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Raise a Glass of Whiskey or Wine: In Honor of Moms and Dads

May 07, 2021 03:26PM ● By GINA BIRCH

It’s that time of year when we pause to recognize some very special people in our lives—moms and dads. Mother’s Day and Father’s Day are annual celebrations acknowledging those who raised us, whether they are biological parents, adoptive parents, guardians who assumed the role of parents, and friends or significant others who are parents. 

Kids may fumble in the kitchen making mom and dad breakfast, create one-of-a-kind greeting cards or make promises of good behavior on these days. Adults, however, celebrate by raising a glass, offering a toast of gratitude and thanks. No matter if you are sharing a bottle or gifting one, whiskey and wine are nearly failsafe. 

Whiskey is often stereotyped as a masculine drink for dads and wine as a feminine choice for moms. While that might hold true for some, both categories of adult beverages offer selections that cross the lines of gender. Four Roses Bourbon is a prime example, a masculine whiskey with a feminine touch. (For a whiskey to be categorized as bourbon, it must be made from at least 51 percent corn.) 

The Four Roses name comes from the love story of its founder in the late 1800s. Paul Jones asked his love to marry him on several occasions. For his final proposal, he asked her to arrive at a dance wearing a corsage of four roses if the answer was yes. The rest is history. 

The label is adorned with roses. Inside is an easy-drinking bourbon with fruit and spice. On the mellow side, it is warming but not burning, good solo or in cocktails.  The Lawrenceburg, Kentucky, distillery also makes a range of smaller-batch and limited-production bourbons. The flagship bottling can be widely found in the $25 range.             

Also from Kentucky, Castle & Key Distillery has just released its first whiskey, and this one is made from rye. The name is perfectly suited for a Mother’s or Father’s Day celebration—Restoration Rye. While the name refers to the restoration of the 100-year-old distillery property, its dual meaning is not lost on weary parents.   

With spices like those found in baked goods like pies, it has some floral notes with caramelized sugar and citrus, honey and mint on the finish. A bottle is $39.99. 

Being a parent is one of the most challenging jobs on the planet. It can do a number on your heart—cause it to swell, to melt, and sometimes break. Enter Heart Block sauvignon blanc. Fresh and acidic, this is an ideal wine for Southwest Florida, both for the lifestyle and cuisine found here.  

Sustainably made by Gamble Family  Vineyards in Napa Valley, Heart Block features two different sauvignon blanc clones, is aged in oak rather than the typical stainless steel and is unfiltered. The result is a zesty yet round wine with more complexity than your average sauv blanc, and it’s one that you can age. At $95 it’s worth the splurge. 

For Father’s Day, it’s hard to beat the story behind Aperture Cellars in Sonoma County, the father/son project of Andy and Jesse Katz. Andy is a renowned photographer who has traveled the world capturing images for books, album covers and more, Jesse often in tow. Jesse is a renowned winemaker who has been part of highly acclaimed winemaking teams such as Screaming Eagle. He makes the wines, his father takes the brilliant photos and assigns the ones he deems most appropriate to each label.  

This year marks the 10-year anniversary of Katz’s Aperture cabernet. The 2017 vintage ($70) is silky, with great structure. It has concentrated flavors of blue and red fruits, some dark chocolate, spice and tannins; decant it and love it.  

For the mom and dad with the home where all kids converge, at all hours, whose doors are always open, there is Jonata Todos Red Wine Vineyard Blend 2016; todos translates to everyone. Just as many families are blends, this wine is a blend, mostly of syrah, with cabernet sauvignon, and for good measure, some petite sirah, petit verdot, sangiovese, merlot and cabernet franc, with a dash of several white grapes too; why not?  

It sounds chaotic, like many homes with kids running amok. But all of these grapes come together in delicious harmony, offering flavors of dark fruits, some pepper and spice—for $50. 

Whatever is in your glass, raise it to moms and dads in the coming months, to their sacrifices and struggles, to their imperfections and to their love. Cheers!  


Lawrenceburg Cooler 

  • 1½ ounces Four Roses bourbon 
  • ½ ounce lemon juice 
  • ½ ounce grapefruit juice 
  • ¾ ounce clover honey simple syrup 
  • 2 dashes Angostura bitters 

Combine all ingredients in shaker tin. Shake, then strain into a glass with fresh ice. Garnish with lemon twist. 


Gina Birch is a regular contributor. A lover of good food, good drinks and a fun time, she is also a well-known media personality in Southwest Florida.