Which wine will you open on Open That Bottle Night (OTBN) (23 February)?
This event was invented years ago by then-Wall Street Journal wine columnists Dorothy Gaiter and John Brecher. Here at our home, we will be opening a bottle of wine that is special to us on that night and will share it with you. Which wine will you choose?
Here are the guidelines, from the WSJ website:
1. Pick the wine that you will open. The wine should not necessarily be your “best” wine or most impressive wine, but the wine that means the most to you, the one that you would simply never open otherwise.
2. If it’s an older wine up, take it out of your wine case or cellar and, if it’s been stored horizontally, stand it up for several days before you open it on 23 February.
3. Both reds and whites are generally better closer to cellar temperature (around 55 degrees) than today’s room temperature. Don’t overchill the white, and think about putting the red in the refrigerator for an hour or two before opening it if you’ve been keeping it in a 70-degree house.
4. With an older bottle, the cork may break easily. Be prepared for the possibility that a fragile cork may fall apart with a regular corkscrew. If that happens, have a carafe and a coffee filter handy. Just pour enough through the coffee filter to catch the cork.
5. Otherwise, for older wines, do not decant. If the wine needs to breathe, there will be plenty of time for that throughout the evening.
6. Have a backup wine ready for your special meal, in case your old wine really has gone bad.
7. If you are having an OTBN party, ask everyone to say a few words about the significance of the wine they brought. This really is what OTBN is all about: sharing.
8. Serve dinner. Open the wine and immediately take a sip. If it’s truly, irretrievably bad — meaning vinegar — you will know it right away. But even if the wine doesn’t taste good at first, don’t rush to the sink to pour it out. Previous OTBN participants have said they were amazed how a wine pulled itself together and became delicious as the night wore on.