Father's Day Essentials: Wood And Wine

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Fri, Jun 17, 2011 at 10:00 AM

click to enlarge Father's Day Wine Barrel Love - LAFOLLETTEWINES.COM
  • lafollettewines.com
  • Father's Day Wine Barrel Love
Talk about getting shortchanged on Father's Day (which is this Sunday, by the way). Moms get flowers, showered with gifts and treated to lavish meals (Mother's Day is the busiest restaurant day of the year). Dads get more collect calls than any other day of the year - or these days, actually, they get to pay their kids' cell phone bills.

Which is why we asked winemaker Greg La Follette, who has six (!) kids, what he really wants this Father's Day. He said rounding them up would be a good place to start ("Just capturing them all remains elusive"). And no, he doesn't want a tie, a grill gadget or yet another new BBQ cookbook. But yes, it involves grilling. Turn the page.

La Follette says that on Sunday, he wants to "spend the day prepping for and BBQing with my kids, picking veggies from the garden and preparing some Biodynamic beef from my long-time winegrower and beef producer friends Ben and Jake Fetzer [of Masút Winery]. We'd have a big feast with all of my kids, their friends, and my wife, Mara, surrounding me for a big, messy, noisy dinner. The bigger and noisier, the better."

La Follette chops up old wine barrels for grilling fuel ("A good use for French oak, I might add"), which is itself a pretty great Father's Day gift idea. For those of us who don't have access to free leftover wine barrels, BBQ icon Steve Raichlen sells wine barrel stave bundles for the grill, but they're pretty pricey at $12 for two pounds. You might get lucky on a Google search, as we did, and find a box of wood for much less. And next time you drive up to wine country, ask around, as there are often chopped-up wine barrels a plenty, just waiting to fuel next year's Father's Day steaks.

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