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Food & wine pairings tailored to dad’s favorite foods

20190604 - Father's Day wine tasting menu - FI (2)
Photo credit: exxorian/bortonia/ vectortatu/Credit: lukiv007/ Iryna Chubarova/Aleksangel/ Julia Trombovetskaja/Getty Images; Tiberius Catinas/

If your dad is anything like mine, he loves wine but doesn’t have very sophisticated taste. (Sorry, Dad, but it’s true.) This Father’s Day, why not help him up his game a bit with some wine and food pairings tailored to the foods he loves?

Sommelier Shelby Krause has picked some wines that will pair perfectly with your dad’s favorite foods, from ice cream to Chinese and everything in between.

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Dad can have his wine and get some education, too. Plus, our guide is easy to follow and won’t leave you standing in that grocery store aisle scratching your head the day before Father’s Day.

If he likes pizza
Photo credit:

We all know that having just one slice is virtually impossible. And as for wine … well, you know where I’m going with that. Have the whole bottle and the whole pizza!

  • Unti Barbera is a winner to pair with pizza. Then again, Barbera goes well with almost any dish. It’s medium in body with a great balance of fruit and acidity.
  • Dolcetto is another Italian varietal that’s considered an “every meal” type of wine — so you’d better believe Elio Altare Dolcetto d’Alba goes perfectly with pizza.
  • Lastly, to impress your dad, get him a bottle of Fiorini Lambrusco. This slightly red sparkling wine is one of my favorite pairings with pizza. It has tannins like a red wine, sparkles like champagne, and has fruity and herbal notes. What else could you ask for in a wine?
If he likes steak
Photo credit: Corison Winery

Steak and potatoes, anyone? Steak and any of these red wines will do the trick, too.

  • Remelluri Tempranillo is a wine with lots of spice, earthiness and dark fruits. Steer the dad who doesn’t want those bold tannins right here.
  • Now for those dads who do want those tannins, Corison Cabernet Sauvignon is the way to go. It’s a classic Napa wine made by a force in the women+wine world! This is an amazing cabernet.
  • Finally, if your dad is neither one of these guys, have him try Vincent Paris Cornas from the Rhone Valley. It’s meaty, peppery and smoky.
If he likes tacos
Photo credit: Binny’s

No tequila here — just wine that pairs perfectly with those tacos your dad loves to eat.

  • Celler Frisach makes a delicious light-bodied garnatxa he’ll never get tired of drinking.
  • Shrimp taco lovers will enjoy Nortico Alvarinho (yes, same as Albarino, but that’s what the Portuguese call it). It’s perfect with seafood, especially with a little kick of spice.
  • It’s true: Dads like rosé, too! Robert Sinskey Vin Gris is a forever favorite and just plain delicious with tacos. With floral notes of cherry blossoms, lilacs and chamomile, it’s sure to bring out his softer side.
If he likes pasta
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Mamma mia, papa mia! Pass the pasta and pour your papa a glass of these vinos.

  • Foradori makes some delicious Italian wines. This red wine goes so well with any tomato- or cheese-based pasta.
  • Querciabella Chianti Classico is a no-brainer. If you haven’t tried a chianti with spaghetti, just stop what you’re doing right now and indulge.
  • Not all pasta should be eaten with red wine, though. Malabaila Arneis Pradvaj is a beautifully aromatic white wine that’s great for any pasta with seafood or herbs.

MORE: This pickle juice cocktail is the official drink of summer BBQs

If he likes Chinese
Photo credit: K&L Wines

Grab the takeout menus from the drawer — we’re ordering Chinese! Actually, you’re probably ordering it on your iPhone through a delivery service, but either way, grab one of these wines, and your dad will want to order Chinese all the time.

  • Dr. Loosen Riesling is a kabinett, which means it has some residual sugar. For all food with a bit of spice and heat, this is the best wine to cool your mouth off.
  • The same goes for Domaine Huet Vouvray Sec. This wine also has a little bit of sweetness to offset the heat but with a creamier texture.
  • And if your dad just really wants a California wine, look no further than Union Sacre Gewurztraminer. This wine has notes of peach blossom, pear and fresh lime.
If he likes ice cream
Photo text: Binny’s

Forget hot fudge: Ice-cream-loving dads are about to add a new topping to their list of favorites.

  • Gonzalez Byass Pedro Ximenez is rich and decadent with notes of raisins, caramel and cinnamon. I mean, pour that on top of your vanilla ice cream…
  • Pisoni Vin Santo is another way to skip the hazelnut topping. It’s nutty and caramelized with notes of dried apricot and honey.
  • If he just likes to end a meal with something sweet and sparkly, Marenco Brachetto d’Acqui is the one to pick up. It’s a bouquet of flowers in a bottle — soft and refreshingly satisfying. Just because some dads like to appear tough doesn’t mean they don’t have sweet sides.

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