For 10 years, living in the United States, I read the Wall Street Journal to keep on top of developments in the business world. But it was the Friday edition I looked forward to with true delight. Every Friday was, and continues to be, some of the best writing on wine that I have ever read.
Dorothy Gaiter and John Brecher have my dream job.
These two write the weekly Wall Street Journal column “Tastings”, and they have wrangled a deal so the paper picks up their wine bills (hint, hint, Darrell).
Dorothy and John have written their weekly column for more than a dozen years; and over that time, more often than not, it prompted me to head for a wine store on Fridays, right after work, to track down and try a Nero D’Avola red, from Sicily, or their favourite New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc or whatever theme they had written on that week.
I share their philosophy, there is no “right” answer about what constitutes a good wine and have benefited greatly from the wine knowledge and experiences they have shared.
Gaiter and Brecher have written a number of books on wine, collections of their writings, as well as a co-authored autobiography, Love by the Glass: Tasting Notes from a Marriage.
Their wine writings are a joy to read.
Ten years ago, they started OTBN, Open That Bottle Night, and across the U.S., as well as around the world, the word has spread as more and more wine enthusiasts participate in this annual evening.
Ten years ago, Gaiter and Brecher observed that many of us have a special bottle of wine we have bought, or have been given, that we are saving for a special occasion.
Perhaps it’s a bottle from your wedding. Perhaps it’s a souvenir from a special vacation or perhaps even one given to you by a dear friend for some special reason.
In any event, we often set them aside for a special occasion. And each month or year that we save these bottles, they seem to become more precious. And the occasion that we are saving them for seems to need to be even more special.
A friend of mine who does estates sales (selling off the personal property of people after they die) told me time and time again of the dusty bottles of old wines that she came across as she cleaned out people’s houses. How sad.
Ten years ago, Gaiter and Brecher proposed an alternative, one I hope some of you readers will adopt this year: Open That Bottle Night.
I am officially launching it in the Yukon, so give it some thought and help spread the word in the Yukon about OTBN, Saturday, Feb. 28.
Then write and tell me about your OTBN: what you drank, what you served, where you drank it (at the dinner table, in the hot tub, after snowmobiling up Grey Mountain …).
Share why the wine was special and how it tasted.
If you are comfortable telling me about your experience, please do. And if I can include part of your story in a post-OTBN article, I’d like permission to do so. My e-mail is firstname.lastname@example.org.
So, mark it on your calendars: Saturday, Feb. 28 is Open That Bottle Night. You can also visit www.openthatbottlenight.com on the Web.