While maybe not as well-known of a holiday as "National Margarita Day" (which was also this week, February 22. If you didn't celebrate, belated celebrations are always acceptable!), Open That Bottle Night will soon become one of your favorite nights of the year.
Dorothy J. Gaiter, author of The Wall Street Journal's wine column, "Tastings," from 1998 to 2010 created the annual "Open That Bottle Night" celebration of wine and friendship.
In her words, "John and I invented Open That Bottle Night to provide an impetus for people to enjoy a wine they had been keeping for a special occasion that never arrived. Weddings, births, anniversaries, all manner of special milestones had come but those corks remained intact. We knew this happened because readers told us about bottles like that and we have many ourselves.
While we urge people to open them as often as possible, and we try to do that because no one is promised tomorrow, there are still some bottles that we just haven’t brought ourselves to open. Some are rather young, but special to us, still. The point is to open these gems with someone you care about and celebrate the memories that are in that bottle. Make them the occasion. Recognizing that sometimes it takes a village to do something difficult, we set a date, the last Saturday in February, for this global celebration of friendship, love and wine. This year, it’s Feb. 24th.
The hard part is choosing the wine. If it’s old and may have sediment, you’ll want to stand it up a couple days before Saturday the 24th so the sediment will settle in the bottom of the bottle. Have a back-up wine handy in case your first choice is irretrievably bad (and even then, don’t rush to throw it out. You’d be surprised how some old wines can pull themselves together by the next day).
It's not all about old and collectables. Some people use OTBN as a reason to finally buy a wine they’ve been curious about for some time.
Talk about the wine, why it’s special to you, and savor a little of it without food. Give it a minute alone, give it its due. And last, enjoy the wine for what it is, not what it might someday be or might once have been."