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Open That Bottle Night #OTBN ... 24 Feb 2018


Some of you may already be familiar with this event, but maybe this will reach some new fans of what is a GREAT idea.


This coming Saturday, February 24th 2018 is the 11th anniversary of a global wine event called: Open That Bottle Night.

The original event was created and promoted by Dorothy J. Gaiter who was wine columnist with The Wall Street Journal for many years and it was shared by many of us who were already active in wine social media way back then.

There are many tastings on social media today, but when this was launched there were almost none and this also had the benefit of being a global event. What makes this different to other tastings, including our own #twstaste events is that many of those bring people together to taste the same wines - so it matters where you are based, and how easily you can get the wines.

OTBN is not about tasting the same wine, but is about digging out that special bottle that has sat in your wine rack for YEARS waiting for a perfect moment that never seems to arrive - and may in fact have already passed. Don’t waste it! Don’t wait! Make the moment happen, and open that bottle!

Dorothy, and some well-connected friends explain more here:


If you have a bottle that has been waiting for a special moment, then NOW IS THE TIME.

If you plan on taking part, let us know. The main event will include sharing your thoughts and experiences not just with your friends and family present, but with the world, using the hashtag: #OTBN

However, don’t forget your friends here as well. Let’s also share some experiences here and maybe stay in touch. If you do plan on taking part, then let us know what wine you might choose - and what the story is behind it.

Weekend Drinking Thread [24 Feb]

That is a very good initiative… I have a couple of bottles in mind…


This week my daughter becomes a teenager, and Saturday is her party … so I may have to open a bottle from 2005 (if I have one hiding somewhere - pretty sure I do)



Hope you find a red Burgundy PC or GC or Bordeaux… should be drinking beautifully now.


I don’t have immediate acess to anything that would really qualify, but hopefully I’ll have finished painting the living room by then and will celebrate with some 1999 Alfred Gratien champagne :champagne:


This is my prime candidate, originally picked up two bottles about 5 years back from Averys wine cellar in Bristol. The last bottle was sublime and I’ve only been hanging on for a suitable occasion.


Sorry, but with the Six Nations on Saturday, especially Calcutta cup, an aged vintage bottle of vino would be a waste. I will certainly hunt out some good beer whilst praying for the Sassenachs’ victory.
We are meeting a lot of friends, some of Celtic origin, and will be taking a magnum of 2010 Tour Saint Bonnet for the evening, in honour of the very Proud Edward who was king of the area.


I’ve got guests, they own a winery so something special may be in order.
Gentle start with a magnum of Segla 2008 to wash down dinner, then some Port towards the end…

1945 Taylor’s Vintage. My only concern is that it’s still a bit young . We’ll see, might get replaced with a top flight sticky…


I have been delaying having this wine so long that it is past the drinking window (luckily only the TWS window)… time to open


In which case we’d better dust down and drink our bottle of 1994 Urbina Gran Reserva. Probably fits in the the ‘over the hill’ category nicely.


Found a little gem that has been sitting in the cellar for ages. It isn’t from my daughter’s birth year, but it was bought while my wife and I toured Alsace while she was pregnant with her.

It is a bottle of Rolly Gassmann 1998 Gewurztraminer … and really deserves to be opened. I have no idea what to expect but will take the Coravin to it shortly to find out (and make sure it is still OK).

Does anyone have suggestions for food to make on Saturday to match this wine? I’m stumped


I would not pair with a dish, just enjoy with a conversation… or maybe blue cheese


unfortunately … I hate cheese :sob:


I’d go for spicy Chinese crab or Thai fishcakes. Although with all that bottle age perhaps best to sip slowly on its own.


Just cooking some lamb chops with chorizo, chickpeas and tomatoes to go with my Rioja… Coravinned my Kistler Pinot Noir to help with the cooking.


OMG … I’ve finally got around to ‘coravin’ my bottle for later (just to check you understand) and despite it being a ‘humble’ version of Rolly Gassmann’s stable (not one of the single vineyards), and despite it being 20 years old, this wine is FABULOUS


I once had a 15 year old Hugel Jubilee Gewurztraminer, never had anything from that grape that came close. Alsace wine is really underrated which is a good thing as you can pick up stunning wines at non eye watering prices.


This is still pretty good… based on first sip. You can taste the age, but fruit andacidity also.


Update. Who cares about drink by dates! This was lovely. Sweet, vanilla, tropical fruits. A delight and we still have one bottle left :yum:


Since I don’t post to my blog any more, it makes sense to share my thoughts here and then share this post instead.

For this #OBTN I chose to open this bottle of Rolly Gassmann Gewurztraminer 1998.

I bought this bottle direct from the winery in 2004 when my wife and I visited the region. We had planned the holiday for some time, but by the time we visited, my wife was pregnant and so was not able to taste the wines as we had planned. However, we still visited the region and the wineries to get to know it better and Rolly Gassmann had been suggested to me by friends before I left the UK.

We popped along with no particular expectation, but thanks to a series of fortunate events, we were met by Pierre Gassmann (the winemaker) himself who offered not only to let us taste wines, but to take us on a walk of the vineyards. Wow, that man knows his soils! My French was almost up to the task of understanding the explanations he was giving, but it wasn’t quite up to the simultaneous translation required to inform and motivate my pregnant and tired wife accompanying us. It felt amazing, but I will admit that not enough actually stuck in my mind other than … “this guy knows what he is doing”.

We made it back to the winery and basically had free rein to taste any of the ‘current’ vintages, and since this meant dozens of bottles over many different years, from blends to single vineyards and up to Grand Cru, this was an amazing opportunity. Of course, since only one of us (me) was actually doing the tasting, we (I) had to be well behaved and not spend too long.

I actually managed to repeat this tasting with Pierre Gassmann many years later at Vinexpo, spending almost 2 hours going through ALL his wines. It was an fantastic experience and I still treasure those tasting notes.

In the end we bought a selection of bottles (rather than cases). We were young, had little disposable income and no experience of storing wines.

The bottles from that visit have been consumed over the years - Rieslings, Pinot Gris and more, but this bottle of Gewurztraminer managed to always be left on the rack - “too old”, “maybe too sweet”, “might be too funky for our guests”, “too special for tonight” … etc.

So, for OTBN, and coinciding with the fact that the baby we were carrying in those days just became a teenager, it seemed a good day to try the wine.


This was truly fantastic. I’d never have known it was 20 years old. It was fresh, approachable and so well balanced. The nose was still so invitingly floral, with that vaguely musky note - reminding me of a lilly, but also of roses. The palate was sublime. Rich without being cloying. Honeyed but not viscous. Nutty but fresh. I even let my 13 year old try it, and we all agreed it reminded us of a slice of Turkish delight - with rosewater, almond nuttiness, sprinkles of icing sugar and a honeyed after-taste.

We drank it with some roast gammon and also kept some back for an after-dinner treat of smoked salmon pate - both of which were excellent matches.

I’m so grateful to this bottle for the memories of our life before our daughter came into our lives, and of the wonderful holiday memories, but also for keeping us company all that time and for offering the opportunity for this trip back in time.

And thank you Pierre Gassmann for caring so much about your soils and your grapes, and for bringing us such great pleasure.