We all have a special bottle of wine or champagne that has been sitting on the wine rack just waiting to be uncorked for a special occasion. Well the occasion is now. For the past 10 years, groups of people around the world have been getting together to celebrate Open That Bottle Night. Taking place on the last Saturday of each February, friends and family gather to open a saved bottle and make a fun evening of it. Read on for a few tips on how to enjoy that special bottle of wine and celebrate Open That Bottle Night.
Tips for celebrating Open That Bottle Night
Preparing for the Evening
First and foremost you must figure out which bottle or bottles to open. If you are having a few guests over, then ask them to also bring their own special bottle to open. To help you decide, pick the bottle that has the most meaning or one you have been holding on to for a long time waiting for a special night.
Creating the Meal
If you are having dinner or appetizers. Make sure you prepare a wine friendly meal. Whether it is red or white, choose food and ingredients that will complement the focus of the meal — the wine.
Setting the Atmosphere
When you invite your guests, ask them not to wear perfume or cologne so the fragrance doesn't effect guests' experience of the wine. Display all the bottles of wine you will be serving so guests can read the labels. Save all the corks to the opened wines and start a collection (which will look great displayed in a vase on your bar). Have each guest describe what makes the bottle they brought special.
Ways to Drink the Wine
Of course, pouring the wine into glasses and drinking while eating and socializing is one way to go about drinking that special wine. But the whole reason for opening the wine is to really enjoy and savor it. So do a little blind tasting of each wine to decide what the favorite of the evening is or if you are having a sit-down dinner, pair each wine with a specific course to really get the whole feel for the wine.
How to Open the Bottle
Opening the bottle is, of course, the most important part. But with an older bottle, it can be a challenge. The best type of corkscrew to open dry or fragile corks is the two-pronged style. If you don't have this kind of corkscrew, then gently use a regular corkscrew. If the cork breaks into the wine, simply strain some of the wine through a coffee filter into a decanter to catch the cork.
To decant or not to decant
Most older wines don't need decanting because air could affect the flavor. If it is a younger wine, taste it and make your choice.
Just In Case
Sometimes that special bottle of wine has been in wait for too long. Have another wine ready if the wine you choose is older and went bad. You don't want the evening spoiled by a spoiled wine.
Just have Fun
The whole point of Open That Bottle Night is to have fun and indulge in something you have been saving. Don't worry about opening a bottle too soon or too late, just enjoy the bottle and the night with your friends.
For more on wine, check out these linksWhat is fair trade wine?
Wine trends: Best wines for 2009Top wine and beverage tips and recipes