Please The Palate Pick of the Week: Open That Bottle Night

How many times do you buy a bottle of wine and then save it for a “special occasion”? Perhaps it was a bottle of Champagne given to you for graduation that you thought you would save for another celebration. Perhaps you picked up a bottle on your travels and are waiting for a special meal with the “right” people to open that bottle. No matter the wine and the reason you were waiting, tonight, the last Saturday in February, is the night to open that bottle and enjoy it. Open That Bottle Night is the Please The Palate pick of the week.

I have a lot of wine bottles at home. And because of my work, I receive new bottles of wine almost weekly. Keeping on top of the bottles I have at home is challenging. Even though I have them all in a spreadsheet, it is only when I am searching for something in particular that I come across wines I forgot I had, many of which should probably have been drunk a few years ago. I have some white wines, particularly Sauvignon Blanc, that are more than 10 years old, and I have Roses that from a few vintages ago. It is a gamble whether these wines are still drinkable and while they might still be sound wines, they may have lost the freshness and vitality they are known for. And then there are the Champagne bottles. I am guilty of holding on to many of these bottles to “enjoy later” and yet later has not come. Now, I am a fan of aged Champagne as it loses some of its carbonation, turns a deeper color, and the flavors will evolve into nutty, honey and toasty flavors, but that does not mean every bottle of NV Champagne that I have was meant to age.

While there are wines that we want to age, there is no reason to save wine for special occasions. We can make any night a special night with that special bottle of wine. And that is the impetus of Open That Bottle Night created by Dorothy Gaither and John Becher in 2000. They created this day to encourage people to re-connect with each other over a good bottle of wine or Champagne.

The hard part is choosing the wine. It does not have to be the oldest wine you have or the most expensive, although it can be. Perhaps it is a bottle you picked up last time you were in Italy or France or Spain or Portugal or somewhere else. Or perhaps it was a bottle gifted to you.

We do no want to wait until it it too late. Not only do we not want to risk the wine going bad, but with the way life goes, we need to enjoy everything we can when we are able! Ideally, on Open That Bottle Night, you should open that bottle with a spouse, lover, family members, or good friends. But, this year, many of us as still alone in our homes. So, whether you are alone or with a loved one, pick out a special bottle of wine, remember why it is special to you, and enjoy the wine for what it is and the happiness it brings you! And share the wine you picked and share in the comments!!!