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Open That Bottle Night logo. Good friends enjoy good wine.

Stories about 2009 Open That Bottle Night (page 3)

(from Martrese & Brandon W., Portland, OR)

My husband & I met in New York City, where we both lived for many years. In October, 2007, we were visiting friends in Portland, Oregon and saw a house for sale with which we fell completely in love. After a sleepless night of deliberation, we decided to take the plunge and move across the country. To congratulate us, a friend who took over our apartment lease in Battery Park City gave us a bottle of Veuve Clicquot La Grande Dame 1998 Champagne. A year ago this week I landed in Portland, Oregon for good, joining my husband who had already moved here for a job. Miraculously, in this economy, we're both still employed with jobs we love. Our house still makes our toes curl. We've adopted a retired racing greyhound and a kitty, both of whom we adore. We all are healthy. And I get to come home to my best friend every night. Our story isn't remarkable or riveting or funny, but absolutely worth celebrating. Damn, that Veuve is going down nicely!

(from Tony W in Italy)

Saturday, 28 February, 2009. Sigonella Naval Air Station, Sicily.

OTBN starts a 1100 a.m. with Franchesco Planeta, from the Planeta Winery in Sicily, sharing a double magnum of Planeta Merlot, 2000, and a double magnum of Planeta Chardonnay, 2001. We receive a great overview of those two vintages from Franchesco and everyone just loves the two wines. Then it is off the the Navy Exchange to sign the bottles and spend time with Franchesco discussing the other Planeta wines.

That evening is the official OTBN celebration hosted by Lynn and Tony at their villa on the side of Mount Etna. This is the second year we have hosted this popular event.

The wine list includes;

Great friends and great food. We have everyone who is coming bring their OTBN wine with a dish they prepare to go with their wine choice. Some of the great food included Asparagus wrapped with Proscuito Crudo, Barolo cured beef filet on a bed of rucola with shaved parmesiano and olive oil, zuppa di zucca (pumpkin soup) with Pancetta, braesola with black truffles, and braseola with foie gras. Fresh bread from the local bakery, fresh black and green Sicilian olives, fresh Tiramisu and a fresh spiced walnut cake for dessert.

The wine and food parings were great. Every enjoyed the evening and had an opportunity to taste some fabulous wines.

Many more photos of this celebration can be found here.

OTBN is a great addition to our winter entertainment events.


(from Lawrence and Melanie M)

Hello. I bought 2 bottles of Robert Keenan 1990 Napa Vally Cabernet about 9 years ago and been cellaring it in a pantry in the basement. It was a "end of bin sale" so $15.99 on sale for $12.99. We opened the other bottle about 4 years ago and remember the wine having a "smoked" flavor. Last night of course the cork broke in half but I was able to get the other half out without issue.

We first paired it with 3 year aged Dutch Gouda cheese with multi grain cracker and a apple. Melanie first sip she thought it had a peppery finnish. To me I tasted prunes and raisins but no smoke from the last bottle 4 years ago.

For diner I made a Gnocchi Niccoise (recipie was in the current Food Network Magazine). It had chilli ground beef, bacon, shallots, carrots, celery, tomato sauce, orange zest, wine, olives and gnocchi. It paired well with this rich dish. My 10 year old son wants to take the leftovers to school in his thermos! There was a little sediment in the bottom of our glasses but no big deal

Our last half glass went with dark chocolate. Wow! It was sad to take that final sip. The bottle says that Matt Cookson was the winemaker.

Kari W. blogged about her OTBN at She and Ken plan to drink something other than rhubarb wine next year.

(from Kate G. of Desert, Maine)
Don and I had a great time with friends last night on Open That Bottle Night 2009!
Thanks for the tradition Dorothy J. Gaiter and John Brecher  of the Wall Street Journal.

(from Sandra K. and Bob T.)

We just celebrated our 8th time hosting Open that Bottle Night dinners with friends. The two times we did not host parties we were out of the country but celebrated none the less.....once in South Africa where the game reserve I stayed at now host their own event based on my recommendation.

Here are the pictures of last nights event.  We went until 1:30 am with terrific stories. Our tradition is at appetizer time each person/couple tell a story about their wine and its origin. They are hilarious and poignant. Our 26 year old daughter has joined the gathering a couple of times now. She drove 3 hours with the threat of snow to be here for this special 10th anniversary. Her offering to the event was wine in "juice boxes".

Menu last evening
Appetizers- assorted cheeses, olives, crackers, shrimp cocktail and mixed nuts
Entree- Mixed green salad with shredded carrots and goat cheese
Grilled Tuna with Jamaican escovitch marinade
New England infused chicken with dried cranberries, artichokes and savory herbs
Medley of grains-lentil, Israeli couscous, orzo, quinoa and grabanzo beans
French green beans
Dessert- chocolate and vanilla bon bons
medley of berries- strawberries, blackberries and blueberries

2007 Dona Sol Chardonnay- California
2006 Grunhauser Maximin Riesling
2004 Greg Norman Estates Chardonnay

1973 3n hommage a Picasso 1881-1973 Chateau Mouton Rothchild Premier Cru Classe en 1973- the highlight wine of the evening
2006 PEJU syrah- Napa Valley
2001 YSIOS- rioja- poetically referred to by a Spanish friend as “ a protagonist when called upon"
2003 Monte Antico Toscano - Italy
2008 Gascon Malbec- Argentina
2006 Montebuena Rioja – Spain
2005 Santa Duc Les Plans- France 

Sandra and Bob

Dorothy and John-
thank you for creating such a FUN way to spend time with friends.
Sandra and Bob

For even more stories, please click here.

Please send your plans, stories and photos of Open That Bottle Night to


You might indicate where you were, how many people participated, the significance of the bottles that you opened, and anything else that would show why the evening was special for you.


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