Monday, December 23, 2013

Saving a Bottle for a Special Day

Most of the time, the only reason a bottle of wine stays on our rack for any length of time is because we have a case of it in our pantry to deplete first. Every once in a while, though, it's worth setting aside a bottle for a special occasion. Maybe its a bottle to commemorate a special event, or a great wine you discovered that you want to enjoy down the road.

We have a tradition around celebrating our anniversary: we set aside a bottle at anniversary time to open the following year. It helps remind of us of where we have been in our journey together over the last year. This year, we opened a bottle we picked up on our trip to Austria, a reminder of what might be our last big trip abroad of a while. Of course, a special bottle requires a special meal, so we decided to relive our dinners in Germany and Austria with a big plate of meat and potatoes, with a few tweaks to suit us.

The wine was as crisp as we expected from a cool climate white wine, with a hint of petrol and vanilla to give it a bit of a smoother, creamier mouth feel. With cream of broccoli and cauliflower soup, the wine was a bit too vibrant, and overwhelmed the light earthiness of the veggies. The soup was accompanied by potato dumplings spiced with jalapeno, which is always a good pairing with crisp Riesling. And of course, the meal needed some pork: chops with a lemon scallion relish needed a crisp wine to cut through the rich fattiness, and the citrus flavors matched the relish. There is something to be said for matching a wine with its native cuisine.

Is it vital to set aside bottles of wine? Most of the time, no. Most wine is made to be drunk right away. But, sometimes, you might save something to help mark a special occasion. Sometimes, you might find an amazing wine that you want to share with friends down the road. And, sometimes, you find a wine that you think deserves to be aged. The wait is worth it every time.

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