Open That Bottle Night 2010

Every year on the last Saturday of February is "Open That Bottle Night".  This is a night where you can take that special bottle of wine you've been holding for a special occasion and uncork it!  Enjoy it with a special someone, friends, family or by your self.  It doesn't matter what type of wine, where it's from or how much you spent on it, as long as it's special to you. 

This creative evening was started in February of 2000 by Dorothy Gaiter and John Brecher, wine critics formerly with the Wall Street Journal.  They've been celebrating it ever since, and though they aren't affiliated with the OTBN website, many stories full of special bottles and nights are listed.

Now here's a little about what the Windy City Wine Guy has in store for tonight:

I love to stay in with my family, open a bottle (or two) and cook.  I've resolved to give up all red meat and pork for Lent, so I will be making a fish dish tonite, Farfalle al Salmone e Piselli.  Start off with these ingredients: olive oil, butter, shallots, salmon (I like to use both smoked and wild filet), sweet peas, farfalle pasta (bowtie), tomato paste, heavy whipping cream, black pepper, salt and chili flakes.  It's a pretty simple dish and here's how I make mine:

  1. Heat olive oil and butter in a sautee pan and add chopped shallots.

  2. Add the filet of wild salmon.  It will break apart as it cooks.

  3. When the salmon nears medium rare, add the peas and smoked salmon.

  4. While this is cooking, bring hot water to boil with olive oil and salt.  Add the farfalle and cook for 7-8 minutes for al dente.

  5. Add heavy whipping cream to sautee pan along with tomato concentrate.  Finish off with black pepper and chili flakes.

  6. Combine and toss pasta with sauce.  Done!

For this I will be opening a bottle of '01 Poderi Aldo Conterno Barolo "Cicala".  Barolo wines come from Piedmont in the Cuneo province, just southwest of Alba.  They are made from the Nebbiolo varietal and produce wines which are lighter in color, but higher in acidity and tannin, and full bodied.  They typically have essences of earth, roses and tar, along with ripe red fruit flavors.  They react well with heavy sauces, fat and proteins, plus the acidity matches well with tomato sauce.  They were traditionally cellar aged for many years, to mellow the tannins and acidity, but new style producers have been making them a bit more ready to drink upon release, though it's still is better that they age.  Since the Cicala is an '01 vintage, I feel tonight is a great time to open it!  I will be sharing it with my wife and a few candles, while we eat and watch our baby.  Sounds like a great Saturday night to me!

Leave a comment about your OTBN plans or tell me about them on Twitter: @WCWineGuy.  Enjoy!