Wine & Spirits: Drinks for Dad

by WL Author

Wine classes, cocktail seminars and local hooch are bound to quench your father’s thirst this weekend.
By Kelly A. Magyarics

Give an oenophile Dad a stocked Evo Card for Evo Bistro's self serve wine bar.

Still looking for a last minute Father’s Day gift? If your dad is on the spirited side, skip the same old, same old (ties, cufflinks, golf shirts, yawn) and show him your gratitude with one of these wine- and spirit-themed gifts. Maybe he showed you how to make a proper Martini, or gave you an appreciation for (and the patience to wait to uncork) a properly aged Bordeaux. Or perhaps you just enjoy kicking back on the deck with dad and an ice-cold beer. We’ve got you covered. But just don’t wait until Sunday!

Cork Market kicks off its Summer Wine Fundamentals Series on Saturday, July 9 from 2-3:30 PM (repeated on Tuesday, July 12 from 6:30-8 PM) with a class on wine basics. Get Dad a gift certificate so he can discover the basic differences in types of grapes, styles and regions, and taste and discover his own personal wine style. Subsequent classes focus on Terroir, Old World/New World and Food & Wine Pairing. The first class is $45; splurge on the entire four-part series for $195. Visit Cork Market’s website for more info and registration, or email

If your dad is a “swirl, sniff, sip, sample, repeat” kind of guy, stock an Evo Card and let him have at it. McLean’s Evo Bistro lets guests serve themselves from a list of over 50 wines available by the glass at their automated wine tasting stations.  Insert the card, select a wine from around the world, and receive a one-, three- or five-ounce pour. While he’s there he can nosh on cheese and charcuterie, or make it a meal with more substantial fare like Merguez, Paella or Tagine.

Catoctin Creek gin is crafted in Loudoun County.

For the father who likes to drink local, get him a bottle of Catoctin Creek Watershed Gin or Roundstone Rye. Crafted at Loudoun County’s first distillery since before Prohibition, Catoctin Creek’s booze is organic and artisanal, and perfect in his favorite cocktail (or in a new favorite like the Rendezvous or Spring in Virginia cocktails–check their website for recipes.)

Smithsonian Associates offers a cocktail class and history lesson on July 7 from 6:30-9 PM (location TBD), where Phil Greene—a founding member of the Museum of the American Cocktail—and three other cocktail historians (each representing a distinct region of the US) recount stories about the creation of iconic American cocktails including the Manhattan, Rickey, Sazerac and Moscow Mule. Dad will sample libations while learning about their colorful past. Tickets are $65 and can be purchased here.

Doug Fabbioli of Loudoun County’s Fabbioli Cellars simply makes some killer juice. If you plan on cooking dinner for Dad (maybe some grilled rib-eye with a peppercorn rub?) be sure to get a few bottles of Tre Sorelle ($28), an intense blend of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Petite Verdot. It’s got appealing red and dark berry fruit, with a touch of vanilla and spice, balanced with firm tannins and acidity. Check website for retail locations—his bottles are thankfully available all around the Metro area.

Does Dad love suds? Alexandria’s Port City Brewing Company is selling a growler gift pack for Father’s Day. The set includes a growler fill, 4 PCBC pint glasses, and a PCBC t-shirt or cap. It’s $39.99 and is only available in their tasting room.

Kelly Magyarics is a wine and spirits writer, and wine educator, in the Washington, DC area. She can be reached through her website,, or on

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