Sunday, March 1, 2009

Wall Street Journal: Open That Bottle Night!

This Saturday night was "Open That Bottle Night" as instructed by the Wall Street Journal. Our friends up the hill, the Martini's, invited us up for dinner to celebrate this special occasion. Unfamiliar with the concept, we were curious what wines we would be tasting. Why did we have to tell them our birth year...........
..............because everyone at the dinner was represented by a bottle vintage in honor of their birth year.
Wowsa! I haven't used that expression since I saw my wife walk towards me down the aisle! A 1949 Louis Martini Barbera (Mike Martini), 1955 Louis Martini Cab (Jacque), 1962 Louis Martini Zin (Marty), and a 1969 Louis Martini Pinot (Robin). Surprisingly, a couple of the bottles had been recorked by Mike's grandfather somewhere along the way and all of the corks popped out fresh with no breakage.
What about the Walnofer's? Our hosts made sure that we were accounted for and pulled out two Cabernet Sauvignon's for us from their library. A 1982 Johnson Turnbull Napa Valley Cab for me, and a 1984 Louis Martini Los Ninos Cab for the Mrs. Oh yeah, and an unbottled 2005 M-Squared from the tanks down at the Louis Martini winery, but who is counting at this point.
Even our Lamb Shanks and Parmesan and Mushroom Risotto for the evening was made with a 1949 Louis Martini Muscat.
No matter how great the wine is, the experience is only as good as the company. Is that my wife through the sea of wine glasses? The night was also an Arkansas Alumni reunion of sorts. Mike and Jacque had a fellow MBA classmate in town, Marty, along with a former Arkansan now turned Napa-ite, Robin. Good company, good conversation, and good food...........oh yeah, the food.
Mike made some incredible Braised Lamb Shanks and Jacque added some delicate and creamy Parmesan and Mushroom Risotto. We also had a Folie a Deux 1994 Sparkling Wine with our appetizers, hence the shaky hand when setting the food :)

You can't ruin the taste of great wine with an overly sweet dessert, so cheese was the obvious end of the meal course to promote sipping down that little bit of remaining 1952 Cabernet. From Top left: Roquefort, P'tit Pyrenees (50% Sheep, 50% Cows), Montbriac Blue Cheese, and Etivaz Gruyere from Switzerland (according to Patti, the self-proclaimed CheeseLady at Calmart, a favorite of Chef/Dean Charles Henning from the CIA). Add some sliced apples and some toasted nuts! Voilla! But as always, don't forget the baguette! Thanks to my current employment at Bouchon, I get 20% off bakery items at Bouchon Bakery.
What a night! Food, friends, and a once in a lifetime wine tasting experience. Thanks to our neighbors Mike and Jacque Martini for the invite up the hill and safe travels for all those heading back to Arkansas. Tell the Natural-state we said hello.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Did I detect a little southern accent in this blog? Great night, great company, great food, and of course....great wine. Definately a "must do again". However, next time we may have to do it on the hill in Arkansas. I hear the second visit to the Valley turns into an extended stay!