Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Open That Bottle Night 2007

Saturday, February 25th, it was time for the annual tradition – OTBN. We each chose one because, hey, fair’s fair. Right? To our amazement, Susan chose white and Frank picked a red. Usually there’s no question it would have been the other way round, but something about the spirit of the event added a new dimension.

Susan’s Pick:
Muscat Ottonel 2004 (Hillside Estate Reserve Series)

I remember this being one of the first vintages we shared at the beginning of our true romance with wine. Sure, we already enjoyed wine and had learned a fair amount about it, but this was love.

We’d just spent a spur-of-the-moment, leisurely afternoon touring some of our local Fraser Valley vineyards and came across a VQA wine store. We needed something to go with dinner anyway, and there was a tasting happening. No brainer – we stopped in. Neither of us recall the first two wines, but when we took a sip of the Muscat Ottonel, our eyes opened wide. We barely said anything to each other – at that point our wine vocabulary was still somewhat limited. We bought half a case that day, and although the vintage we had on Saturday was a few years younger, it still carried memories of autumn sunshine and the beginning of a new relationship with wine.

Tasting Notes: Not just green apples but lusciously crisp, shiny green Granny Smith Apples here. A touch of citrus as the evening progressed. Although neither of us recall it being quite this acidic, it would go with the summer salads that are about ready to make a regular appearance as we move towards longer, sun-drenched days.

Frank’s Pick:
Chateauneuf-du-Pape 2003
(Domaine des Relagnes)

This was the oldest Chateauneuf-du-Pape currently in the wine cellar. At first, I wasn’t sure exactly which store I’d discovered it in, but once I realized it was from Marquis Wine Cellars, it seemed right for OTBN.

We’ve both spent more hours than perhaps we should admit to in Marquis, checking over the selection of wines you just can’t get anywhere else in Vancouver. This was where I first found the Condrieus that regularly take up space in the cellar, and where we were introduced to Seppelt’s Muscat – unfortunately no longer in stock – that came with the owner’s personal guarantee that if you didn’t like it, he’d give you your money back. Needless to say, we never requested a refund.

Tasting Notes: And now for something completely different, we both agreed this wine really is a cowboy in a tuxedo. Aromatic and full of old leather, dirt, and barnyard. Mushroom plus a hint of truffles came out later. The finish seems to go on as long as a prairie sunset.

We hope you enjoyed your 2007 Open That Bottle Night as much as we did. And we'd love to hear your stories.

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