Open That Bottle Night

Tannin can be stubborn, and not all wines soften with age. (Photo: SIRI STAFFORD/GETTY IMAGES)

A date for the diary – Saturday 25th February. It’s “Open That Bottle Night” (OTBN).

In the words of Dorothy Gaiter, writer for the Wall Street Journal for over a decade and founder of OTBN,

“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.”

Keith Hammond is the chief organiser for the launch of OTBN in New Zealand. Keith says,

“The most important thing is that this night is not about an event at a specific place, it’s about people ‘opening that bottle’. They can do it at home alone, they can do it at a friend’s house, they can go to their favourite restaurant and pay the corkage, or they can attend an event at a restaurant. I’d love to have events at all the major centres, but I’m not sure I have the time to get that off the ground.

We’re going to have a small event at Baduzzi for 16 people on Sunday the 25th at 6.30pm. We’re going to have it booked through the webpage on our site on a first come first served basis. The cost is NZD $100pp for food, glassware, decanters etc.”

I think it’s a great idea. I will certainly take part in the event and have already identified my special bottle. It’s a 1998 Clarendon Hills ‘Australis’ Shiraz from McLaren Vale. It’s been sitting in my Vintec for an age. Can’t recall where I got it from but I do remember that Robert Parker gave it 98 points. I plan to enjoy it with lamb shanks and have a bottle of 1998 Te Mata Coleraine on standby if it’s corked.

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