I had loosely participated in Open That Bottle Night off and on (when I remembered) up until last year. The couple that started this unique celebration of wine, Dorothy J. Gaiter (Dottie) and John Brecher, hosted the event live, in a small restaurant near our home. Although my wife and I were in a room full of strangers it was like having dinner with old friends, as people shared their wine and their stories.
As soon as I read that they would be returning to the same restaurant, I immediately booked a reservation.
The wine I am bringing:
About 6 or 7 years ago I noticed this wine in a clearance area of a local wine store. I knew a fair amount about Italian wines and of the Bolgheri region (especially for bordeaux blended Super Tuscans). What was especially interesting to me was that this was a 1999 Italian wine, (had significant aging on it), made from 100% Cabernet Sauvignon, at rock bottom pricing. When I asked why it was so inexpensive they simply responded, “it isn’t selling…we need to clear out inventory.”
I purchased a few bottles of the 1999 San Martino, and of course opened one that night. All I could think was- Italian Bordeaux!, This is one example of why wine growers chose this region to break the rules, and introduce non indigenous grapes, Italian-style.
The next day I returned to the store and bought all they had left, 26 bottles. Over the years I have opened bottles of this wine and honestly it has been hit (home run) or miss. Some bottles have been clearly past their prime, and some are still drinking beautifully.
I am down to the last two, and I am bringing them both to celebrate the year that the first OTBN occurred, 1999.