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Wines That Please — In Any Season!


By Jeremy Parzen

Wine makes a great gift for Dad.

Five years ago, it would have been unimaginable to give dad wine for father’s day. Back then, in the age before the millennial generation decided that it would make wine its favorite luxury beverage, we still bought our fathers ties, golf clubs, and Weber grills and smokers to celebrate their “special day.”

But fast forward to the summer of 2012 and many of those dads are millennials themselves. And even those who still belong to generation X have come to understand the vital importance of wine in society today.

If you’re planning to give Dad a groovy bottle this year, look beyond the predictable Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot that the baby boomers still drink. After all, who wants to drink tannic, highly alcoholic, concentrated, chunky and immature Napa Valley Cab in the Texas summer, with temperatures already hitting 100 degrees and beyond.

Here are some interesting, food-friendly wines currently available in our market, at prices that sit nicely within a gift-giving budget — even if you’ve got two dads!

Vincent Girardin 2009 Sauvigny-les-Beaune

This bottle is what New Yorker’s call “outer borough” Burgundy, a great introduction to Pinot Noir from its most famous appellation (Gabriel’s Superstore, $27.99).

Mongeard Mugneret 2009 Fixin

Fixin is one of Burgundy’s “best kept secrets,” a village located adjacent to the more famous Gevrey-Chambertin (Gabriel’s Superstore, $28.99).

Castelgiocondo 2005 Brunello di Montalcino

Brunello is Italian for “perfect gift for dad.” We’re not sure how Gabriel’s managed offer to this obscenely low price for a modern-style Brunello (and wine pundit favorite), but we’re not asking any questions (not on the floor; ask a salesperson; Gabriel’s Superstore, $25).

Château Pradeaux 2007 Bandol Rosé

Rosé isn’t exactly what comes to mind when you think Dad but this year think “pink”: this classic producer delivers muscular, austere expressions of rosé from Mourvèdre from Southern France (Saglimbeni, $37.99; everything 20 percent off Friday and Saturday).

Fontanafredda 2008 Briccotondo Barbera

The Italians like to chill their Barbera in summertime and this wine, with vibrant acidity and wild berry fruit flavors, is ideal for summer grills (Saglimbeni, $17.99; everything 20 percent off Friday and Saturday).

Jeremy Parzen, author of the blog DoBianchi.com, believes that “food and wine are exegetic tools that help to attain a more profound understanding of the human condition and experience.” He resides in Austin with his wife, Tracie, and their 5-month-old daughter, Georgia.

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Daily Dish: A Taste of Provence


Monkfish Bourride with potato and tapenade.

Monkfish Bourride with potato and tapenade.

Want a way to beat the heat? Give yourself a night in Provence at Fig Tree Restaurant.

A prix fixe summer menu, A Taste of Provence, presents some of the light, flavorful dishes from the South of France. An option is to have wines from the region paired with three of the menu courses.

Appetizer choices are Lump Crab Stuffed Zucchini Blossom or the delicate Pissaladiere, featuring caramelized onions, olives and anchovies on a flatbread crust. This course is paired with a chilled Chateau Routas Rosé 2008.

A fish course offers Monkfish Bourride or Loup de Mer en Papillote. Monkfish, sometimes called the “poor man’s lobster” comes blanketed in a creamy white sauce. The loup de mer, a type of sea bass, comes topped with vegetables and baked in parchment. The wine offering is a rosé from a famous Côte de Provence producer, Domaine Ott.

Roasted Lamb Chops Ratatouille is the first choice on the meat course. The chops come trimmed, seared, and basted in butter. The mixed vegetable dish, ratatouille, is on the side. The other option is tender slices of Pan-seared Lamb Tenderloin Provençal.  The wine is Domaine Tempier Rouge, a red wine from Bandol.

A Cherry and Apricot Tarte or Chocolate Terrine bring a sweet end to the meal.

This summer offering is $48 per person. To have the wines paired with each course is another $12. The Fig Tree is at 515 La Villita St. For reservations, call (210) 224-1976.

Chocolate Terrine with white and dark chocolate layers.

Chocolate Terrine with white and dark chocolate layers.

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