Celebrate Father’s Day with winning wines and spirits

Fired up by Father’s Day this coming Sunday, June 18, Times Drinks Editor James Viner says make June all about Dad (and English wine of course, since it’s English Wine Week from 17-25 June)! If he enjoys fine wine and spirits, your gift shopping for Dad just got more straightforward…


  1. 2022 Arbousset Tavel Rosé, southern Rhône, France (£12, Tesco, tesco.com)

Say it with a deep dark pink rosé (almost a light red) from the southern Rhône this Father’s Day. Only one kind of wine is produced in Tavel – some 12 miles southwest, just across the river, from Châteauneuf-du-Pape – and that’s (Grenache-led) still rosé. This bottle is smooth to drink and smells of fragrant wild strawberries, rosehips and red berries. A gorgeous full-bodied match for rare roast lamb with rosemary and garlic or salmon. Lovely picnic wine, too


  1. 2019 Berry Bros. & Rudd Chianti Classico by Badia a Coltibuono, Tuscany, Italy (£17.95, Berry Bros & Rudd, bbr.com)

Terrific, plummy, red-fruited, velvety, briary, organic-certified DOCG Chianti Classico, punching well above its weight, from the rocky, cypress-covered hilly production zone between Florence and Siena. It’s made by Badia a Coltibuono, one of Chianti Classico’s stars, for Berry Bros & Rudd. Thoroughly whets the appetite with just a single sniff and then a gulp of the tangy Sangiovese-grape-based liquid. Dad could enjoy it with rib-eye steak, rare sirloin, braised rabbit, risotto primavera, aubergine parmigiana or ragù alla bolognese. It’s also a whizz with dry, crumbly, well-aged Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese. Works a treat.


  1. Henriques & Henriques 15-Year-Old Verdelho Madeira (£25.99, 50cl, Waitrose, waitrose.com)

What a mouth-watering bottle! Produced from the high-acid white Verdelho grape – the green, subtropical Atlantic island of Madeira’s prime grape variety before the twin plagues of oidium and phylloxera in the mid-late nineteenth century – this is a wonderful, amber/mahogany, medium-dry fortified wine with persuasive acidity and a very long finish. Think dried figs, dried apricots, caramel, nuts, chocolate, roast walnuts and almonds. Serve lightly chilled as an aperitif with olives and almonds, or sip with Parma ham, feathered game, oysters and pâtés. Very enticing. Utterly satisfying.


  1. Co-op Irresistible Single Malt Scotch Whisky 12 Years Old, Scotland(£28, Co-op, coop.co.uk)

Delicious, well-priced, rich oloroso sherry cask-finished 12-year-old single malt Scotch whisky; it’s a terrific mellow and warming marzipan, chocolate, citrus, spice and almond-scented cuddle that won’t break the bank. Spirits prices are soaring so grab this supermarket bargain whilst it’s still under £30.


  1. Camel Valley Pinot Noir Rosé Brut 2019, Cornwall, England(£29, The Wine Society, thewinesociety.com)

Father’s Day is here – and English Wine Week is just around the corner – so it’s the perfect time to indulge in some homegrown sparkling wine to celebrate the occasion. Step forward this unfailingly elegant sparkling Pinot Noir vintage rosé from Cornwall. Such a joy – so stylish and soothingly redolent of red fruits and rose hips. I’d chill it for prawns and charcuterie.


  1. 2013 Taylor’s Quinta de Vargellas Vintage Port, Douro Valley, Portugal (£31.99, mix 6, Majestic, majestic.co.uk)

Produced from grapes grown in a single year on a single superb north-facing estate in the wild and hilly eastern reaches of the Douro valley that is known for the purity and refinement of its wines, this is a serious, rich, chewy, finely structured and elegant single-Quinta (i.e., made in a ‘non-declared’ year from a single property), earlier-maturing vintage port with sweet spice and mature, succulent, dark fruit. Decant it to serve with Stilton, hunks of dark chocolate, chocolate desserts and walnuts. Outstanding value for money and a real treat.


  1. Taittinger Brut Réserve NV Champagne, France (£36.99, Amazon, amazon.co.uk)

Dad deserves to be spoilt by top fizz this Father’s Day. Here’s a beautiful, rich and yeasty classic ‘Grande Marque’ non-vintage champagne, combining lemon zest, orchard and white peach notes with subtle touches of brioche and honey. It’s the perfect aperitif and just the ticket for canapés, fish and shellfish. Bonne Fête des Pères!


  1. Eminente Reserva 7-Year-Old Rum, Cuba (£47.25, The Whisky Exchange, thewhiskyexchange.com)

This decadent, aged Cuba rum is a must-have for any rum aficionado. Created by César Martí, the island’s youngest ‘Maestro Ronero’ (master rum-maker), and aged for at least 7 years in white oak ex-whisky casks, this top-notch rum bursts with flavours like cigar box, chocolate, praline, toasted almonds, dulce de leche, ground coffee, prunes and vanilla. It’s a great introduction to sipping rum and sure to put Dad in good spirits. One for thoughtful sipping. Would also make a deluxe rum-based Old Fashioned. Made with 100% Cuban sugar cane.


Follow James on Twitter @QuixoticWine

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