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I grew up in a family that believed in saving special (fancy) things for special occasions. Makeup and hairspray came out only for proms or weddings. The good china and crystal made an appearance once a year, at Christmas dinner. Trashy-yet-delicious candy, like Reese's peanut butter cups and Almond Joys, were only allowed in Halloween bags or Easter baskets and were thus battled over between siblings and either gobbled all at once or stashed away for safe keeping. Because of this, I've become a wine hoarder. Not just the great bottles, like cult Napa cabs and rare Brunellos, but really anything over $50 gets stored in my wine fridge or sent home to my mom's basement (my temporary wine cellar) to be saved for the perfect occasion. And the result is that the occasion is never perfect enough.
That's why I adore Open That Bottle Night. The "holiday" was created 10 years ago by husband-and-wife Dorothy Gaiter and John Brecher, who write the Wall Street Journal's wine column Tastings. In a nutshell, their motto is, Why wait? Drink it now. Drink it with friends. I'll be snowboarding with friends in Vermont this OTBN, Saturday February 28, and my ’03 Chateau Smith Haut Lafitte Grand vin de Graves and my ‘97 Kendall Jackson Stature Cab will be perfect for après-ski drinking.
Anyone else holding on to a special bottle, I urge you to open it this Saturday with friends. Host your own party or join one of these others going on around the country.