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  • Writer's pictureKelly Cave

Open That Bottle Night #OTBN

As we have gotten older, we have a greater appreciation for the moments we share with family and friends.  Rather than giving gifts we often can’t remember from year to year, we consciously try to create memories.  This doesn’t mean just special occasions.  A special memory can be as ordinary as a Sunday afternoon visit.  For us, a lot of those times involve opening a bottle of wine.  Whether it be sharing a memorable bottle of wine or introducing someone to a North Carolina wine, we enjoy drinking and discussing wine.  Some people collect magnets from their travels. We pick up bottles of wine, open them later, and reminisce.  I am all for letting a young wine age while the tannins soften.   This doesn’t have to be the end game for every bottle of wine. 

Open That Bottle Night (OTBN) has been celebrated on the last Saturday in February for over 25 years.  Created by Wall Street Journalists and husband and wife John Brecher and Dorothy (Dottie) Gaiter in 1998, the pair sought to encourage wine lovers to open that special bottle they had been saving.  Open it with friends and family and create your special occasion.  Whether it be a bottle you purchased on your honeymoon, a bottle from a faraway destination, or a bottle that had a cool label.  Open it and enjoy it with those around you.  Their answer to the often-asked question of “When should I open this bottle of wine?” is now a global event celebrated around the world.  Does the wine need to be aged to be worthy of OTBN?  Absolutely not! The bottle you choose to open is the perfect bottle to open.  The fun is discussing if the wine has special meaning, whether it is a particular grape you enjoy or if you enjoy the winemaker/owners of the winery.  

Want to celebrate the event but not sure how to start?  We have a few suggestions.

  1. Open a bottle of wine with dinner.  It's as simple as that.

  2. If you aren’t ready to invite a group of people and discuss wine, that’s ok.  Start with just you and one other person.  Pick a price range; one person picks a red, and another picks a white.  Please start with the basics: talk about the color, taste, how it feels, and why you chose the wine.  

  3. Invite a few people over, each bringing a bottle and food pairing.  Play around with how wine and food interact.  

  4. Pick out several wines and have friends guess as much information about the wine as their wine experience allows.  Keep it simple.  For wine novices, choosing red or white is ok.  For more experienced wine drinkers, get into grape varieties.  Of course, all over a nice meal.  Turn off the TV, sit at a decorated table, and slow down.  

  5. Send someone a bottle of wine for them to enjoy OTBN. 

This year, we celebrate OTBN with Mandi Casey, The Low Country Bella. She has curated a 4-course meal, and we paired each course with a North Carolina wine. All the recipes can be found at Check out our video on our social media Saturday, February 24.


Wine Pairing

North Carolina Winery

White Bean Dip

Grūner Veltliner

Arugula Salad

Dry Rose


Cabernet Sauvignon

Nutella Bites


Have you purchased your tickets for Winey Friends’ first-ever pop-up event at Hidden Vineyard?  Tickets are available on Eventbrite.  The experience includes a tasting paired with charcuterie, wine discussion, and meeting fellow wine lovers of all levels.

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