Saturday, 24 February, is Open That Bottle Night. Celebrated on the last Saturday in February each year, the point of this wine movement around the world is that we shouldn’t save 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 ‘we’ve 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!
Where did Open That Bottle Night start?
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 readers to open a significant bottle and share their stories.
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.”
Open That Bottle Night 2024 with Elderton
Allister is looking to compare the 2008 Neil Ashmead Grand Tourer Shiraz with the current release, 2022, this year:
I am loving how our current release 2022 Neil Ashmead Grand Tourer Shiraz is tasting right now. From beautiful old vines, planted in the 1950s, the wine is dedicated to our father, so on OBTN I am looking forward to opening the first vintage of this wine from 2008.
We opened a bottle of this wine at a Retrospective Tasting in Nov 2022 and it was very enjoyable, showcasing burnt cherry, some orange peel and smoked meats on nose. Generous notes of charcuterie, roasted beetroot and red capsicum with dark fruits on palate. Lengthy blueberry black pepper and truffle finish.
I look forward to tasting it again in a couple of weeks.
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.
Cameron has chosen the 2012 Command Shiraz:
I adore what the Barossa does best and that is Shiraz. When this is well made, from a great vintage and cellared impeccably makes it even better.
I have been waiting to open a 2012 Command Shiraz, so OTBN will be the night. Planning to serve with a rich duck confit with a roast vegetable salad from our garden at home.
Enjoy your own wines and don’t forget to share your stories!
As Open That Bottle Night 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 email@example.com or share on socials and use the hashtag #openthatbottlenight.
Shop museum wines on our website
Each vintage release of wines from our Exceptional Sites and Elite Single Vineyards ranges has an allocation put into our museum, on site at Elderton, so that we have a collection of vintages for reference, and so we can check to see how the wines are developing.
Rather than keeping these wines all to ourselves, select vintages are available on our website. So you can enjoy these wines at home, too.