For everyday wines, I am the buyer; my companion, David, buys for the cellar. In the early 1970s, when prices were exceptionally low for great quality, he took advantage of it. Time flew, and before long, those good-value wines aged and became almost too good to drink ― was there ever an occasion important enough? Would we ever drink those bottles before they became absolutely priceless or, worse yet, passed over the hill (or we did)?
Then, in 1999, Wall Street Journal wine writers Dorothy J. Gaiter and John Brecher came up with a simple solution: Open That Bottle Night (OTBN). Now, they said, is the time to drink your best wine; make the drinking of it the occasion itself. Liberating! I embellished the concept to Drink Your Best Bottle Dinner (DYBBD), because the finest vintages deserve the company of a great meal, and David bought in.
One of our most recent DYBBDs involved old friends with their own enviable wine resources and a menu that required very few kitchen diversions. The main course was rack of lamb done in two steps, with the double goal of prepping and cooking well ahead of dinner while introducing more flavor to the meat. With braised Belgian endive cloaked in prosciutto and a toasted basmati rice pilaf, the pink chops provided classy support for an elegant Vosne-Romanée Richebourg. They'd be fit company for your best red too.