Celebrated on the last Saturday in February, Open That Bottle Night brings wine-lovers together to, well, open that bottle you’ve perhaps been saving for a special occasion.
And who wouldn’t drink to that? Especially if you want to make use of the Coravin (the fancy wine preservation system that’s changed the face of fine wine and means you can pour any wine you like, without having to pull the cork) you might have been gifted, or if you’ve been itching to taste that special anniversary bottle you’ve got stowed away.
But just in case the wine rack’s looking a little lacklustre, or the hedonist in the cellar can’t bear to dust down their best claret from a knock-out vintage just yet, we’ve rounded up a mixed case that has it all – and thrown in a fabulous English fizz for good luck.
Check out these seven top drops…
1. Co-op Fairtrade Bonarda-Malbec 2019, Argentina (£5.25, Co-op stores)
Deftly blended, this is a joyous coming together of Argentina’s top red grape varieties. Dark cherry, plums and figs are laced with spice, and the combination of violet-scents, very smooth tannins and impressively rich flavour makes this a must for steak-themed suppers.
Or how about an old-fashioned fondue party to motivate friends and family to dig out their skewer sticks? Dipping, sipping and supporting Fairtrade projects too (Fairtrade Fortnight runs from Feb 24-March 8).
2. Morrisons The Best Chilean Chardonnay 2018, Casablanca Valley, Chile (£7.25, Morrisons stores)
A brilliantly fresh and juicy chardonnay offering melon and ripe, tropical fruits, this IWC Silver medal-winner has a lovely creamy finish, and owing to the cool-climate location of the vineyards, it refreshes from beginning to end. Food-friendly and a great buy, serve with smoked salmon or anything in a white wine sauce.
3. Tesco Finest Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2019, New Zealand (£8, Tesco)
Who doesn’t love a grassy sauvignon blanc that’s so green and fresh, the aromas and flavours leap from the glass? A drop of lime to the gooseberry and passion fruit adds extra bite, with balanced acidity keeping if fresh and friendly. Top value vino for a savvy-blanc loving crowd.
4. TTD Château Tanunda Barossa Cabernet Merlot 2017, Australia (£11, Sainsbury’s)
If you’ve been squirrelling away that mature Bordeaux vintage with enough fruit and structure to charm the pants off a sommelier, now’s the time to crack it open.
Don’t have one? This top drop from Down Under made by one of Barossa Valley’s most famous wineries (and same classic grapes) is drinking beautifully and has enough stuffing to impress, with its intense nose and vibrant core of blackcurrants and raft of plummy fruit, sweet spices and beautifully balanced finish.
5. AIX Rosé Coteaux D’Aix en Provence 2018, France (£16, Drink Finder)
Provençal pinks are a passport to pleasure, so don’t feel like you have to wait until songbirds and springtime (even though they’re just around the corner) to relish the palette of pretty petals. One of the most exciting rosés on our radar, we love this wine’s ballet-slipper hue, delicate notes and flavours of wild strawberries, and vital fresh acidity that closes the silky finish.
6. Domaine des Tourelles Vieilles Vignes Cinsault 2017, Bekka Valley, Lebanon (£16.99, KWOFF)
Adventurous wine lover? Armchair traveller? Then this is a pukka Lebanese red to broaden the horizons. A corker of a cinsault and, in a word, opulent, its made from 50-year-old vines and is immediately impressive with its forest floor of perfumed red fruits and exotic spice cloaked in velvet for a mouth-coating finish. Utterly delicious and worth seeking out.
7. Roebuck Estates Classic Cuvée 2014, Sussex, England (£35, Roebuck Estates)
A Sussex stunner, this traditional method sparkling wine made from the classic champagne trio of chardonnay, pinot noir and pinot meunier offers the very best of British bubbles. A double trophy-winner at the 2019 Wine GB Awards, this vintage stands out for its beguiling aromas of baked apple and brioche, with a toasty richness, structure and length that makes it impressively on point.