Fortune celebrates Open That Bottle Night on February 28

February 24, 2015, 8:37 PM UTC
Courtesy of Dorothy Gaiter

Mark your calendars, wine lovers: The last Saturday in February is Open That Bottle Night, an unofficial but gloriously vinous holiday invented by former Wall Street Journal wine columnists Dorothy Gaiter and John Brecher in 1999. On Saturday, February 28, wine lovers everywhere will pull the corks on the wines—old, expensive, or just sentimental—that they’ve been saving for “someday.”

How did Gaiter and Brecher come up with the idea? “We kept getting letters from readers asking, ‘I have this bottle of wine—when should I open it?’” Gaiter, now a senior editor at, explained to Fortune. “We tend to hold on to bottles too long. We realized that there are a lot of people like us, so we established one day when we’d all find the courage” to pull the corks on our most coveted wines. The couple has received stories and photos from OTBN participants as far away as Thailand, Australia and Antarctica (yes, really).

What will we be opening for OTBN? We'll uncork this beauty given to Fortune editor Alan Murray by Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg.What will we be opening for OTBN? We’ll uncork this beauty given to Fortune editor Alan Murray by Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg.

Some people use the excuse of opening an awesome bottle to host elaborate dinners at home; if you want someone else to do the cooking, ask your favorite restaurant whether it will be waiving corkage fees for the occasion. Nonprofits, too, are benefiting from the communal, warm-and-fuzzy feeling that Open That Bottle Night inspires: the Bivona Child Advocacy Center in Rochester, New York, for example, has raised more than $1 million over the nine years that it has hosted an OTBN gala fundraiser.

We will be celebrating Open That Bottle Night here at Fortune, and invite our readers to join us and share the stories and photos behind the wines that you treasure. On Saturday, February 28, tweet your OTBN wines, photos and stories to @FortuneMagazine with hashtag #FortuneOTBN, or email them to You may be featured in a future article. We’ll show you ours if you show us yours.

Need some inspiration for a bottle to open on Saturday? Check out our guide to winter wines. Want to go bubbly? Here’s our ultimate Champagne guide.

Daryna Tobey lives in New York and has been writing about wine since 2001.

Wineries, importers and distributors: If you are interested in submitting samples for review on, contact us at