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This Saturday is Open That Bottle Night. Intrigued?
The point of this wine movement around the world is that we shouldn’t save all our ‘good’ wines for a special occasion – that we should enjoy them when they’re still drinking well.
How many times have we all said ‘we can’t open that tonight, it’s too good – we need to save it’, or ‘not that bottle – we put that away for a special occasion’… Has that occasion ever come? So why not make an occasion! Gather your friends or family for a lovely dinner get together, and open that bottle. Make some special memories, and the wine will be enjoyed all the more for it!
Open That Bottle Night was started by Dorothy J. Gaiter and John Brecher in around 2000. Dorothy and John were wine writers and journalists at The Wall Street Journal at the time. They wanted to encourage WSJ readers to open a significant bottle and to share their stories.
It is celebrated on the last Saturday in February each year.
Such wise words from Dorothy:
“It was clear that, indeed, everyone—whether they had one bottle in the house or an entire collection—had that one wine that was always too special to open. You know how it is: Oh, let’s save this for a special occasion; and then no occasion is special enough; and the bottle just sits there, dying. As one OTBN celebrant once put it, these are wines that people are literally loving to death.
There’s sentiment and romance out there—much more than you might think from reading the daily news—and we think OTBN taps into that. In addition, there is just so much cant and snootiness surrounding wine. OTBN gives people a license to enjoy a bottle of wine for what it really is: an enjoyable, tasty beverage with some really good memories attached to it.”
In preparation for Saturday night, we chatted to a few people to see what they’re planning on opening!
Allister is going to be opening the 2008 Neil Ashmead Grand Tourer Shiraz!
“The first ever release of this wine that was over five years in planning between Cam and I, and made to honour the significant contribution of our late father to Elderton and indeed the Barossa. Whilst this wine was originally made as premium old vine shiraz that is primed to drink early, those with some patience have recognised it as a star in the cellar as well. Now almost 15 years old, which is scary in itself, this is a perfect wine to pull out of the cellar and share with friends to remember and reflect on the good times past, present and future.”
For Jules, she is looking to try something younger, rather than delving into the cellar:
“Open that bottle night’ falls at the start of vintage, which is always a reflective time for me. This year for Open That Bottle Night I am not grabbing an old wine – instead I will spin the cap on a 2021 Small Victories Shiraz. Having had a few months in bottle, I am hoping to find the balance we are hoping for when making this wine…The first time I try a wine post bottling is always a nervous moment for me! This hillside parcel rarely disappoints so I’m hoping for vibrant juicy fruit restrained with an earthy overtone, with some nervy tannins to finish.”
Brock is also looking to a recent vintage. [It must be a winemaker thing]
“This time of year as summer draws to an end and the night time temperatures begin to fall, it means only one thing – our Eden Valley Riesling isn’t too far away from harvest. I am grabbing a bottle of our 2021 Eden Valley Riesling out of the fridge and taking the time to enjoy a trip down memory lane, whilst at the same time being that little bit extra critical (I can’t help it). 2021 was a wonderful vintage in so many aspects and our Riesling doesn’t disappoint in terms of its generosity of flavour and vibrant natural acidity. I’m looking forward to Saturday night!”
Bec is also on the 2021 vintage train, with the 2021 Small Victories Sangiovese. But given she will be at home with Allister, there will be an older wine already open, so why not have a range of wines to enjoy on the night?!
“As a lover of light and bright white and red wines with delicious fruit and great acidity, I definitely don’t think anyone should wait for an occasion to drink this wine! Throw together an antipasto plate with whatever you have in the fridge/pantry & enjoy slightly chilled. It’s fun, easy and delicious and perfect to celebrate your own Small Victories.
And finally, Cameron and Jules will be able to share in Cam’s choice of wine:
“Open the Bottle Night is super exciting in our household. I will be opening a 2012 Ashmead Cabernet Sauvignon. 2012 was one of the Barossa’s greatest vintages. The wine should have some incredible bottle age that would have refined the super fine tannins into something outrageously good. We are going to pair it with some slow cooked lamb shank pasta.”
Yum! If only we were all invited!
So as Saturday approaches, we hope you’ve got some inspiration to Open That Bottle you’ve got waiting for a special occasion that hasn’t quite come yet.
If you do, we’d love to hear from you! You can email firstname.lastname@example.org or share on socials and use the hashtag #openthatbottlenight.
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