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Open That Bottle Night

Dorothy J. Gaiter and John Brecher, who from 1998 through 2010 wrote "Tastings," the wine column in The Wall Street Journal, came up with Open That Bottle Night (OTBN) in 1999, and it was first celebrated the following year. The idea for the day came as a response to a question they—and, as they found out, other wine writers—commonly received: "When should we drink the bottles of wine that are most dear to us?" They decided to create a day when people would open their prized wine all around the world.

Celebrated by friends, families, couples, and groups on the last Saturday in February, the day illustrates that wine is not just a liquid, but is about all the important things in life—about history, geography, relationships, memories, and more. OTBN parties are held at homes, and some wineries host events or make special wines for the occasion. Today we uncork treasured bottles of wine that have been saved for a special occasion. These are not always the rarest, best, or most impressive bottles of wine. Instead, they are those that mean the most to those who are drinking them. A bottle may have memories attached to it that a price can not be attached to.

How to Observe Open That Bottle Night

Celebrate by opening that bottle of wine that you've been saving for a special occasion. This doesn't need to be your most impressive or best bottle of wine, but can instead be the one that is the most special to you. Perhaps you bought it on a memorable trip with a loved one; perhaps it was given to you on an important occasion. Whatever the case, you can finally enjoy it today with friends, family, or your partner. You could host an Open That Bottle party where everyone brings a bottle and shares why they chose to bring the one they did. You could give someone a bottle of wine that they could open on next year's holiday. If you live near a winery, you could check to see if they are holding any special events today.

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