“the fish bottle wine”
The Opici wine bottle invokes so many memories that it is even hard to put into words. Years back when I was first married (which goes back quite a ways) I was drawn to this wine because of the distinctively styled bottle, which was at the time my first consideration. But, after buying it a few times it became a favorite and graced my table on many evenings and at special occasions.
Memories are funny. We do tend to edit out the bad and dwell on the more pleasant ones which is a good thing because it keeps us young, keeps us upbeat and gives us a perspective on a life well-lived. Opici wine is just such a memory. When you get past the shape of the bottle, the “fish bottle wine,” the unofficial name, is just delightful. Light, airy, citrusy and just totally delicious. Hints of lemon, lime and grapefruit are easily noticeable. It cannot be classified as say a pinot or a sauvignon though because it is neither. It is a rare,beautiful blend of chardonnay, sauvignon, trebbiano and verdicchio, with the latter adding some body, while the former all bring a fresh bouquet and a delicate balance.
Imported from the Adriatic coast on the western side of the Italian boot where summers are long and sunny giving the grape ample time to ripen this is a family operation since its inception in 1913. The Opici family had to endure hard times through Prohibition and the Great Depression. Through hard work, a commitment to family first and to a good product the family business was able to grow and prosper. They first imported wines from Italy. But after Prohibition was lifted in 1933, they persuaded a friend in California to send them one full railroad car of wine and the family was back in business. Every family member had a job from growing and blending and even to delivering. Hubert, the youngest was in charge of that department. In 1942, though, he took a new position in the Armed Forces and was away for a while taking part in a small skirmish overseas. But in 1946, he was instrumental in purchasing the Cazanove Wine Company in New York and getting the family business rolling again.
There is a real fascinating history of this company which goes on further. Suffice it to say though that their story really revolves around family and wine, a great combination. I wholeheartedly recommend this wine, not only for the nostalgia, but for the taste and the satisfaction it brings. Pair it with cheese, broiled flounder or trout and you have a truly sensation meal awaiting.