All wine lovers have at least one special bottle stashed away for the right occasion. These bottles often languish unappreciated because the owners are waiting for just the right moment to uncork them, which never seems to arrive. They may not be among the most expensive or the best bottles in the cellar, but instead have personal significance. They’re likely to be bottles that were purchased during a special trip or a bottle passed on by a deceased loved one. Whatever the wine, it’s usually something that has the power to evoke substantial memories and stir deep feelings in its owners.
Prominent wine journalists Dorothy J. Gaiter and John Brecher created Open That Bottle Night (OTBN) to give these neglected bottles of wine the opportunity to be appreciated. Celebrated on the last Saturday evening of the month of February, people from all over the world can participate in this wine event because it occurs in their own home, favorite outdoor picnic spot or other location of their choosing.
Those intending to participate in the OTBN wine events should keep a few key things in mind. The bottle that’s chosen, for instance, should be one with a high amount of emotional relevance no matter what its monetary value. Of course, sometimes the most costly wines have powerful memories attached to them, and their price tag shouldn’t be a deterrent to enjoying them on OTBN.
If an older wine is selected for celebration of this wine event, it should be placed upright for several days before uncorking in order to allow any sentiment to settle. It’s also best to open an older bottle using a two-pronged corkscrew to prevent fragile corks from breaking in two. Older wines should also be poured into the glass straight from the bottle rather than decanting them. Too much exposure to oxygen may damage delicate old wines to the extent of rendering them undrinkable, which is hardly the point of OTBN.
Back when it was discovered that red wine was best consumed at room temperature, dwellings were substantially cooler than they are today. Most indoor home environments are kept at 70 degrees Fahrenheit, and that’s way too warm for optimal enjoyment of a quality red wine. It’s recommended that red wine be placed in the refrigerator for a maximum of one hour before uncorking unless it’s taken directly from a proper cellar. It’s also recommended that a backup bottle of wine is in place in the event that that the chosen wine has somehow gone bad.
Participants should remember that this special, worldwide wine event is about celebration, memories and sharing. Open that bottle and cherish those memories!