Saturday, February 26, 2011
In 2000, a journalist for the Wall Street Journal created an idea for an annual event to encourage folks to enjoy a special bottle of wine, and National Open That Bottle Night (OTBN) was born. Every year since then, on a special Saturday night in February, friends, couples and groups around the world get together to enjoy particular bottles of wine. The bottle you enjoy, traditionally, is one that you have been saving for some special event that, so far, has never quite happened. Open That Bottle Night (OTBN) is the night when you are entitled to uncork that cherished bottle and enjoy the contents. This is an evening to build wonderful memories with your loved ones.
Here is our guide to creating a special evening for your friends, family, and loved ones.
Create a Contemporary Indoor Picnic
- Bring the outside in to decorate the space. Use branches in a vase, cherry blossoms are in season, use different shapes and sizes of rocks as part of a center piece, and use seasonal fruits like pears, strawberries, oranges and grapefruits in vases or decorative bowls. Not only will the use of seasonal fruits add color and the feeling of the outdoors but they can also double as a light dessert.
- Create an artisan cheese and charcuterie platter by selecting products from local farmers and purveyors. It's not an accident that for generations we have been pairing wine with cheese and charcuterie, they complement the flavor profile and structure of wines. As accompaniments, arrange a variety of nuts such as pistachios or almonds and dried fruits on the platter. Additional recipe ideas are below.
Recipes for a Contemporary Picnic
- What Happened That Vintage Year? - Using the year of the bottle or bottles of wines being poured that evening, look up events that happened; around the world, sports, entertainment, locally, or in food and wine. Modeling the game after charades, write the events on index cards, fold and place in basket. Divide your guests into teams, take turns acting out the events written on the cards.
- Share stories based on the vintage year of the bottle. Use the vitnage year of the bottle or bottles of wine being poured that evening as a conversation starter and a great way to learn more about your guests. Allow all of your guests to share a memory from the vintage year.
- Blind tasting. Ask each of your guests to bring a bottle of wine to share. Upon arrival, place the bottle in a brown paper bag and write a number on the bag. Invite guests to taste through each of the wines and rank them. After everyone has an opportunity to rank the wines, reveal the order of wines.
Make sure you are keeping your treasured bottles of William Hill Estate wine in optimal condition by following our Wine Serving & Storing Suggestions.