Open That Bottle Night with a Beautiful Italian

Decisions, decisions. I am a decisive person. When I see an item I like that I need and is within my budget I buy it. No need to keep looking to make sure it is the “right” item to buy. See it, like it, buy it, done. I decisive in all areas of my life, even wine purchases. I love to buy wine, then wait, and wait, and wait and wait. It drives my husband crazy! We have a decent cellar collection of wines, almost all of them not ready to be drank, as far as I am concerned. In today’s world of immediate gratification many wine lovers no longer have the patience to wait, but for those of us who do the reward is amazing. Unless, you wait too long. There is only one word to describe waiting too long…Tragic!

Open That Bottle Night was designed almost twenty years ago by former Wall Street Journalist wine writers Dorothy Gaiter and John Brecher. The idea was to encourage people like me to get on with it already, open the bottle that is being “aged” or “saved” for a special occasion. The last Saturday in February each year since 1999 has been designated at THE “special” occasion. There have been previous years we have enjoyed observing OTBN with fellow wineloving friends. This year I was five days off a great trip to France (Vinisud in Montpellier for three days, then three days in Paris with my 19 year old daughter for her first time, then a day of delays and ultimately a cancelled flight by American Airlines) and was frankly too tired to care too much about OTBN. However, knowing that for the second year in a row our #WinePW group was sharing our OTBN wine and food pairings I knew I needed to get energized.

Poggio Antico 2003 Brunello OTBN

This year we celebrated OTBN in a slightly different fashion. Remember earlier when I told you I like to age 90% of the wine I purchase? And you will also recall my husband and I went to Italy last fall and came home with a lot of wine, most of which we have not touched? Well for this year’s OTBN I let my dear husband (who rarely gets to choose the wine we consume at home) select the wine we would open, with one rule…no 2010 Brunellos! Thankfully while in Italy we intentionally purchased some older vintages of wines to be opened upon our return, this is what he selected:

Poggio Antico 2003 Brunello OTBN 3Poggio Antico 2003 Brunello di Montalcino Riserva DOCG: 100% Sangiovese; deep garnet with brown highlights in the glass; refined and integrated aromas of black cherries, plums and raspberries, with spice notes, toasted hazelnuts, ground espresso beans, floral notes, savory herbal notes and beautiful minerality; lush with a velvet mouth-feel, round and juicy with beautifully integrated flavors, balanced acidity with silky tannins that coat the mouth leaving a long, elegant finish that begs for another sip; an absolutely gorgeous wine with still plenty of life left (we could have waited 3-5 more years J), upon release it received 91 pts from Wine Spectator, 91 pts from Wine Enthusiast, and 90 pts from Wine Advocate, I think those number would be higher now. Best description of this wine: Stunning!

Poggio Antico 2003 Brunello OTBN 2

Next dilemma: what food to prepare with such a special wine. I chose a recipe I found in Saveur Magazine on Pinterest: Braciola alla Marinara (Italian Stuffed-Beef Rolls in Tomato Sauce). It turned out great and was delicious! I went to Whole Foods to buy the thinly sliced beef chuck called for in the recipe. I bought free range grass fed beef. The butcher warned me it is so lean it may be a bit harder to work with regarding rolling and searing. He was right; however, it was so worth it because the end results of this easy to prepare recipe was outstanding. Juicy, flavorful and truly delicious! I served the Braciola alla Marinara with roasted purple carrots and topped the beef with parmesan cheese because I neglected to add the cheese to the stuffing (it didn’t matter, it was great the way I made it.)

Braciolla alla Marinara prep OTBN

purple carrots OTBN

Braciolla alla Marinara OTBN 2

Braciolla alla Marinara OTBN

It was a crisp late winter evening so we sat outside by the fire, listed to some great music, sipped the amazing Poggio Antico Brunello and ate a delicious meal! It was a wonderful and memorable OTBN.

Here is how my fellow #WinePW friends celebrated OTBN:

Culinary Adventure with Camilla “Dracaena’s Cabernet Franc with Steak au Poivre et Thé”

Curious Cuisiniere “Teriyaki Salmon and Pinot Noir”

Dracaena Wines  “When Will Some Day Be? Open That Bottle Now”

Tasting Pour  “Steak Diane and Bell Cab Sauvignon”

Pull That Cork  “Wine, Friends and Food: Our OTBN and #winePW Evening”

L’Occasion  “Wines of Les Baux-de-Provence to Enjoy with Steak Frites”

foodwineclick “Are You Kidding Me? Rosé for OTBN?”

The Armchair Sommelier  “OTBN: A Pipe, a Port, and a Pudding”

ENOFYLZ Wine Blog  An Italian-Theme #OTBN

Cooking Chat  “Pork Tenderloin with Mushroom Sauce and a Burgundy”

Join us for a live Twitter chat about Open That Bottle Night wine pairings this morning at 10 CST using #winePW. In April we will be talking about Spring Meal Pairings for Southern Rhone Wines, hosted by Jill at L’Occasion. You can get the full list of past and upcoming #winePW event here.

My Music Selection: This one was hard! I had to enlist the assistance of my classical music expert (my daughter). She suggested over 5 songs; none of them were quite right. This one is close. It too is not exactly what I am looking for but a good representation so enjoy.

How did you celebrate this year’s OTBN? Share with me your wine and song pairing. Cheers!


23 responses to “Open That Bottle Night with a Beautiful Italian”

  1. We are the same way! We are infamous for not wanting to drink anything we have on hand and run out and buy a bottle just for dinner that night. So agree on the 2010 Brunello’s, I cry a little bit every time I have to open one. Equivalent to making a young colt line up at the Kentucky Derby….so much more to give if only we can wait…

  2. I’ve not heard of OTBN before but it is definitely marked in my calendar for next year!! As a new collector only about 3 years in I’m not sure what I would open from the bottom racks of my collection but I’m excited to try to select a gem next year.. Not to worry though my prized 2010 Brunello’s won’t be touched 🙂

  3. I am sure your trip to Europe was spectacular! So sorry about the delays and cancellation, that’s never a good time. Your beef rolls look utterly delicious, Michelle! I’m sure we’ll be reading about your trip soon. 🙂

  4. I am very much the same way, I buy wine and keep it, not every bottle but some I like to wait and wait and wait. Most I have not opened yet. Your Open that Bottle wine sounds amazing as is your Braciola, a fabulous pairing everything sounds amazing,

  5. The wine sounds divine. I enjoy the flavors of wine as they evolve with aging. We often buy multiple bottles of wine we want to age, so we can taste them over time. Sometimes it hard to keep our hands off them long enough, though. Letting someone else do the aging is a good idea! The food pairing looks delicious.

  6. The leaner the meat- the more difficult to work with- no fat in there to mold. LOL I must admit, Mike and I are not ones to wait.. Although we do have 2006 Cayuse in there. Those are probably the closest to “Hold for special night” wines we have. Wonderful post.

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