Saturday was this year’s celebration of OTBN (Open That Bottle Night). “Created in 2000 by ‘Tastings’ columnists Dorothy J. Gaiter and John Brecher, ‘Open That Bottle Night’ is an annual occasion that aims to motivate people to reconnect with each other over a bottle, and create good memories with friends and family.”
OTBN, held on the last Saturday of February each year, is the perfect excuse to bring out those bottles of wine that you may have been saving for just a bit too long. You know that bottle that you bought to commemorate the birth of your first child some 20 years ago? Or the bottle you were given as a gift when you got promoted 10 years ago? Or the bottle for which there never seemed to be just the right occasion?
I like to say it’s a night to share wine that will either be to die for or will make you die J
David and I hosted our fourth or fifth OTBN gathering this past weekend, and we had a ball. Fourteen wine-loving friends gathered together to enjoy 14 bottles of wine, along with yummy vegetarian appetizers.
Here are my tasting notes:
- 2003 and 2013 Sonoma Chardonnays – We started with two Chardonnays and were pleasantly surprised to find that the 2003, while a little past its prime, and a bit heavy, was still good.
- 2007 off-dry German Riesling – The somewhat okay taste of this wine was overwhelmed by the petrol “aroma” that is common to elderly Rieslings.
- 2008 New Zealand Pinot Noir – This was a favorite for many. It might have been a little past its prime, but it was very nice.
Storrs 2009 Grand Noir – This was the surprise of the evening. Most of us had never heard of Grand Noir. It’s a grape that was created in 1855 by Henri Bouschet in France but is now grown mainly in Spain and Portugal. It is often compared with its sibling grape, Alicante Bouschet. There is only one vineyard growing this grape in CA. According to Storrs, this wine is “Bursting with aromas of freshly-crushed raspberry and filled with soft notes of vanilla owing to aging in small oak cooperage.” Not an incredibly high quality wine, but fun to drink a brand new grape, and very nice mouthfeel.
- 2012 Zinfandel – This Zin wasn’t overly jammy. Had this been an older wine, we would have attributed the lack of jamminess to the wine’s age. Instead, we had to attribute it to the wine.
- 2001 Neyers Syrah – This wine was a disappointment for me, because as one of my contributions, it was one of my all-time favorite wines. But I had kept it too long. Several of us liked it, finding a lot of smoky meat in the taste. But three, four or five years ago, it would have been great.
- Cabernets – We tasted a 1998, 2002, 2006 and 2007 Cabernet, all from Napa or Sonoma. Our favorite was the 2007, which was from Ledson.
- 2001 Loire Valley Sauternes – All Sauternes give me a warm, fuzzy feeling. This one was good but a little past its prime.
- 1994 Taylor Port – YUM, in spite of being a little past its prime and filled to the brim with sediment! We weren’t expecting much as we used a bottle opener with two prongs and watched the cork turn into dust as we opened the bottle.
My biggest takeaway from the evening was that I need to start drinking my older bottles very soon to avoid the experience I had with the 2001 Syrah.
Did you celebrate OTBN? Please share your stories here.