Have you ever asked yourself when you should open that special bottle you've been holding onto? Maybe you're like the average wine consumer that goes to the wine store and drinks that night when you just purchased. Well if you need an excuse or push to open a bottle of wine that you've been sitting on waiting for a special occasion “open that bottle night” is the perfect excuse to do so. Make an average night into an exciting one. The perfect excuse to put your wine pairing hat on to and get cooking in the kitchen.
What is open that bottle night? It began in 1999 and was started by Wall Street Journal wine columnists, John Brecher and Dorothy Gaiter. It's held the last Saturday of every February. The wine you choose doesn't have to be an expensive wine. It could be a bottle you brought back from a memorable vacation or maybe you purchased it at a wine event where you met the winemaker. I love opening wines that bring me back to a place in time that created wonderful memories in my mind. That's why I chose to open one of my bottles that I brought back from my wedding in Italy for our Wine Pairing Weekend group's feature of open that bottle night (#otbn).
While touring Tuscany we spent a day touring the vineyards stopping in at random vineyards and one of our stops was VignaVecchia in Radda in Chianti. You can read more about my visit to Vignavecchia that I've written previously about. For open that bottle night I opened the 2009 VignaVecchia Vigneto Odoardo Beccari Chianti Classico Riserva D.O.C.G, a blend of 90% sangiovese and 10% canaiolo. The wine is named after Odoardo Beccari, an orphan from Florence, Italy that traveled the world studying plants and botanical gardens. His botanical collection is found in Florence at the Museo di Storia Naturale di Firenze. Upon tasting this wine again since 2013 it was a wonderful wine as I remembered it. Deep ruby red in color in the glass. Full bodied with ripe cherries, a hint of tobacco backed with mouthwatering acidity, moderate tannins then finishing with great length.
When deciding what to pair with it I opened my Under the Tuscan Sun cookbook, another memory of when I met Frances Mayes at a book signing, and browsed many of the Tuscan dishes. I chose to pair it with a baked sausage rigatoni. A little different preparation than I normally would do with this dish as it wasn't made with a pasta sauce, but rather a soffritto. What is a soffritto? It stems from the Italian word for soffrigere meaning to brown or slightly fry. It's a mixture of diced carrots, celery and onions with herbs sauteed in olive oil.
To prepare the baked sausage rigatoni I started first with the sausage by browning it in a saute pan. I then prepared the soffritto and added chopped whole tomatoes. In the meantime
the pasta water was prepped to boil for making the rigatoni. In a
separate bowl ricotta was mixed with fontina and mozzarella. Once
the pasta was finished, I added the ricotta mix and soffritto into a
baking dish topped with bread crumbs and parmigiano. Finally it was baked in the
oven at 375 degrees for 25 minutes.
A beautiful pairing of Tuscan food & wine. Try it for yourself for a night in Tuscany. Buon appetito!On Saturday, March 11, the #winePW will be sharing about our Open That Bottle Night pairings. Below is a list of the posts that will be shared on Saturday, March 11:
Cindy from Grape Experiences is posting Wine and Dine: Two New Zealand Pinot Noirs and One-Pan Chicken
Camilla from Culinary Adventures with Camilla is pairing Red Wine Chorizo + 1994 Argyle Reserve Oregon Pinot Noir
Nancy from Pull That Cork will post Our OTBN Celebration: The Château Léoville-Las Cases Stole the Show
Lori from Dracaena Wines is sharing Wine is in Boxes. It's OTBN. Still turned out to be a night not to miss
Martin from ENOFYLZ Wine Blog will post Batting A Thousand for OTBN Vol 8- A Celebration With Friends
Gwendolyn from Wine Predator is posting Cheers to Open That Bottle Night 2017 with Champagne from Bollinger