Wine should be joyful. If you ever think it becomes routine to people in the industry, we’d urge you to look at the picture of Marcus Notaro as he celebrates Open That Bottle Night. Notaro is the head winemaker at Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars and quite famous, but when it came to OTBN, he was like a kid in a candy store and it shows on his face.
“I enjoy celebrating Open That Bottle Night each year. I chose the 1997 S.L.V. as it’s from a benchmark vintage in Napa Valley and the wines in the mid-’90s are in a sweet spot right now,” he told us. (His lovely video of tasting the wine is on Twitter @StagsLeapCASK23.)
Winemakers from all over – Singlefile Wines in Australia, Domaine Gayda in Languedoc – opened special bottles, too. And it wasn’t just winemakers, of course. OTBN was celebrated by regular wine-loving folks from El Salvador,to Chicago to South ...
Only the oldest of Miami old-timers will remember that there used to be a Grand Union on Coral Way. It was replaced long ago by a sad mall. We lived in Miami then and bought some of our wines at that Grand Union. On Jan. 3, 1980, we picked up a bottle of Always Elvis, an Italian white we carefully noted as “non-vintage,” for $3.29.
We created OTBN in 1999 for a simple reason: When we started writing about wine, the question we received most often was “I have this one special bottle that I got on vacation (or at my wedding, or at an auction…) When do I open it?” Our answer was always: NOW! But we realized it’s not that easy. Sometimes, the longer we save a bottle “for a special occasion,” the bigger the special occasion has to become and the memories and joy inside that bottle get trapped forever.
Given the state of the world, we never would have guessed this, but Open That Bottle Night 2021 reached new heights, celebrated by wine stores from Massachusetts to Singapore, by wineries from Australia to Tuscany and by shut-in-for-too-long people from Jamaica to Sonoma.
We’ve heard it over and over during the past year: “Now every night is Open That Bottle Night!” In the midst of such a horrific year, people decided to finally enjoy those bottles of wine that had been just too special to open.
“We’ve been pairing our wines to our movie selections. First, a 2015 Williams Selyem Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir and ‘Casablanca’ — Morocco is on the coast so figured we’d have a coastal wine." Lynn Penner-Ash
"We invented OTBN in 1999 because it seems like everybody has that one bottle of wine that’s too special to open. So we said, fine, on the last Saturday of February, let’s all corkscrew up our courage and do it together." Dorothy J. Gaiter & John Brecher