Open That Bottle — Saturday Night!


You know that bottle you’ve been holding for a special occasion? Well the time has come.

This Saturday is Open That Bottle Night.

And yes – you are going to open THAT bottle.

OTBN was created back in 1999, by Dorothy J. Gaiter and her husband John Brecher, who were the Wall Street Journal wine columnists at the time. They were constantly receiving letters from wine lovers who were saving a bottle to share with a loved one who unexpectedly passed. Or others who put a bottle aside to age only to find it was past its prime by the time they opened it.

So Gaiter and Brecher decided to pick a random night and asked their readers to open THAT bottle. No more waiting.  Just drink it.

Well that one-time event has since became a world-wide annual celebration. It is now celebrated on the last Saturday of February and people from Antartica to Thailand gladly participate.

Because lIfe is way too short. Drink the wine!

As one of Gaiter’s and Brecher’s readers wrote after the first OTBN, “Drink it, don’t revere it!”


So you need to get ready for this Saturday.

Go pick a bottle. It doesn’t even have to be your most expensive or even your highest rated. Pick something that you put away to remember a person or event.

If it is super old, be sure to stand it up now so the sediment falls to the bottom.

Be careful with the cork on an aged bottle, it may be brittle and break.  And in the case of really old bottles, don’t decant it. The extra air can ruin it quickly.

Now there is always the chance that your wine may have gone bad. So consider Plan B.  On the other hand, the wine may be just fine but taste entirely different than you expected.  Still, give it a chance. “Sometimes old wines have a certain wisdom.  They are beautiful in their old way so appreciate their variations,” says Gaiter, now a senior editor at Grape Collective. .

Oh and if you happen to be in Manhattan this Saturday night, Gaiter and her husband invite you to stop by the A Café at 973 Columbus Avenue and tell them about your bottle.  They’ll share a taste of their bottle with you but you have to do the same.

And don’t just do this once a year.  “You just never know so why deprive yourself?” asks Gaiter.

LIfe is fleeting. So open that great bottle and you know I want to hear about it…so send a quick note! Cent’ Anni.

Tracy Byrnes has what many might call a dream gig, matching a career as an experienced and well-respected business... More about Tracy Byrnes

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