Lots of people have special bottles of wine that they are hoarding—expensive, old, or just too memory-laden to drink. Wall Street Journal wine columnists Dorothy J. Gaiter and John Brecher think it’s a shame to let bottles waste away in a cellar when they could be giving untold pleasure in the drinking. So they invented a holiday to encourage folks to pop those corks. The seventh annual Open that Bottle Night was held the last Saturday in February.
If you can stand a huge dose of schadenfreude, turn off your computer and run right out to buy today’s WSJ (it’s not available online—how web 1.0). Gaiter and Brecher have collected emails from around the world detailing what wine lovers everywhere did to celebrate the holiday. I guarantee it will inspire you to have a nice glass with your dinner tonight.
Bill Lee and his wife, Kate, hosted 14 couples who opened about 20 bottles ranging from a 1966 Chateaux Margaux [!] to ‘“hooch” made by my parents in the 1980s.’
I had little hope for this 1971 Charmes-Chambertin. I was under the impression that a 36-year-old Burgundy would be well past its prime…. Imagine our surprise when it turned out to be the best wine of the evening…. I thought that was a great metaphor for old age in people.
Wine bloggers got into the act, too: Boston Wine Buzz cracked a BV 1999 Reserve Tapestry that “retained most of its fruit flavors, but…also turned smooth as silk.” Blanc de Noir opened a memory-laden 2004 Muscat Ottonel that was full of green apples, as well as a 2003 Chateauneuf-du-Pape. It was “a cowboy in a tuxedo. Aromatic and full of old leather, dirt, and barnyard. Mushroom plus a hint of truffles came out later.”
But folks, don’t try to duplicate the results that the blog Taste Everything Once got when it opened a five-year-old bottle of joke wine it had kept in the sun. Open that Yellow Tail night was a smashing success.
[I]t was everything you’d imagine a five year old bottle of abused Yellow Tail to taste like. Thin, red vinegar, sugar water.