Open that bottle night (OTBN 7)

gaiterbrecher Have you been schlepping a special bottle of wine around with you for your past three moves? Or waiting for that Bordeaux that your aunt gave you for your birth year to achieve its peak? It’s time to open that bottle on Open That Bottle Night 7 on February 25.

Dorothy Gaiter and John Brecher, who write the wine column for the Wall Street Journal, started this event six years ago. They urge readers to open a symbolically significant bottle on the last Saturday in February and then send in their stories, with a selection then written up in a subsequent column (kind of like the monthly wine blogging Wednesday). Some stories from previous years have included a couple who enjoyed a 1986 Lafite with their favorite pizza (“The pizza was great,” the husband wrote them. “The Chateau Latour was good, not great. But it got better toward the end of our meal, and much better as we entered the Jacuzzi with Mr. Barry White in the background.”), a research station in Antarctica, surprise visitors, and many fond memories of good times or good people when the special bottle came into their hands.

I’ll be pulling a cork on February 25 and I hope you do too. Make it a party or make it a romantic evening, a gourmet meal at home or a BYOB. But on Sunday the 26th, there has to be (at least) one bottle fewer in your inventory.

There are doubtless hundreds of heartwarming, intriguing, and funny stories that can’t be included in their column because of space limitations. Fortunately, here on the internet, we have no limitations (but neither do we have quite the, um, reach). Feel free to post your comments either here or on the post I write after Feb 25. And be sure to drop John and Dottie a line with your story too: wine@wsj.com

UPDATE 2/26/06: I posted our notes of the evening here. Feel free to post yours too!

UPDATE 2/10/08: People have been landing here looking for OTBN 9 (vintage 2008) so I’ll add that it is this Saturday, February 23. Have fun!

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One Response to “Open that bottle night (OTBN 7)”


  1. During the biggest Sierra Nevada snowstorm of this winter, my husband and I hosted OTBN at our Kirkwood, California ski cabin. A couple from Reno, Nevada braved whiteouts, snowy roads, and a broken windshield in order to attend. The other two invited couples came from their Kirkwood homes.

    The eight of us initiated the evening with olive crostini and a light, fruity Carrefour 2004 Pinot–a perfect beginning. We moved into the living room warmed by our wood-burning stove and opened a wonderful Gary Farrell 2001 Encounter paired with a wedge of Maytag blue cheese cheesecake and baby greens dressed in a tarragon vinaigrette. Finally, we gathered at the dining table and enjoyed pork tenderloin, wild rice, and fresh asparagus. All of this was highlighted by a 1996 Silver Oak Cabernet. We had a back-up wine, per you OTBN suggestion, and opened that, too. The 1998 Duckhorn Merlot (what a great back-up!) was sipped as we finished with chocolate buttermilk cake and raspberry sorbet. Entertaining stories accompanied each wine.

    By the way, the next day was cloudless and calm and all of us enjoyed skiing fresh powder sans a headache. Must have been the great OTBN wines.


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