I feel so totally out of the loop. Within a one-week span I received an “Ask Our Educator” question about what to serve with our Sparkling Rosé© on “Open That Bottle Night” (OTBN) and some delightful people who came for a tour said they were thinking of bringing a bottle of 1997 Howell Mountain Cab to the next OTBN. Reply from Wine Educator: “Great! It’s drinking just beautifully right now. But, what the heck is “Open That Bottle Night”? They couldn’t believe I’d never heard of it.
This is so embarrassing. You don’t have to look far to learn that it’s been going on since 1999 and was the brainchild of two of my favorite wine writers, Dorothy J. Gaiter and John Brecher of the Wall Street Journal.
So, in case I’m not the only one who was completely in the dark, here’s the deal: Gaiter and Brecher are smart cookies and also very thoughtful. They know that most of us who love wine have a few bottles tucked away that are so special to us that no occasion ever seems good enough for them. So, these wines just sit there getting older and eventually, tragically, become too old. Quel dommage! Should never happen. OTBN was designed to give you an excuse to pop that baby open! Get your wine down off of its pedestal so it can meet its intended destiny – to be opened and shared with friends over a terrific meal!
The set up is that Gaiter and Brecher declare a date and coordinate with readers and restaurants to celebrate OTBN. Their efforts have been rewarded with numerous heart-warming stories from wine and food lovers from all over the world about what wine they opened and why – including a story about some folks whose house burned down. Only after retrieving some special bottles that survived the fire did they truly get the message that wine is meant to be opened and enjoyed, not coveted in a dark cellar forever. After all, as they said, what if the house burns down? I think our buddy Tim, at Winecast, can relate, huh?
And it doesn’t have to be an expensive cult wine. Certain bottles become important to us for our own reasons. The point is to crack open the memories as much as the wine itself.
Anyway, no doubt this dynamic duo is pleased and proud that people don’t necessarily wait for them anymore. They just get together with friends and set a date of their own! Retailers are in on the act too – no surprise there.
So, how did this phenomenon get by me? Is this not a California thing? Or, in my daily surfing for wine news am I just reading the wrong stuff? Guess it doesn’t matter because a good idea is a good idea. And if it ain’t happening here, it oughta be. Usually we Californians are first in line when in comes to the self-indulgence department.
Don’t know when the next official OTBN is scheduled, but why wait? Get together with some friends, cook up a fabulous meal and open that bottle!!!