Dads can be notoriously hard to shop for; and if you’re stuck this year I totally feel your pain. I subscribe to the the concept of gifting the recipient something they may not necessarily treat themselves to, rather than something they ‘need’... so thankfully wine and spirits-themed gifts fit the bill! Splurge on something nice, because after all… you’re the reason he drinks ;)
Here are some Lush-Life-Approved gifts that I promise he'll love way more than the '#1 Dad' mug you got him last year...
For the Connoisseur: A World-Class Cabernet
Ok, a bottle of red may not win you creativity points--- so if you do go in this direction, you have to go all out! My #1 pick this year is Louis Martini Lot No. 1 Cabernet Sauvignon ($145). From one of the oldest and most highly regarded wineries in Napa (Louis Martini literally secured a winery bond the day after Prohibition was repealed!), this is a rich and powerful wine with layers of black fruit, leather, cocoa and tobacco. It’s elegant but finishes slightly spicy; and is a perfect partner for a good steak. I tried this wine next to some of the top Cabernets in the world (sommelier perks, what can I say), including Chateau Palmer from Bordeaux and Sassicaia from Tuscany, both of which cost wayyy more- and this bottle was actually drinking better. I think Dad would be proud that he taught you the value of smart purchasing, right?
For the Hands-On Hero: Custom Wine Blending
This one comes with a caveat… you have to actually get Dad to Napa to be able to partake (but hey, what better inspiration to get Dad thinking about a Napa family vacay, right?) This gift has it all: not only a blend-your-own-wine experience with memories to treasure, but he will take home a bottle of his own custom blend. I got to do this recently and it was absolutely so fun and educational. I say buy 2 tickets and do it together!
Brought to you by Conn Creek Winery, the source of some of Napa Valley's finest Cabernets, this experience kicks off with a tasting of barrels from all over the Valley guided by the amazing tasting room staff- so you & Dad can get a good grip on how all the varied terroir and different microclimates show up in the wines from all the different AVAs (American Viticultural Areas)... aka, a wine geek's dream come true. Then, you will put on your winemaker hat and blend, blend, blend away! You can even trick out your cuvee with dashes of other Bordeaux varietals like Merlot or Malbec. Your custom blend is bottled for you, and you get to create the label artwork also. The final product is a souvenir like no other! Conn Creek Barrel Blending Experience, $125/person.
For the Dapper Dad: Wine Barrel Tie Bar
If your Dad fancies himself a modern-day Don Draper type, a tie bar is mandatory. The cool thing about this one is that it has a small hexagon of reclaimed wine barrel wood inlaid into the design! This is coming to you from Olive and Poppy, a Napa-based brand with lots of incredible products inspired by the wine country lifestyle--- they have wine barrel cufflinks too! And lots of gorgeous ladies' jewelry, totes, key chains and scarves--- so I wouldn't blame you if you were tempted to also pick up a little something for yourself while perusing their site. Wine Barrel Tie Bar, $28
For the Grillmaster Gourmand: Wine Barrel Staves For the Grill
If wine and barbecue are two of Dad's favorite things, why not combine them with this very cool gift idea! Easy to swap in for his standard hickory or applewood, these red wine barrel stave pieces can be tossed on top of hot coals and the smoke will infuse meats and veggies with that savory oaky goodness and a hint of red wine overtone! This one is thoughtful without breaking the bank. Steve Raichlen Wine Barrel Staves, $14.00
For the Gadget Guy: A Handcrafted Corkscrew
A bottle of wine may only last so long, but a beautiful wine opener is forever. If you're unfamiliar, Laguiole is a French purveyor of premium knives- your Dad may already own one of their excellent pocket knives--- and they have added corkscrews to their collection which makes me do a little happy dance :) This one has a lovely handcarved wooden handle, and it's signed by the artisan that created it. I also love the gorgeous leather case. Laguiole Millesime Corkscrew Set, $56.00