Chow Town

Gift ideas for fathers who are tough to buy for

Let Dad pop a cork for Father’s Day with a good bottle of Champagne.
Let Dad pop a cork for Father’s Day with a good bottle of Champagne.

I have to admit, I’m not the easiest person to buy for. The things I really want are either too expensive, impractical or just plain unattainable. That’s not great for my wife or kids when it comes to my birthday, Christmas or Father’s Day.

I can usually muster up an idea or two for Christmas, and as for birthdays, well, when you get to be closer to 60 than 50 they’re not so much a celebration as a harbinger.

That leaves Father’s Day, which is a bit of a conundrum. I don’t wear ties anymore (much to my wife’s chagrin), so that gift classic is out. I couldn’t possibly accommodate any more grilling accessories, aprons, or rubs and sauces, so there goes plan B. You can always buy me a bottle of wine, but honestly, that’s a crapshoot and probably a pricey one at that.

So, I come to you today with a few Father’s Day gift ideas for people you may very well know, love and have a devil of a time buying a present for.

First, I’m going to break my own rule on wine right out of the box — a bottle of wine. But what I’m suggesting you buy isn’t just wine, it’s sparkling wine, and it isn’t just sparkling wine, it’s Champagne. I don’t know about you, but I LOVE Champagne. But it’s expensive, so I usually look for more cost-effective options like domestic sparklers, Spanish Cava or Proseccos from Italy.

But this Father’s Day, I say let your loved ones spoil you with a bottle of bubbly, the original bubbly: Champagne. If your fatherly type loves big, bold and yeasty, there’s Krug and Bollinger. If he prefers light and delicate, you could opt for Taittinger. For something in between and utterly delicious, you can’t go wrong with a bottle of Champagne Charles Heidsieck Brut Réserve. It’s honestly one of my favorites and has been for a long time.

Not nearly as sexy, but way more practical, is a little something I spotted recently: an individual cooking device called the Hot Logic. As someone who has had to rely exclusively on a microwave for meals at work for the last three-plus years, this portable mini-oven is a godsend. I can only imagine how much better my wife’s delicious meals would have tasted the following day at work if I had a personal portable oven rather than a “nuking machine.”

The literature also talks about how great it is on camping trips, so there’s that, too, if you’re the outdoors type. the Hot Logic Mini ( is heading into my office ASAP. That beef stroganoff is tasting better already.

My last gift idea is for the travelers among us: the Bedol GlobalScan World Travel Chronograph alarm clock. It’s a mouthful to say, but what a treat this would have been a few years ago when I was producing and hosting my international culinary show, “Culinary Travels With Dave Eckert.”

This neat little battery-powered device is programmed to show the time in 23 major cities around the globe. I can’t tell you how many restless nights I spent on the road wondering if I was going to get that wake-up call in the morning or if I had set the alarm, either the hotel’s or mine, properly. You can learn more about the clock at

So there you have it, three great Father’s Day gift ideas. Now if I could only figure out a way to pop open my Champagne and heat up a gourmet meal in an exotic hotel somewhere knowing I’ll be right on time. Oh well, maybe that’s for some future Father’s Day.

Dave Eckert was the producer and host of TV’s “Culinary Travels With Dave Eckert.”