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Celebrating “Open That Bottle Night” during the Covid Era

“Open That Bottle” night is turning 21 this year! It was invented by Dorothy J. Gaiter and John Brecher at the New York Times to encourage their readers to open a significant bottle of wine and share their stories about it. Covid has changed the landscape on this.

With lockdowns and curfews, you can’t really invite a group of friends over to your place for dinner and drinks at the moment. Open That Bottle night, though, is a special occasion – and over the last year, we’ve been living a version of it on many levels.

The Covid Era has been the perfect occasion to finally get around to lighting those special candles you’d been keeping. Using those bath salts someone gave you one time. Finally getting around to trying out that “Make your own cheese” kit that you ordered from Etsy on a whim, and then making cheese seemed like far too much effort, so you put it away in the back of the cupboard and felt slightly guilty whenever you saw it looking at you from behind the pasta.

Opening that bottle, then, is a fitting Covid Era activity. At this point, our homes are achingly familiar to us. It’s time to have a night out (whilst staying in), and get back to the self-indulgent activities we were all so into a year ago.

Open That Bottle Night is supposed to celebrate fine wines, but honestly, you can open any bottle you feel like. Any bottle that sits on your shelf wearing an invisible “I’m Too Good For Everyday Use” hat is up for grabs tonight.

Personally, our plan is to open a bottle of wine around 5pm, pour ourselves a good measure, and Netflix-Party a movie with a friend across the country. The pandemic may have put a temporary halt to in-person gatherings, but drinking an amazing glass (or two, or three) of red and complaining about plot holes in bad films with your funniest friend is still a pretty great evening, as they go.