The world-wide wine celebration called Open That Bottle Night was held on February 28th. This event was started around 2001 by Dottie Gaiter and John Brecher, a married wine journalist team. The idea is to encourage people to “open that bottle” of special wine they’ve been saving before the darn thing goes south.
It seems many of us tuck away bottles of wine waiting for the most perfect of occasions, and then none ever seem special enough to open that bottle. By the time you do get around to it, often times the wine has gone bad. So, twice a year the event is held at wine shops, special events and in private homes.
This year, our friends Todd and John hosted my wife and me, along with another couple at their beautiful Kensington home. We ate grilled rib roast with a vegetable medley of potatoes, carrots, Brussel sprouts and corn. Each couple had a special bottle to share. Here are the wines my friends and I poured for our Open That Bottle Night.
2006 Benziger Tribute, Sonoma Mountain
This bottle of red was selected by our hosts. Tribute is a traditional Bordeaux-style blend with 77% Cabernet Sauvignon, 13% Cabernet Franc, 7% Merlot and 3% Petit Verdot. The label was a little crinkly, making us think the bottle had suffered a big change in humidity. If that was the case, thankfully, the wine was unaffected. It had aged beautifully. This noble Bordeaux grape blend did not disappoint.
It still had a strong touch of black fruit on the nose, along with spices used in making a roast of lamb. The flavors were balanced with a bit of coffee and plum. It was not jammy but instead showed subdued fruit. So glad this wine aged well and our hosts shared it with us.
2010 Scarecrow Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley
Yes, the wine is named after that scarecrow. The original winery owner, J.J. Cohn was Chief of Production at MGM. He was instrumental in the making of The Wizard of Oz. The wine is a tribute to them both.
Heather and David are huge Napa Cab fans. The bottle they shared with us was quintessential Napa. The nose exhibited ripened blackberries, plum and chocolate. Also, I caught a bit of vanilla, although that is a characteristic of American oak. However, this 100% Cabernet Sauvignon was aged in French oak for 22 months prior to bottling. The finish was long and every sip had you wanting more.
2005 Mosby Winery Primativo, Central Coast
My wife and I purchased this wine at the winery while on a trip up to Santa Barbara Wine Country. The quaint tasting room has an unhurried feeling, allowing you to really enjoy the wines you sample. I wanted to drink it before it passed its prime. Also, I wanted to enjoy it with friends who also enjoy wines from this region. We scored the trifecta. It, too was a hit.
Primativo is the Italian grape name for Zinfandel. Zinfandel is a huge player in California and Mosby does it as well as anyone. The lush black fruits and cocoa flavors were still evident. It has a pleasing mouthfeel and smooth finish.
From wine what sudden friendship springs! John Gay
What did you pour on Open That Bottle Night? Join in on the next Open That Bottle Night in the fall. Check back for the exact date.