Thankfully, this month is flying by! Sure we made it through Groundhogs Day, Valentine’s Day, some more rough Cleveland winter days but when I looked at the calendar today I realized that I almost missed my favorite thing about February – Open That Bottle Night (OTBN). candlelight-winery-wine-villagerThe concept behind OTBN is exactly why I like to celebrate this holiday – why wonder what the future holds when this holiday celebrates what the past has given us? So what is OTBN you ask? A while back the wine editors from The Wall Street Journal wrote an article stating that they receive too many letters about what to do when that special bottle goes bad when they finally opened the bottle. Unfortunately the answer is usually the same – dump it down the drain. After hearing about too many good wines being dumped, a holiday was started.

While the writers at The Wall Street Journal had been writing about OTBN for a number of years, OTBN was officially deemed a holiday in 2006. How many of you have a bottle of wine that you bought on a vacation hoping to catch a memory? Or how many of you received a special bottle of wine for a birthday, wedding or anniversary gift and thought it was too precious to drink on any regular night? Why wait for that special moment to open it? What if that special moment comes and the wine has taken a turn for the worse?

OTBN is celebrated on the last Saturday in February (OTBN 2013 will be celebrated on February 22nd this year). To make it a great night here are a couple of tips for you.
1)    Stand older wine up (away from light and heat, of course) for a few days before you plan to open it to allow the sediment, if there is some, to sink to the bottom.
2)    With an older bottle, the cork may break easily. The best opener for a cork like that is one with two prongs. Be prepared for the possibility that a fragile cork may fall apart with a regular corkscrew. If that happens, have a carafe and a coffee filter handy. Just pour enough through the coffee filter to catch the cork.
3)    Enjoy the wine for what it is, not what it might someday be or might once have been.
Happy OTBN!

Amanda is the Co-Owner of Candlelight Winery located at 11325 Center Road, Garrettsville. For more gift ideas or wine lists from the winery, please visit