Open That Bottle! Join the International OTBN Wine Event

old btlsI’ve seen it way too often. Casual or serious wine collectors have cellars where they carefully guard their prized wine collection. They delight in telling me about their 1982 French, or 1987 Napa, or whatever. When I ask, “So have you enjoyed any lately?”, they invariably say, “I’m waiting for the right occasion to open something.”

Guess what? Any occasion is the right occasion for a great bottle of wine! If you keep putting off the pleasure because it’s not a good enough occasion, you may just find that… you’ve run out of occasions!  And worse yet, you’ve run out of drinkable wine. Because too often, cellar dorks keep their wines cloistered beyond the point when they were at their peak. I can’t tell you how often I’ve sat around a table swirling my 19whatever and heard, “Damn, I should have opened this last year.” Or the year before, or the year before that.

So here’s a great way to avoid all that sorrow. Participate in this year’s Open That Bottle Night on February 26, 2011. I read about this on one of my favorite blob/websites,, which is manned by a group of very fun Australian and New Zealand wine freaks. They reminded me that the last Saturday in February has become an International Wine Event. Anyone and everyone can participate at a restaurant or in someone’s home. The only stipulation is that everyone bring a bottle they’ve been waiting to open. “It could be a special vintage, your dad’s favourite wine, the wine you enjoyed on your first date or one you bought on a memorable visit to a winery. Or if you aren’t saving a wine (wine is meant to be drunk after all!) OTBN is a good excuse to go out and buy a bottle and treat yourself.”

My feelings exactly. So start planning your evening now. Call up some family and friends — anyone who also enjoys good wine (that leaves out half my family). Commandeer someone’s dining room table (the biggest you can find), and start searching your recipes for a wine-friendly dish to bring along with your wine.

It sounds like a blast. Stay tuned, because I’ll report on our OTBN and I’d like to hear some comments on yours, too. Cheers!

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