A Father’s Day Toast To My Dad

A rare shot of my dad, Dave Bannon, and me together, taken in August 2007.
A rare shot of my dad, Dave Bannon, and me together, taken in August 2007.

We’re participating in the Father’s Day Blog Hop with the Generation Fabulous website group. We encourage to check out the other posts below – touching, funny, all that good stuff. But because the theme is “I’m My Father’s Daughter Because…” Anne will be writing this one solo.

My mom has told me on one or two occasions that I am my dad’s favorite of his three children. I don’t know if that’s true. I know my father has always had a special relationship with each of this three children – playing music with my sister, doing the guy thing with my brother, getting into amazing philosophical debates with me.

I am a Daddy’s Girl, through and through. I don’t think that’s made my mother or my sibs jealous. My dad’s loyalty to my mother is rock solid and then some. He and my sister seem to have a pretty tight bond – different, but tight.

My relationship with my father has periodically been rocky – and admittedly wine has gotten in the way. There is that dark side to the love of wine – and pretending otherwise just hurts too much. But Dad and I have come to terms with that aspect of our lives and I think we both understand that in spite of – or maybe even because of – our respective flaws, we’ve grown closer. Certainly our love for each other never diminished.

Since this is a blog about wine, I do feel compelled to bring that into the mix here. One does try to stay on topic. And truth be told, the love of good food and wine actually came from my mother. Maybe it was because she was doing all the cooking when we were young. Not that Dad didn’t love what Mom did – and he’s certainly gotten into cooking and such over the years.

But he has had an enormous effect on how I approach wine. One of the greatest gifts my father passed on to me was an insatiable curiosity and a deep love of learning. I’ve never been afraid to try new things because of my dad’s influence. Some different new grape variety? Sure, I’ll try it. Back when everybody thought merlot was the hot, new thing, I was checking out syrahs.

Dad’s love of learning, in its own way, spurred my interest in science. The fascination of seeing how things came together. And he never doubted that I could get my brain around a difficult concept (neither of my parents did). So when I began writing about the wine industry and found myself on a steep learning curve when it came to the science and the process, boy, I was ready to tackle that one head on, often with the sheer joy of wanting to know more.

My parents were never pretentious about wine – it was always about what was in the bottle, not the label or how much you paid for it. Or didn’t pay for it. I still remember Dad getting all excited about Two Buck Chuck (Charles Shaw) when it first hit the shelves at Trader Joe’s. He introduced us to it. And wine was almost always about dinner.  At least, that’s when I saw them drinking it.

Both my parents introduced me to the joys of good food and wine. But because Dad taught me how to think, in general, it’s had an amazing effect on my ability to appreciate what’s in the glass. Because of him, I was able to quickly learn the ins and outs of how that grape juice got to be wine. My mom may be the one who’s oohing and aahing about how the wine tastes, but Dad’s just happy sharing a glass with me.

To my Daddy – to the many gifts you have given me. Thank you and thank you for being my Dad. Sláinte.

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