Maybe it was the fact that John Brecher and Dorothy Gaiter were writing their wine column for the Wall Street Journal, rather than a specific wine magazine. Maybe it’s the fact that Brecher and Gaiter, a husband and wife team, were (and still are) not snobs about wine and were totally into making it as approachable as possible, all the while sharing their special love story with us. Or maybe it was simply that they touched a nerve, when they first suggested Open That Bottle Night in the late 1990s.
The idea is to open a significant bottle – generally the one you’ve been saving for That Special Occasion, and yet no occasion special enough has yet occurred. Truth be told, that’s not generally an issue in our household. But for many wine lovers, one does tend to accumulate bottles and one does tend to save one or two really special ones to be opened when the time is right. Alas, too often the right time comes after the wine has oxidized and otherwise gone bad.
Brecher and Gaiter retired their popular column on December 26, 2009, but Open That Bottle Night, which officially became the last Saturday in February in 2000, seems to be living on. Several blogs and newspaper articles this week popped up encouraging the event. Apparently, there’s even a few charity fundraisers based on it. We say hooray! Aside from being massive fans of Gaiter and Brecher – who proved you could have good taste and still be open to something less expensive – we love the entire concept of finding a meaningful bottle and making a point of opening it.
Now, if you’re new to wine, chances are you don’t have any bottles that have been hanging around waiting for just the right Special Occasion to open. That does not mean you can’t participate. Why not make your special bottle a wine you’ve never tried before? Maybe you’ve never had the nerve to go to a wine store and buy something costing $20 or more. Maybe you’ve heard of oddballgrapes like negrette and wanted to try it, but never had the right time or occasion. Or maybe there was a bottle you drank on your first date with your beloved. Or maybe there is a bottle in your closet – a wine you picked up on your first time to wine country tasting wines.
Saturday night is the night to do open it and share your experiences, either here or on some other blog. But do share them. Wine is a wonderful thing and what makes it even better is the sharing.
We’re not sure what we’re opening – haven’t figure out what dinner will be (and that is an important first step). We are looking forward to a special dinner – and if we open what Mike suggested earlier this week – a great movie, too. Wine makes dinner special and sometimes you just need a good excuse to enjoy something out of the ordinary.