It’s time to open that bottle

By Eliza Campbell

23 Feb, 2021

Open That Bottle Night was established as a reminder to open the special wines in your collection. Pick some favourites from the cellar and schedule your #OTBN party for Saturday February 27th.

Wall Street Journal wine columnists Dorothy Gaiter and John Brecher came up with the concept for Open That Bottle Night two decades ago. Fast-forward to 2021 and #OTBN is a global phenomenon that encourages people to get together and drink any bottle, young or aged, that means something to them. The event is a reminder that not every special occasion requires ceremony – it’s also a prompt to check your cellar for any bottles that may be nearing their prime.

Each wine rated by Halliday Wine Companion is assigned a “drink-to” date, which denotes its ideal drinking range. When opening an aged style, make sure you follow these tips to ensure you get the best out of it:

Let it rest: If your wine has accumulated any sediment during cellaring, it’s a good idea to let it stand for a few days before opening. 

Get the temperature right: Medium to full-bodied reds are best enjoyed between 14-16ºC, lighter-bodied reds between 12-14ºC, and riesling, semillon and chardonnay will come alive at about 10ºC. 

Consider the cork: The older the wine, the more fragile the cork, so be extra careful removing it (or consider a two-pronged corkscrew for backup). 

To decant or not to decant: Older wines become increasingly delicate as they age and will oxidise faster than a young, full-bodied red. An aged wine will only require decanting of 30 minutes maximum before drinking. And don’t forget, you can decant your white wines, too. 

For ideas of some wines to free from your cellar this #OTBN, check out this round-up of highly-rated wines nearing their best drink-to date. 

Use our Search Wines tool to check the drink-to dates of bottles you have – or add them to the Halliday Virtual Cellar to see your collection at a glance. 

February 27th is Open That Bottle Night. Share your festivities with us by tagging @winecompanion with the hashtag #OTBN.