Echelon 2010 Russian River Valley Pinot Noir, with rich versatility, shows why this is the premier Burgundy region for the rest of the world

I’m loading our dinner plates with shredded lettuce and baby spinach dressed with fresh lemon juice, a child’s handful of crumbled blue cheese, and several small glops of reduced-fat mayonnaise. Mmmm — sounds ready to eat already.

But it gets better: several rashers of fried bacon, broken into generous pieces a half-inch or larger, are drizzled with a bit of Trader Joe’s balsamic glaze.

And then come the reason I’m sharing this — four or five pieces of warm wild coho salmon fillets with a squirt of fresh lemon juice.

That offering covers half the lettuce and spinach. On the other half I’m spooning leftovers from a generous mix of brown rice with diced mangoes, cashews, orange juice and balsamic fig vinegar.

With that tasty mix, what to drink? A superb Russian River Valley Pinot Noir — in this case, Echelon, not readily available everywhere, but typical of quality red Burgundys from this special northern California area.

For once I agree with the label, so let me quote it: “Aromas of red berry, tart currant and juicy plum, flavors of concentrated dark fruit with a hint of smoky spice. Perfectly balanced, crisp acidity, complex silky finish.” Yeah! Boy is this good!

The salmon is left over from an earlier dinner. It was done my favorite way: first sauteed on one side in a pan with Sauvignon Blanc after dusting that side with dried dill, then drained of the wine, flipped, and finished with olive oil and black pepper.

Just warming the other half of last night’s fillet to top a tasty salad — also left over! — can bring out the best in a fish, especially with a wine that is just as complex as the salad-enhanced entree.

Sounds like a great Sunday supper, but it’s Saturday. Okay: “Great” can work any day. And thank goodness for a refrigerator and some ingenuity. — Bob Cramer, The Fearless Taster,