February 22nd, 2014 is Open That Bottle Night, a worldwide event started over 15 years ago. My dear friend Margaret introduced me to this wonderful tradition and every year it has me thinking. Not just about the wine but about the premise of the event. Why do we save things for a later date? I bought a bottle of champagne many years ago. I was a young professional with limited disposable income but I had a love of wine and a friend who knows wine very well told me that the bottle was a good investment and a good price, albeit steep on my limited budget. I bought the wine and thought that I would save it for a special occasion. My engagement came and went, I did not open the bottle. It sat on the rack as we celebrated our 1st anniversary. My daughter was born and I was too tired to drink an expensive bottle of champagne. The promotion I got somehow did not merit a popping of the cork nor did the launch of my new business. Now I ask myself why? I am going to open that bottle this year. My biggest concern is that it is no longer good. I never asked how long it would last. I guess I always thought that the occasion would come about sooner than the expiration date. Life is about big moments, but to me the more important moments are the small ones: an unexpected date night with my husband, a rare occasion when all my children are home for dinner AND they all like what I have prepared, the opportunity to plan a trip for a woman whose dying wish it was to go to Italy. I hope Karen is smiling down on us remembering her visit to Florence.
We save - for a rainy day, for that special occasion. I am not just talking about wine. How often have you heard, "I'll buy a new dress once I lose 20 pounds, we will go out in a few months for our anniversary, we'll take that trip once the kids are grown"? I urge you to celebrate Open That Bottle Night this year. Invite some friends over, have everyone bring a bottle and share a story. Open and taste away. The wine might be horrible but the laughter and companionship will be priceless. Embrace the philosophy and premise of Open That Bottle Night. Get out there and live. Don't save it for a rainy day. It just may be too late. Alla salute!