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Open That Bottle Night 2024

Updated: Feb 20

If you’re a wine lover I bet you have that one bottle. You know the one I mean. The one that was so expensive. The one that was given to you for a special occasion. Or the one you got when you visited that great winery in France back in 2002. This bottle is on the high altar of your wine fridge. It’s so important to you that you’re afraid to ever open it.


So you don’t. And the wine goes bad, or gets lost in a move.

It’s time to stop your wine shrine! Wine isn’t meant to be wrapped in plastic like your great grandma’s couch. It’s meant to be shared and enjoyed TODAY.


Ok, but when should you open that bottle? If you’re not going to open it tonight, join me for Open That Bottle Night on Feb. 24, 2024. This international event was started in 1999 by the coolest wine couple, Dorothy Gaiter and John Brecher, the founders of the WSJ wine column.


I recently met Dottie and John when they were speaking at the 2024 Wine Writers’ Symposium, where I was honored to be one of the Fellows. They told me that the event started because so many readers wrote to them asking when they should open that special bottle they had.

"Our first Open That Bottle Night was the most special because we had no idea how readers would react to it and we were surprised and thrilled by how they embraced it," said Dottie and John. "We were in constant communication with our readers, so we knew we shared with them the habit of putting off opening special bottles, but we had no idea that OTBN would resonate as it has, globally, for all these years. Or that it would be a question on Jeopardy!"


What is Open That Bottle Night?

Open That Bottle Night is about friendship, community and memory-making. You don’t need a special occasion to enjoy good wine. The wine and the people you share it with makes the occasion.


All you need to do to participate in this global event is to take that bottle off its pedestal, plan a meal around it and invite whoever you love to share it with you. Simple.


What I’ll be Drinking

Two bottles of wine and glasses
My Open That Bottle Night wine

I’ve been torn between two bottles for Open That Bottle Night but I’ve decided to go with the Mt. Brave Cabernet Sauvignon 2019. During the Wine Writers’ Symposium Bootcamp, I enjoyed a tasting class of four different Napa Cabs and it made me excited to see how this one from high on Mt. Veeder compares.


Crafted by winemaker Chris Carpenter, who is also the winemaker for Napa’s iconic Lokoya and Cardinale, I’m expecting to be wowed by this wine, even in its youth.


Mt. Veeder is the largest AVA in Napa, but has the lowest average yields in the region. Unlike the rest of Napa, Mt. Veeder has ancient seabed soil and wild diurnal temperature swings. This makes it one of the coolest places in Napa to grow grapes with a harvest that can push into November.  


I’ll be enjoying it with my two favorite people in the world, my husband and my mom. Right there is all I need to make it a night worth opening some amazing wine.

"Even though there is an official date for OTBN, special bottles should be opened as often as possible because no one is promised tomorrow," said Gaiter.

Have I enticed you to open that bottle you’ve been saving? If so, drop a comment and let me know the story behind the wine you’ll be enjoying this Open That Bottle Night. And check out the "ghost bottle" that Dottie and John will be popping the cork on this year.

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