Antonio Gianola, the former wine director at Catalan in Houston, will open his own wine bar, Wild Vine, this spring, focusing on super-traditional European wines. One of his favorites is the R. López de Heredia Viña Tondonia Gran Reserva rosé from the Rioja region of Spain, aged for years in oak barrels. Even the 2000 vintageancient for a roséis still lively enough for charred octopus with silky roasted peppers. Inspired by a recipe in Wine Bar Food by Tony and Cathy Mantuano, Gianola poaches the octopus slowly before grilling it until crisp.
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Congratulations to Mei Lin, winner of Top Chef Season 12.