An unofficial OTBN 2010
February 22nd, 2010
Last Saturday night was one of those nights I reflect on fondly. It was one of those nights where all the friends aligned properly like the stars. The food and drink fell in right beside and there was pure enjoyment and laughter.
It was, by the way, one of those nights when you may wonder – all that food, all that wine? How did you drink and eat all that? The answer is we didn’t make complete gluttons out of ourselves. We were full. We had plenty to drink. But we started our evening around 6pm and ended it about 6 hours later. Perfect small courses made for the right amount of food.
Many years back I was intrigued by Dorothy & John, wine columnists for the Wall Street Journal, I’ve devoured their books & columns and their brainchild, OTBN, officially called Open That Bottle Night. This upcoming Saturday, February 27 is OTBN11, the 11th annual, where you’re encouraged to indeed open that bottle you’ve been saving for many years.
Because I’ll be unable to participate in OTBN this year on the right date, we and the friends picked our own and officially had an evening of wine bliss. Pictures below were endearingly taken in the snow by the recycle bin where sadly they all went the next day. Curious what we ate? What we drank? Join my reminiscing!
None of us in the group had Champagne or even bubbles worth anything in our cellars, so I raided the store for one of my favorite Farmer Fizz selections. Guy Larmandier 1er Cru a Vertus Champagne is on my list of all time favorites and graced us with all its yeasty, slightly lime & apple, seriously fragrant presence. Along with this, a Robiola ~ 2 lattes, a favorite cheese of mine from Italy and also stuffed mushroom caps – goat cheese & apple was the best match for the bubbles.
Our salad course was the best pairing of the evening. The food was mixed greens topped with pears, roasted parsnips, macademia nuts, blue cheese and a very light vinaigrette. The sublime Uroulat Jurancon Sec 2006 is thick and sweet with nuances of ripe pear & pit fruits. It was so good we all could have just stopped there.
But we didn’t.
Mayacamas 2000 Chardonnay. A blast from our past as we had visited Mayacamas winery shortly after this wine’s release. We and the denDulks each bought a bottle. The assigned friends to make the course lived up to Mayacamas wine standards. A stunning acorn squash bisque was pureed to the perfect consistency and topped with perfectly seared scallops of the large variety.
Moving on to a little something Steve and I picked up in a wine shop in Beaune, France a few years back, this wine was in a beautiful place. A 1999 Joseph Drouhin Charmes-Chambertain Grand Cru didn’t need decanting but only a few swirls in the glass to make for a nose full of full, dark dirty cherries. Definitely calmer tannins and easy going with our grilled salmon steaks and mushroom sage risotto.
Our next course proved slightly disastrous as we had an outdoor grill malfunction. Sirloin steaks in the broiler are just not quite as lovely as those on the grill, however, no one complained. No time to complain as we were also drinking a 1994 Beaulieu Vineyard Georges DeLaTour Private Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon. This was slightly underwhelming in the scheme of the other things we were drinking. I feel like it probably needed drinking a year or two ago but it was great nonetheless.
Finally it was time for our dessert which was a toffee lace shell filled with chocolate mousse and topped with whipped cream. A nice light crisp end to the evening. Its companion was a 1999 Corte Sant’Alda Amarone della Valpolicella. Both the dessert and wine were amazing!
Because we weren’t quite done sitting around enjoying each other’s company, we ended the evening with one of our cellar favorites, the Lolonis Orpheus, a Petite Syrah from 2000. A decent but ever so slightly over the hill wine was enjoyed by all.
And so you know, I did not make all the food – all eight of us had a hand in it, including our friends Chigger and Buddy. I can’t wait until the next time we get to delight in the old stuff and I encourage you all to do it too!