Betty's Wine Musings
Getting Ready for OTBN
Getting Ready for OTBN

Guess what this Saturday is! It’s OTBN 2018! That’s right! Open That Bottle Night 2018! The night each year where we get together with wine-loving friends to share special wines that we were saving for the perfect occasion, perhaps for a little too long. Most years I write something about OTBN. This year, I thought I would focus on getting ready for OTBN.

About OTBN

OTBN was created in 2000 by Wall Street Journal Tastings columnists Dorothy J. Gaiter and John Brecher, The event is held on the last Saturday of February each year and is the night to enjoy bottles of wine you and your friends have been lovingly saving for just a bit too long.

Getting Ready for OTBN

So how do you get ready for OTBN? Here are some pointers that will come in handy for you.

The old wine: We ask each person or couple to bring at most two old bottles of wine. If they don’t have old bottles, we ask others to cover for them. Our group has plenty of old bottles of wine.

The new wine: The person or couple hosting the event sets aside a few young bottles in case all of the oldie moldy wines are past their prime. It’s always a good idea to have some young pups available just in case.

The order of the wine: We follow typical tasting protocol, going white to red and old to new.

The food: Each person or couple brings a food-friendly dish.

The game plan: The person or couple who brings each bottle tells their loving story about their bottle. We then eagerly try it, celebrating yummy tastes and lovingly mourning bad tastes. We know that a bad taste won’t harm anything but our egos. So we don’t worry about anything tasting too bad.

A dump bucket: This is one event where a dump bucket (or the sink) will come in very handy.

Variation on OTBN

A couple of years ago, a number of people from my OTBN gang decided that one time of year was just not enough time to devote to this WINEderful activity. We also decided that we wanted to celebrate more than just old wines. Perhaps one month we wanted to focus on wines from Spain and another month we wanted to focus on Cabernets from all over the world. So we’ve been happily doing variations on OTBN each quarter. And this makes us even more ready to do an oldie moldy wine tasting on Feb. 24. If you’re like us, you might want to consider adding a few OTBN variations throughout the year.

I hope this is useful information for getting ready for OTBN. Please share your OTBN stories with us. Thanks.


As an independent wine consultant with WineShop At Home, I absolutely enjoy bringing a taste of the Napa wine country home to you one sip at a time. Whether you simply love to drink wine, seek a special personalized wine gift, or are in search of a new wine jobs opportunity as a wine consultant, feel free to contact me for a truly unique wine tasting experience!

Cheers, Betty Kaufman
WineShop At Home

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