Open That Bottle Night XIII
Man, do I miss my wine rack. It’s funny because I don’t have to look too hard for the damn thing. We moved it into the garage, years ago. Don’t worry, it has long been empty of wine, and now simply stores overflow kitchen gadgets and dust.
At it’s peak the rack was filled with over 100 interesting bottles of wine from all over the world ranging from truly great wines, to Trader Joe finds, to special bottles picked up from wineries, to GroceOut close outs.
With so much wine sitting around, Open That Bottle Night was a breeze. Even wines that weren’t very special to begin with became valued treasures when they were the last bottle from the case of a vintage that was no longer available.
Now all our wine lives in a small bin under a bookcase. It’s a fine sized space for our regular consumption, but it doesn’t hold much more than a couple of cases. The problem is that wine doesn’t linger around in quite the same way. Yes, we do have a couple very special bottles laying down, but they have specific occasions already assigned to their opening.
So while I’m struggling with my own Open That Bottle Night plans, I thought I should at least remind you that this annual wine event is this Saturday, February 25. Never heard of OTBN or feel like you could use a refresher? I’ve got the lowdown.
Open That Bottle Night (OTBN for short) is a holiday that was specifically created for people to enjoy that very special bottle of wine that they have been waiting for a special occasion to open.
The problem is, and perhaps you can identify with this, that no occasion ever really feels special enough to open that tucked-away bottle. Perhaps it is a very expensive wine that you were hoping to drink at its perfect peak, maybe that peak has passed, maybe it’s not expensive at all but is full of sentimental memories that you fear will vanish with the liquid in the bottle.
Regardless, the time to drink it is now. Well, by now I mean Saturday.
OTBN was the brainchild of my favorite wine columnists, Dorothy J. Gaiter and John Brecher. While it’s sad they are no longer writing for the Wall Street Journal, they did make an appearance online last year, and now it seems like they are attempting to get ensconced in Facebook and Twitter. Like them. Follow them. Learn from them. Be inspired by them. They are great, and I don’t use those words lightly.
If you’re curious about what to do for the holiday, check out my ten-step program for a proper celebration.
Now not having a bottle to open myself for OTBN is really a mixed blessing. It means I’m doing a better job about living life every day and not putting off potential pleasures for tomorrow. After all, the vast majority of wine produced around the world today is meant to be consumed soon after it is bottled, and not aged for some mythic future date when it will achieve its perfect peak.
That means I’ll have to be on the hunt for a bottle that holds some kind of personal significance for me and Mrs. Fussy. Maybe I can find a bottle of the Calera Pinot Noir, that we enjoyed in Mendocino county on one of our many trips to the lost coast with some porcini risotto.
If I were feeling romantic I could get the same sparkling wine I had on hand for after I proposed to her in my Berkeley apartment (after buttering her up with a diner at Oliveto).
These are the kinds of things that make wine special. It’s more than just the juice in the bottle. Rather, it’s about the memories of people, places and events that these wines recall. And that’s the spirit of the holiday.
I hope you can participate at home this Saturday. And if you do, please make sure to drop John and Dottie a line and let them know what you had. I’m sure they would be thrilled to know.