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John & Dottie Return!

February 20, 2011

Over a year ago, two of my favorite wine writers disappeared. Dorothy J. Gaiter and John Brecher wrote a weekly wine column for the Wall Street Journal, and it was my favorite thing about the paper. Then abruptly it was gone, and so were they.

I was not alone in missing their unique and decidedly un-snobbish take on wine.

People have been coming out of the woodwork looking for these guys. Seriously. The post about their departure is among the top one percent, based on total page views, of all 562 posts on the FLB. And this is because every Saturday over the course of the past year, when somebody has newly discovered John & Dottie’s absence, they invariably run to the Internet looking for answers.

Honestly, I have no idea how it happened, but if you search Google for “Where are John and Dottie,” yours truly is placed remarkably high on the page.

Then a few weeks ago something else remarkable happened. Dottie sent me an email.

Part of me wants to publish the email, but I understand some people consider email to be private communication. So in this case, I will just share a summary of the best parts. Dottie really enjoys my blog, and she wanted to know what I was doing for Open That Bottle Night this year. Me.

No way. Honestly, at first I thought this was a put on. The Internet can be a strange and vengeful place. But now that we are Facebook friends and connected on Linked In, I’m finally convinced this is the real deal.

So I have a confession to make.

The story I wrote a couple weeks ago about OTBN XII was actually for Dottie. Ordinarily I probably wouldn’t have started thinking about what to do until just about now. But she asked, and so I answered, the best way I knew how. For the record, she was impressed with Raf’s generosity.

For those who are still unfamiliar with Open That Bottle Night, it’s a holiday created by John & Dottie for the sole purpose of creating a special occasion to open that very precious bottle of wine that you’ve been holding onto for far too long.

Regrettably, no part of my extended anecdote made it into their final piece. And while on some level it would have been exciting to get any kind of public acknowledgment from Dottie, I’m just thrilled that she’s read my stuff and that she likes it.

It feels like I’m on Top Chef and won a Quick Fire Challenge.

Then of course there is the other remarkable thing. John and Dottie are writing again. And their story about OTBN XII can be read at Palate Press. You will notice my bit isn’t included, but given the scope of the story it is easy to understand why.

Part of this year’s festivities, which commence on Saturday, February 26 will also include a live chat with the duo between 7p and 10p Eastern directly on the Palate Press site. It’s unlikely I’ll get a chance to participate, because Mrs. Fussy doesn’t approve of the use of electronic devices around the table.

But maybe I can sneak on later that night if I can get the family tucked into bed early.

Hopefully you can join me and people all over the world in celebrating the twelfth annual Open That Bottle Night. When it comes to fabricated holidays invented to get people to drink more wine, OTBN is way better than the arrival of the first Beaujolais Nouveau of the year. Trust me. And if you need any help or encouragement, just let me know.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. February 20, 2011 2:28 pm

    Well Daniel, you made my day, and as usual you are one step ahead of me. What a treat to see
    John & Dottie’s names in print again. And yes they were the best part of the WSJ (or at least it was a column we knew you would enjoy reading!)

  2. Dottie Gaiter permalink
    February 21, 2011 7:26 pm

    Hi Daniel,
    I do hope that you can sneak away and join us on OTBN. If you can’t, we will understand and happily yield to your most civilized and fussy no-gadgets-at-the-dinner-table rule. We have the same rule here.
    Let’s stay in touch.

    • Rudi Garcia permalink
      March 29, 2011 12:04 am

      Daniel, Thank you for finding John and Dottie for us!
      Dottie, This is Rudi Garcia, of the Portuguese Wine Article back in April 04. Would love to know what you and John are up to. We had a great OTBN this year, but it was on 12 Feb! Am on Linked In and on Facebook, but my employer frowns on Facebook contacts. Hope to hear from you. All the best, Rudi


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