When I purchased this bottle of Bollinger NV back in 2011 to celebrate Ima Zinner’s birthday, I didn’t realize it would take us six years to open it.
But I wasn’t worried. You’re supposed to cellar wine, right?
WRONG. And somehow I didn’t know until May of 2016 that you don’t cellar Champagne.When Champagne is disgorged and ready for sale, it is ready to be enjoyed. That doesn’t mean you have to drink it that night that you buy it! But you should drink it within a year or two, maybe three.
You’re not supposed to wait SIX YEARS to open a bottle of Champagne!
But somehow that happened. It wasn’t a special enough occasion. Or it we were having red wine to go with red meat or some such. Or it wasn’t cold. One reason or another, it just didn’t happen.
So when Ima Zinner aka Kathy came over the other night, it was Open That Bottle Night, because we knew it was time. Way past time. But was it too late?
That depends! Unlike last year’s Open That Bottle Night post where we tasted through 30 or so bottles of wine with most of it Pinot Noir and Syrah from Santa Barbara County from The Ojai Vineyard, much of it past its prime, this wine was fine. Maybe not as good as it was back then or even two or three years ago, but interesting in its own way.
As it ages, wine oxidizes– oxygen ages wine just like it ages us. With exposure, we change — we get freckles, wrinkles, age spots. You’ll notice an older red wine has more coral notes to the color and a white wine will get more golden.
Such was the case in this bottle of Bollinger. In color, it is a rich gold like that moment when the sun sets.
On the nose, it has a yeasty almond croissant scent, fresh out of the oven and somewhat carmelized. On the palate you can taste almond paste reminiscent of bear claws from a good bakery, fresh hot from the oven. The wine has more citrus notes than green apple especially on the finish but here it is more of a candied citrus with more grapefruit and lemon. Clean and fresh yet oxidized and carmelized at the same time!
We like this on the palate as it is very easy to drink but why we love this wine is because it pairs so well with food.
Each cheese brought out a different nuanced flavor but our favorite was the double creme d’afoins brie with raspberries. With the salad , the raspberries and strawberries paired exceptional y well.
The butternut squash ravioli with sage butter sauce brought out the richness: wine to ravioli and vice versa. This wine would be brilliant with stuffed mushrooms or we could have added chanterelles to the butter sauce.
Bottom line is: drink Champagne in the first few years but don’t chuck it after five years! With a quality champagne, you’re not gong to be let down.
And don’t worry so much about it being a special occasion! Stop by Trader Joes, pick up butternut squash raviolis, make a very simple brown butter sage sauce or Alfredo sauce, grab a bag of greens and berries for a salad, and enjoy!!
And if you’re fan of Champagne, please return next Saturday March 18 when the French Winophiles focus on this subject. And keep reading for what others did for Open That Bottle Night 2017.
Bollinger Dinner Menu:
Charcuterie plate with three cheeses from Trader Joe’s
Raw Oysters from Jolly Oyster
Tomatos, Raspberries, Apples
Salad: strawberries, blackberries, and raspberries with a blueberry goat cheese, toasted walnuts, field greens dressed with walnut oil and a citrus champagne vineagrette
Main: Butternut squash ravioli from Trader Joe’s with brown butter sage sauce
Dessert: cheese plate w/raspberries
On Saturday, March 11, the #winePW will be sharing about our Open That Bottle Night pairings and there’s a Twitter chat from 8-9am PST. Below is a list of the posts that will be shared on Saturday, March 11:
Wendy from A Day in the Life on the Farm will post “How #OTBN happens while on vacation in Dominica”
Jen from Vino Travels will share “Baked sausage rigatoni with Vignavecchia Chianti Classico Riserva”
Sue from A Palatable Pastime is pairing “Pork Carnitas with Saint Cosme Cotes-Du-Rhone”
Michelle from Rockin Red Blog is writing about “South of the Border for Open That Bottle Night”
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”
Jill from L’occasion is opening “A Gigondas from the Cellar”
Julie from Wine-N-Friends will share “A memorable pairing with 2012 Kenzo Murasaki”
Gwendolyn from Wine Predator is posting “Cheers to Open That Bottle Night 2017 with Champagne from Bollinger”
David from Cooking Chat is posting “Shiitake Beef Stew with a Special Wine”
No blog post about #OTBN, no worries! You can still join the conversation about Open That Bottle Night Pairings by joining our live Twitter Chat on Saturday, March 11. Simply tune into the #winePW hashtag on Twitter at 11 a.m. ET / 8 a.m. PT on 3/11 and join the conversation. Please also make plans to join us for the April Wine Pairing Weekend event, when Wendy from A Day in the Life on the Farm will be hosting on the topic of “My Old Standy” on April 8. You can get a list of all the past and upcoming #winePW events by visiting the Wine Pairing Weekend page.