Wine Talk

Snooth User: Lucha Vino

Open that Bottle Night

Posted by Lucha Vino, Feb 12, 2013.

Open that bottle night is coming up on February 23rd.  What bottle are you holding on to for that "special occasion?"  This is the night that gives you the reason to Open That Bottle!

What are you going to open?

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Reply by JonDerry, Feb 12, 2013.

I have a Rhone party on the 23rd so I imagine I'll be swimming in CdP, St. Joseph, and some stuff from Paso to compare. The only thing I'm 100% sure on is a 2009 Lillian Syrah will be opened.

Reply by Anna Savino, Feb 12, 2013.

Jonderry.. I have a bottle of CdP I would like to open as well as a Bordeaux blend from Paso! Let's do it and compare notes:) What vintage is the CdP?


Reply by Mike Madaio, Feb 12, 2013.

I was actually thinking about some late-90s Hermitage. Great minds?

Reply by JonDerry, Feb 12, 2013.

Anna, I already have some notes written for 2010 CdP's Vieux Telegraphe "La Crau", (showing great with a few hours in the decanter!), and Vieux Donjon, also very good but needs to be layed down for 5-10 years IMO. The only other vintages I own are 07' (Beaucastel), and 09' (Charvin, Pegau Reservee, and Beaucastel), but don't plan to open them anytime soon.

I liked the 10' Vieux Telegraphe so much that I think I'll try the CdP Blanc for this, and am thinking about an 08' Terry Hoague "The Hedge" Syrah from Paso, or maybe an 09' Epoch Authenticity or Ingenuity.

P.S. How was Switzerland??

Reply by EMark, Feb 12, 2013.

I remember something about this event on Feb. 23, but really do not recall specifics.  Is the idea to have something (a new wine?  a treasure I've been saving?), and post here on the Forum?

Reply by Lucha Vino, Feb 12, 2013.

EMark - Here is some more detail on Open That Bottle Night.

It was started some time ago by Dottie and John Gaiter while working as the wine writers for the Wall Street Journal.  The basic idea is to give people a reason to "open that bottle" they are saving for a special occasion that they have not found yet.

It would be great to have all the Snoothers that open a special bottle on February 23rd post their tasting notes here!

Reply by Richard Foxall, Feb 12, 2013.

Sounds like a plan, Lucha, and also a good opportunity to write some posts for your blog.  Let me know if you want me to jump in. That day my wife's wine loving nephew will be visiting. so we'll probably be able to polish off something good.  I finally have a WA tempranillo, for one, but there are always chances it'll be Bordeaux v. Napa or maybe Burgundy v. SLH or Sonoma coast.

Reply by Lucha Vino, Feb 13, 2013.

Hey Fox,

I would love to have you do a guest post.  Feel free to do any type of matchup that strkes your fancy.  We also have the Giro d' Italia coming up in May if you want to do something with an Italian them in May.

I'm going to be opening a 2004 Chateau des Tours Vacqueyras from the Rhone for OTBN.  It is 80% Grenache and 20% Syrah.  I'm not sure what I will pick for the Washington combatant.  I might venture out of Washington into Portland, Oregon, and open a Grenache from Alchemy Wine Productions.  The grapes are sourced from the Rogue Valley in Southern Oregon.

Reply by amour, Feb 13, 2013.

Lucha Vino, would love to hear your views on your Vacqueyras.....there was a time that Vacqueyras was widely regarded as too rustic and too harsh when young, but producers are getting around that, I gather.

The last one I had was pleasant but nothing to write home about.


Reply by vino in love, Feb 14, 2013.

I don't get OTBN. Why should I open a special wine that day? Special wines are meant for special days. February 23rd has for the majority of wine drinkers no important meaning.

It's just a day invented by the wine lobby to make you open your special wine so that you have to buy new one afterwards!

Reply by EMark, Feb 14, 2013.

I certainly hear you, V i V.  This is the way I chose to look at it.  On the 23rd I'm going to open a bottle and enjoy it anyway.  So, why not create a festival, even though there are probably commercial motivations for such a creation, and join my fellow wine buffs?  I get to define what "special" is.  I'm giving serious thought to the 1986 Clos du Bakersfield Special Select Double Reserve Unoaked Retsina-Verdejo.

I believe you live in Italy.  So, maybe you don't understand.  Here in the U.S. we are constantly barraged with artificial, commercially-contrived "holidays."  Today, for example is St. Valentines day.  In the U.S. this has morphed into a day to make your sweetheart feel special--preferably, by buying something for her.  By coincidence my wife and I had a meeting with our financial advisor, this morning.  So, we decided to have a Valentine's Day lunch afterward.  Here is where I really lucked out.  I ordered a bottle of wine--a 2008 Sonoma Coast Chardonnay from Flowers Winery.  When the waiter brought it to the table, my wife cleverly gushed, "Ooh, I'm getting Flowers for Valentines Day." 

Reply by Richard Foxall, Feb 14, 2013.

Sometimes we need a reminder here in the US not to live for tomorrow.  (Sometimes we need a reminder the other way.)  There have been lots of threads on here about people who are waiting for that special occasion to open a nice bottle and then it never comes.  Of course, they need to live closer to me and invite me over.  That would be good reason. 

I'll do it because it's a made up occasion I can get behind.  Unlike Christmas, which I could do without. But I make lots of occasions to share wine.  This Friday we will do Shabbat dinner. (As Marty Feldman said, "I'm not a Jew, but I'm Jew-ish.") My nephew and his girlfriend (also not Jewish) will join us.  We'll open a couple bottles of grenache because they are the family members who most like that grape.  That will make it special.  Then, on Sunday, we are having the Zinner Party.  Lots of Zinfandel--a follow up to Bring a Pinot Night.  (Still pending:  Que Syrah? A Night in the Northern Rhone.) Then there are all the days that end in 'y." 

So one more reason to share on February 23rd? Sounds good to me.

Reply by Lucha Vino, Feb 15, 2013.

I'm with Fox,

I read an article a few years back about a guy with a wine cellar full of special bottles.  They were all so "special" that he never opened them.  Not when his children graduated from high school or college.  Not when his children got married.  Not when he had a special date to remember with his wife or other family members. 

No date was "special" enough to open that special bottle.  What a shame... 

With that image in my mind, I will find a bottle to open next Saturday to enjoy with my family and friends.  It might not be the most bitchin' bottle in my cellar.  But, it will most likely be a bottle that I have passed over numerous times because the day is just not right for drinking "that bottle." 

I hope you all can find something to open and enjoy on the 23rd of February!  Or any other day of the year for that matter.


Reply by Lucha Vino, Mar 1, 2013.

Here is what I ended up opening for Open That Bottle Night - a French and Oregon wine.  I took this opportunity to venture outside the state of Washington for my wine matchup.  Two distinctly different styles.  Both with their own unique qualities.  You can read about this battle on my Lucha Vino Blog

Reply by Richard Foxall, Mar 3, 2013.

Fun matchup, Lucha.  I completely forgot to post about Open That Bottle night, but I did mention that my wife's family would be over.  We had a sparkling Vouvray at brunch that day and something modest that evening. 

With the Giro coming up, I need to get on it and find a good matchup so I can guest-blog for you.  Where does the time go?

But, wait, Paris-Nice just started today!  I can figure something French v. New World, I bet.  (I've got some Syrah from WA on the counter, in fact.)  Expect a personal email with attachment, Lucha.

Reply by Lucha Vino, Mar 3, 2013.

Excellent Fox! I was planning on a Paris-Nice inspired match for next weekend.  I would love to have you cover that for me with another guest appearance.

Reply by jtryka, Mar 5, 2013.

I know this is late, but I opened up a 1988 Brunello, it was quite nice!

Reply by EMark, Mar 5, 2013.

JT, how long have you been saving that wine?


Reply by jtryka, Mar 6, 2013.

I actually bought it in Rome in 1995 for 24,000 lira and have been saving it ever since!

Reply by redpoz, Mar 8, 2013.

Man, I missed this... actually, I am really looking forward for a "special" occasion to open a Eiswein from Austria I bought in december. very courious!

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