Eight Ways to Celebrate “Open That Bottle Night”

WINE 101

Eight Ways to Celebrate "Open That Bottle Night"

JANUARY 18, 2022

Open that Bottle Night was created in 2000 by wine journalists and married couple, Dorothy Gaiter and John Brecher, authors of The Wall Street Journal “Tastings” column (1998-2010). The holiday takes place every year on the last Saturday in February.

The idea came to Dorothy and John after having received numerous questions from readers on when to open a particular bottle. Instead of responding to each request, they decided to publish a column urging people to just open a bottle that they had been holding onto for a special occasion. Why? Because the bottle itself was reason to celebrate!

Their book, Love by the Glass, details more than 20 wines that made a lasting impression on them, mostly because the wines were integral to something important happening in their lives when they opened them.

Twenty-two years later, this wine holiday has become a sentimental favorite for wine lovers everywhere.

Here are eight ways to celebrate:   

  1. Find the oldest bottle in your cellar and uncork it. Be prepared to see some sediment (these are tartaric crystals that won’t hurt you, but you’ll want to filter them out before drinking). Decant for only for about 15-20 minutes as older wines need much less aeration. Use these tips for opening an older bottle.
  2. Open your most inexpensive bottle. It doesn’t have to be fancy. Dorothy and John’s first shared wine was a bottle of André Cold Duck!
  3. Have a small get together and ask everyone to bring that one special bottle.
  4. This might be cheating a bit, but buy a different variety to have on hand to open. If you’re always drinking Cabernet Sauvignon, sample a Merlot. Always sipping Chardonnay? Pop open a Viognier.  
  5. Ditto when it comes to region. Why not try a new variety and producer from South Africa, Australia, Italy, France or Chile?
  6. Pick up our 2002 Freemark Abbey Sycamore Cabernet Sauvignon library wine and reminisce about what you were doing, watching, and listening to that year. (Nickelback, anyone?)
  7. A toast with bubbles, like our sparkling brut rosé, is always a great idea.
  8. Please make sure to share your pick on social media with #openthatbottle night and #OTBN!