Open That Bottle Night is coming.
What is OTBN all about? Open That Bottle Night was created by Wall Street Journal columnists Dorothy Gaiter and John Brecher in 2000. It is an evening one night a year dedicated to opening that special bottle of wine that most of us have been resting in our closet, wine fridge or cellar. The date is always the last Saturday of February.
Most of us have a special bottle of wine just waiting to be opened for a special occasion. Over the years, too many bottles of wine have been wasted because people cherished them too much and waited too long while discussing when to open them. Let’s not let that happen to us.
In my personal experience, I’ve had several coveted wines that were once being saved – only to be opened in the most tragic, sad and unimaginable ways possible. The result of OTNB is amazing in every aspect, from the quality of the wine to the company of those involved. Shocking actually.
Interested in participating? Here are some guidelines:
Begin by selecting your wine for the night. It doesn’t need to be the most expensive bottle in your collection, but perhaps it was that bottle you bought 10 years ago on a weekend getaway to Sonoma – obviously meaningful.If the wine is older than 10 years it would be best to stand the bottle upright for a couple days to allow the sediment to consolidate at the bottom of the bottle, ideally in a cool dark place. The older the wine, the more fragile the cork will be and will require kid gloves when opening. Furthermore, decanting will be necessary in order to remove the sediment.If you’re fortunate enough to have very old wines in your collection (upwards of 30 years), it is important to note that wines of this age typically don’t last very long upon opening and more often than not need to be consumed on the faster side than a young wine. If you plan to have an OTBN event with friends or family it might be fun to hear the backstories on each of the chosen wines. With all wines, it’s best to have a back-up bottle just in case the first has turned to vinegar or is corked.The premise of the event is to get together with family, friends, your partner and enjoy a night entirely around this specific chosen bottle. Reminisce, savor, laugh, cry and be present. Enjoy the entire experience regardless of the quality of wine or how great the ratings try to convince you it should be.
For those who would be willing to share their OTBN story with us, we would love to hear about your evening. Email your story to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Alan Cuenca is an accredited oenophile and owner of Put a Cork in It, a Durango wine store. Reach him at email@example.com.