It's that time of year again. On June 17, you could do the usual and offer Dad a Hallmark card and whatever random item you may or may not have just remembered to pick up on the way to brunch. Because he really needs another coffee mug, or a tie he'll never wear. Or you could really make his eyes pop and his mouth water with one of these five gifts -- sure to make your food-loving dad grin from ear to ear.
5. Vinturi Wine Aerator At just under $40, this kitchen gadget it sure to get your money's worth. Any wine drinker -- vino enthusiast or not -- will appreciate how much different this small gadget can make. For a few extra seconds of time, aerating will bring out flavor and intensity in any wine. The company website is even offering free shipping to most states in honor of Dad's big day.
4. Backyard Smoker We know a dad who got this last year, and as he had tons of fun smoking anything he could get his hands on, we had almost just as much fun eating it up. If you've got a grill master in the family, he'll appreciate a new gadget to expand his smoky outdoor empire. You can spend quite a bit on these babies if you want -- the popular Weber Smokey Mountain 18.5-inch model goes for $300 on Amazon while simpler versions such as the Brinkmann Gourmet Electric Smoker and Grill will set you back $120.
3. Kobe and Cabernet Club For the dad who has it all, this club unites great food and great wine in a union that will make any man feel pampered as a king. Membership in the club includes three shipments of American Kobe (Wagyu) beef and three bottles of wine. The beef, sourced from Snake River Farms, promises to pair perfectly with Signorello Estate's signature Cabernets, which consistently score 90 points and above. At an average cost of $360 per shipment, dad's sure to be feeling the love this year.
2. A Great Chef's Knife A man in the kitchen without a chef's knife is just as lost as a sailor without his ship. Any serious home chef needs a reliable knife, so if Dad hasn't bought one yet, he's sure to appreciate the gesture. Unfortunately, buying a chef a knife can be tricky, but for a simple and relatively affordable piece of cutlery try brands such as Global and MAC, a favorite of chefs including Thomas Keller of French Laundry. If you want to let dad pick his own, try the Phoenix Knife House in Scottsdale. Let owner Eytan Zias, a former chef who's worked in notable kitchens in Arizona and New York, help him find the perfect blade.
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1. Gourmet Salts If you consider the first half of the year a fair indication of how the rest of the year will go, then we think 2012 has a good chance of going down in history as the "The Year of the Gourmet Salt." Help Dad explore this year's food trend with a sea salt sampler like those offered at thespicelab.com, which offers a number of tasting collections all for about $60 and free shipping on orders over $15!). Also check out Arizona-based go lb. salt. You can order from its online store.