Even the most casual of wine drinkers have those bottles. Ones given as gifts, maybe purchased during a memorable vacation, or impulsively added to the shopping basket to celebrate a never-arriving milestone (the shop worker said it was a good vintage!). Yet, at home, it remains untouched and collecting dust. ‘One day’, we say to ourselves while considering other options to open. Well, February 25th is the day. Grab the bottle you’ve been waiting to drink (for whatever unspecified occasion) and open it for Open That Bottle Night.
Open That Bottle Night celebrates the mere fact that this special wine belongs to you. Stop staring at it on your shelf or passing it by in your cellar — drink it already! Gather your nearest and dearest, the ones who will relish in the tale of how it was acquired and savor all it has to offer.
Since its humble beginnings in 2000, social media has helped launch the Open That Bottle Night (#OTBN) to become a global phenomenon. Held annually on the last Saturday in February, the occasion marks the most memorable wines. Not always the most expensive or prestigious, but those that relate to a personal connection that is too special and meaningful not to celebrate and share.
To help inspire and get the juices flowing (literally), here are some bottles the team at SOMM TV will be opening for Open That Bottle Night.
Champagne Brut 2002
“Wine Searcher values this vintage at around $137. A drop in the bucket for most cellar-worthy wines but far from an everyday pour, nonetheless.
This wine was gifted to me by the fine folks at Pol Roger, one that my husband and I trucked home in our luggage (somewhat haphazardly, in hindsight) following a 2013 tour of the House’s underground tunnels. Three stories of caves in Epernay, France, store 10 million bottles, as far down as 33 meters (108 feet). It was a once-in-a-lifetime sight and experience that we couldn’t stop talking about on the train ride back to Paris.
Most reviews say we could continue to hold this bottle until 2035. But now that it’s past its 20-year mark, we’re ready to experience it. Likely with some plain kettle-cooked potato chips. There’s nothing like that high-low lifestyle!”
Managing Editor, Magazine
Grand Cru Engelberg Riesling 2011
“I purchased this Alsatian Riesling while filming SOMM: Into The Bottle back in 2014, and it happens to be one of the very few wines I’ve managed to hold onto from that period. It sits in my wine fridge, waiting for the perfect choucroute garnie to eat with it. Every time I see this bottle, it takes me back to Alsace, which is one of the most picturesque wine-growing regions in France.”
Senior VP, Production
“Captain’s Table” Junmai Daiginjo Genshu Sake
“I am going to throw a wild card into the mix with my bottle of this beautiful Junmai Daiginjo Genshu sake from the Dewazakura brewery. Located in the Japanese Alps in the Yamagata prefecture, Dewazakura has been producing pristine, high-quality sake since 1893. It retails for around $100. Unlike wine, most sake is meant to be drunk young. The small percentage designed to be aged is known as “koshu,” which this sake is not, meaning I can feel no guilt in opening this baby up!
This sake was given to me in October 2021 on my last night as wine director at Sushi Note. It was a parting gift from my absolute treasure of a sake rep. This bottle symbolizes so much. To me, it represents my pride in working at Sushi Note and creating a program that meant so much to me. It reminds me of all the exceptional people I worked with there who became family and the many guests who quickly became close friends. And it reminds me of how humbling and necessary it is to step out of one’s comfort zone and to live in the “I don’t know” because it is only there, in that terrifying place, that we can grow. That’s a whole lot of emotion wrapped up into one little bottle!
I will drink this nicely chilled, most likely on its own, and reminisce as the memories, and this exquisite sake, unfurl in my glass.”
Wine Communications Manager
Brunello di Montalcino 2006
“We were filming in Tuscany during SOMM: Into the Bottle when we interviewed Florio Guerrini, the current winemaker at the estate. His wife’s father, Martini Manfredi, bought the vineyard in the 1950s while he worked for Biondi Santi. They farm the vineyard with minimal inputs, and the wines are flat-out delicious traditional old-school Brunello. The way Florio spoke about wine during his interview was so poetic and natural that he was a real inspiration to me on our filming journey through Tuscany. This wine is so delicious and truly a special wine of place. Cheers!”
Head of Audio
“I will be opening one of the most gonzo bottles I have, the first known vintage of Trader Joe’s Cabernet. This bottle is the beginning of the story of the man who founded Trader Joe’s grocery store and, even crazier, the origin of the famous ‘Two Buck Chuck’. I have two bottles, and from all I can find, they are the only two to still exist.
Keep your eyes peeled on SOMM TV for a future Cellar Stories episode featuring this bottle.”
Chief Creative Officer