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Open That Bottle Night, the last Saturday of every February, is a great concept. Here is a post from more than a week ago explaining the details.

Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to celebrate and felt left out. But I also think that’s the beauty of OTBN – find a not-very-special occasion and open a great bottle of wine. Most people serious about wine have more great bottles than we probably will drink any time soon.

fontanafredda_seralunga_06And what is purpose of buying great wine if all you ever consume is the under $20 bottles?

With that spirit, and no special occasion nor story, I opened up Al Gore’s lockbox and scanned the possibilities. I was making a slow cook Tuscan pasta dish and decided it had to be Italian. I have some Brunello, Sagrantino, and a couple of Barolos stashed away. I love them all. I grabbed the first big bottle (they leading these things?) from the cooler and splashed it into the decanter for a couple of hours.

The wine, Fontanafredda Serralunga d’Alba Barolo 2006, wasn’t the best Nebbiolo I’ve ever had but sure wasn’t bad. The critics loved it – Wine Spectator gave it 91 points and James Suckling gave it 90.

For any newbies, Nebbiolo is dry red wine. I loved it but it had just been awhile since I had Barolo and that initial dry smack on the palate is a jolt.

The wine was all mineral, leather, and I’d say flavor like tart berries. It had nice acid and a rather nice finish. This wine would probably rock in another 2-3 years.

Barolo is definitely a wine style new wine drinkers should try out. They aren’t cheap but you can often get good buys and decent wines from the internet flash sites to try something like this out. This wine retails in the mid $40 range but I got it for under $30 via the internet.

So no story, no special occasion but a darn fine bottle of wine with Saturday night pasta.