So, did you do it? Did you delve deep into your cellar or find a bottle on top of the fridge that you forgot you had? Did you dig up a treasure that you had been saving without having a specific moment in mind to open it? We did!
That’s right, last Saturday night; we sat down with some good friends of ours and celebrated Open that Bottle Night, or in our case four! For us, it was a night to step out of our role as Spanish and Portuguese wine explorers. Wines of Iberia seem to be all that we have time for while living here, hence, it was a treat to open up a couple of bottles that didn’t hail from Iberia, but rather from it’s neighbors.
Slowly, I’ve been bringing over a few bottles from my cellar back in the States to have on hand for special occasions. This particular night, I brought one from Cotes du Ventoux, in France, and another one from Germany. The first one was a Rhone style blend that was elegant, simple, and fun to drink, the other a rich Icewine that had layers of caramel, honey, grapefruit, and more all wrapped up inside – both a delight to drink and a welcomed break from our typical tastings.
That being said, we didn’t completely leave the peninsula. We started with a nice little Cava from a small producer here in Spain. Fun wine, with some bread notes, and subtle minerality like you might expect from a bottle of champagne, but this one was from Catalunya. The other and the one I have a proper note for was a 100% Graciano from Rioja. I love this grape and it was a joy to taste it with the salt roasted pork loin that we enjoyed for the main course. It came from my friend’s cellar and it played a nice background piece to the lively conversation that pervaded the night as we lingered at the table.
For me OTBN is about the wine, and the people you drink it with. For us, the people were a couple who have become close friends to us and who are willing to put up with our pigeon Spanish. The best part was that, with the exception of looking up some food vocab words, we spent 4 hours conversing in Spanish without too many hitches. A year ago, we probably never would have thought that we’d have come so far with our Spanish comprehension, and now, look at us go. It sure felt good.
Thank you Ezequiel and Carolina for helping us feel more welcome here in Spain. Also thank you John and Dorthy for making this night a must for us, hopefully for many more years to come!
Let us know if you Opened a Bottle!
- 1998 Bodegas y Viñedos del Contino Rioja Contino Variedad Graciano – Spain, La Rioja, La Rioja Alavesa, Rioja (2/28/2006)
Deep reddish brown with slight browning at the rim. Deep black fruit nose with pepper, liquorice, chocolate, mineral and a lot of oak. The palate was medium weight with firm but mild tannins. Flavors of cherry, chokecherry, pepper(black), and lead pencil. The oak didn’t show much on the palate and rather showed a nice minerality overall.
BTW John and Dorthy’s Book Love by the Glass is a great story about two people who find a common love of wine together. It was one of my favorite books about wine and I think you might enjoy it too. Check it out and help support Catavino.net