Did you know that February 23rd is a foodie holiday of sorts? Me neither. It’s actually OTBN, which stands for Open That Bottle Night. Many of us have bottles of wine in our cellars or wine racks that we’ve been saving for a special occasion. The trouble is, which occasion is special enough?
Started in the late 90s by Dorothy J. Gaiter and John Brecher of the Wall Street Journal, Open That Bottle Night has gained tremendous popularity; every year, more and more bottles are uncorked all over the U.S. on the last Saturday of February.
“We invented OTBN for a simple reason: All of us, no matter how big or small our wine collections, have that single bottle of wine we simply can never bear to open. Maybe it’s from Grandpa’s cellar or a trip to Italy or a wedding. We’re always going to open it on a special occasion, but no occasion is ever special enough. So it sits. And sits. Then, at some point, we decide we should have opened it years ago and now it’s bad anyway, so there’s no reason to open it, which gives us an excuse to hang on to it for a few more decades. So OTBN — which is now always the last Saturday in February — offers a great opportunity to prepare a special meal, open the bottle and savor the memories.”
If you haven’t got a dusty bottle ready and waiting for OTBN, there’s nothing stopping you from popping into Hodge, Chateau Buffalo or Gates Circle to pick up one worthy of the date. And don’t forget, most nice restaurants offer corkage, allowing you to bring your own bottle (unless they carry the same one, calling ahead is the polite way to go). A corkage fee is assessed by the restaurant, but if you have a really great bottle, a $10-$15 charge is nothing compared to the beauty of sipping a selection from your own collection along with your meal.
So, I ask you, what will you uncork tonight? If you cannot participate, perhaps you could tell us what wine you so very wish you had in your cellar for tonight’s celebration?
Hodge Wine & Liquor
463 Elmwood Avenue, Buffalo, 14222
1209 Hertel Avenue, Buffalo, 14216
Gates Circle Liquor
1430 Delaware Avenue, Buffalo, 14209