Food & Drink

6 boujee bottles to toast Open That Bottle Night

Crack open something you’ve set aside that hits the sweet spot, says Sam Wylie-Harris.

The last Saturday in February is the perfect time to pour the drinks you’ve been saving for a ‘special occasion’
Woman holding glass of red wine in wine cellar The last Saturday in February is the perfect time to pour the drinks you’ve been saving for a ‘special occasion’ (Goran Bogicevic / Alamy Stock Ph/Alamy Stock Photo)

Whether you’re a wine geek, enjoy the simple pleasures of a decent drop, or are a hedonist in the cellar, chances are there’s a bottle you’ve been saving for ‘best’ that’s languishing on the shelf.

Those special occasion wines which have reached their drinking window without you realising they’re past their prime, or a bright white you’ve laid down instead of drinking young.

But here comes the fun bit. Celebrated on the last Saturday of February (February 24 this year), Open That Bottle Night is the perfect excuse to rally your friends, share the love and dig out a wine you’ve been squirrelling away.

Proving the old adage, there’s no time like the present to pour a pukka glass…

1.  Morandé Terrarum Patrimonial Semillon 2022, Maule Valley, Chile, £9.99, Waitrose

Chile likes to turn its hand to most grapes, and while this variety has made its home in France (in a white Bordeaux blend) and Australia, sémillon comes in many styles. Clean as a whistle and super refreshing, this one offers a streak of lime acidity with vibrant citrusy fruits, concentrated lemon, a waxy texture with notes of savoury herbs and a mouth-watering finish exuding lemony freshness. Fantastic with fish and chips.

2. Yalumba Gen Organic Sauvignon Blanc 2022, South Australia, £11, Ocado

Yalumba Gen Organic Sauvignon Blanc 2022, South Australia, Ocado

Another excuse to be adventurous, why not switch out your usual Marlborough sauvignon blanc for this ace Australian in a super-approachable style. With a welcoming blossomy nose, hints of passion fruit, lemon grass and herbs and delicious freshness, it also has tropical fruit flavours, a hint of minerality and a pure, crisp finish. Perfect for enjoying now.

3. Robert Oatley Semaphore McLaren Vale Shiraz 2021, Australia, £10.50, Co-op, in-store

Robert Oatley Semaphore McLaren Vale Shiraz 2021, Australia, Co-op (Phil Barton)

One of the names to know, this great-value red from award-winning producer Robert Oatley showcases how dependably delicious a stylish shiraz can be. Plush, polished and generous with a forest floor of blackberry fruits, savoury spice laced with fragrant black cherries and smooth, silky, lengthy finish, it’s impressive from word go – and exceptionally enjoyable.

4. Asda Extra Special Cru De Beaujolais Fleurie 2021, France, £11, Asda

Asda Extra Special Fleurie 2021, Beaujolais, France, Asda

Another beauty with ribbons of bright cherry fruit, this Bojo (as they’re fondly referred to) will remind you why these wines deliver so much joy. Beautifully fragrant with an open bouquet of rose petals, a silky palate of dark cherry fruit and ripe blackcurrant lifted by floral notes glides along gracefully, with savoury accents on the finish. Great finesse and food friendly.

5. The Wine Society’s Generation Series Haut-Médoc 2019, Bordeaux, France, £14.95

The Wine Society’s Generation Series Haut-Medoc 2019, Bordeaux, France, The Wine Society

A bordeaux to broaden your horizons, 2019 is cited as an excellent vintage and don’t be surprised if you’re blown away by the rhapsody of rich ripe fruit, intensity on the palate, concentration and silky textured tannins… plus we applaud the price. The wine opens up with exquisite florals, exotic spice, opulent blackberry and blackcurrant fruit with cedar notes lingering on the finish. A wine to snap up now and swoon over.

6. Mythral Rosé 2023, Côtes de Provence, £15.99, (£13.99 Mix Six), Majestic

Mythral Rose 2023, Cotes de Provence, Majestic

An eye-catching rosé for all seasons, and with its grace and charm, this is a wine to have on standby whatever the weather. Highly recommended and a new addition to Majestic’s award-winning rosé range, this ballet-slipper pink offers enticing aromas and flavours of peach blossom, red berries, a whisper of citrus, herbal nuances and fresh, minerally finish. A passport to pleasure and the beating heart of Provence. Cheers!