist and plump dried apricot. Chill down, serve up. Dad will love it. Regular retail is $35.
• Cabo Wabo Reposado Tequila, Mexico. Dad was an '80s rocker back in the day and he will love this top-shelf tequila, originally created by musician Sammy Hagar to serve to his friends at his Cabo Wabo Cantina in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. Sticklers for authenticity and quality, Cabo Wabo is made from 100 percent Blue Weber Agave, which goes down smooth and offers nice black pepper and deep agave flavor. Don't mix this tequila, which is acknowledged as one of the finest in the world. If you must, use only high-end orange liqueurs like Cointreau or Gran Marinier and fresh lime juice. Cabo Wabo also comes in unoaked Blanco and aged Anejo. $40.
• Buena Vista Winery The Count Founder's Red Blend 2012, Sonoma, Calif. This is the third vintage of this bold blend of Zinfandel, Syrah, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Petite Sirah and Carignane, which honors the winery's colorful founder “The Count” Agoston Haraszthy. It's big, earthy and flavorful. $20. Released in harmony with the wine is Sonoma Wine and the Buena Vista Story by Charles Sullivan, a new novel that takes readers on a 200-year journey through the history of the Sonoma wine business. $35. Give Dad both and he will appreciate both the wine and history.
• Penfolds Bin 9 Cabernet Sauvignon, Australia. This new release is made specifically for the U.S. Market to quench its thirst for good quality Cabernet Sauvignon. The hearty, food-friendly red pays homage to one of the original “bins” - Penfolds Grange. While the story of Grange is inextricably linked to Shiraz, the only Grange Cab produced by legendary Penfolds winemaker Max Schubert was stored in Penfolds Bin 9 in 1953. This bottle nods to that period of time and doesn't disappoint. Grill Dad a steak and pour this. $24.
• Trione 2011 Russian River Valley Chardonnay, Calif. Believe it or not, as manly as Dad is, he can't live on red wine alone. He occasionally needs to mix in some Chardonnay. This one is pretty sexy, maybe it's a bottle to share with Mom. Trione does a lot of things right, like using Burgundy-cloned grapes and French oak barrels. Rich bread and honey-apple aromas come to mind before you even sip. The palate is firm yet rich and includes a long citrus-spice finish. Roast Dad a chicken or grill some fish and serve this. $32.