What do women want?” is an age-old question that may never be satisfactorily answered.
“What do men want,” on the other hand, is easy.
On Father’s Day, we want red meat and red wine. Don’t buy us neckties in the middle of the summer (if ever). And you should probably wait for our birthdays for that Lamborghini you’ve been eying.
This week, just red meat and red wine will do.
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But it’s important to choose properly. You have to understand your guy, and what he likes. And you want to match the wine to the meat.
First for the meat. What would daddy desire? Something massive and hearty such as a grilled rib-eye steak or roasted prime rib? Or something simpler such as meatloaf or a grilled burger? Or even something subtle and complex, maybe a fancy French beef stew like Julia Child’s redoubtable boeuf bourguignon?
For the wine, a good method is to match the heft of the beverage to the weight of the beef. So here’s my totally personal, entirely subjective list of wines by weight, based on body, alcohol, tannins, ripeness and other factors:
Full and hearty red wines: cabernet sauvignon, amarone, malbec, syrah, petite sirah, nebbiolo (the grape of Barolo), tempranillo (the grape of Rioja), and the Sicilian grape nero d’avola.
Medium red wines: grenache, merlot, zinfandel, sangiovese (the grape of Chianti), Rhone-style red blends.
Light red wines: pinot noir, gamay (the grape of Beaujolais), cinsault, valpolicella.
If you use this method, I can almost guarantee your guy will be satisfied. If he’s not, you can just send it over to me.
▪ 2010 Castiglion del Bosco Brunello di Montalcino (100 percent sangiovese): aromatic and powerful, with hints of oak and flowers and intense flavors of blueberries, blackberries and herbs, firm tannins; $54.
▪ 2011 Mercer “Ode to Brothers” Rhone Blend red wine, Horse Heaven Hills, Washington (40 percent grenache, 40 percent syrah, 20 percent mourvèdre): hint of oak, aromas and flavors of ripe red plums and minerals, soft tannins; $42.
▪ 2012 Terra d’Oro Zinfandel, Amador County (99 percent zinfandel, 1 percent teroldego): hearty aromas and flavors of red raspberries, spices and dark chocolate; $18.
▪ 2012 Louis M. Martini Cabernet Sauvignon, Alexander Valley (89 percent cabernet sauvignon, 11 percent merlot): aromas of smoky oak, flavors of cassis and anise, big, full body, opulent, concentrated and smooth; $34.
▪ 2011 Matchbook Tempranillo, Dunnigan Hills (77 percent tempranillo, 10 percent petit verdot, 9 percent graciano, 2 percent cabernet sauvignon, 2 percent merlot): hint of oak, hearty aromas and flavors of black cherries and milk chocolate, firm tannins; $15.
▪ 2013 William Hill Estate Merlot, Central Coast (86 percent merlot, 5 percent syrah, 5 percent malbec, 1 percent petite sirah, 3 percent other red varieties): hint of oak, aromas and flavors of black cherries and dark chocolate, full body, ripe tannins; $17.
▪ 2013 Carmel Road Pinot Noir, Monterey (100 percent pinot noir): hint of toasty oak, aromas and flavors of black plums and spice, medium body; $22.
▪ 2012 Clayhouse Vineyard Malbec, “Red Cedar Vineyard,” Paso Robles (95 percent malbec, 5 percent petite sirah): aromas of red roses, flavors of black cherries and raspberries and earth; $14.
▪ 2012 Edmeades Petite Sirah, Mendocino County (97 percent petite sirah, 3 percent zinfandel): hint of oak, aromas and flavors of sweet black plums and espresso, full-bodied; $35.
▪ 2010 Allegrini Amarone della Valpolicella Classico DOCG Veneto, Italy (corvina, corvinone, rondinella and oseleta): powerful, intense aromas and flavors of black plums, black pepper and other spices, very rich, full-bodied, with big, ripe tannins; $85.