This Saturday night is one of my favorite made-up holidays. It’s Open That Bottle Night. The last Saturday in February, when things are cold and dark and we’re all in need of a little cheering up, we have a reason to crack open that special bottle of wine or bubbly (or heck, even craft beer) that we’ve been saving for a special occasion. Open That Bottle Night, or #OTBN, gives you the occasion.

What I love about this holiday, besides the fact that it says, “Go ahead, drink a really great bottle of wine,” is that although it’s made up, it wasn’t made up by a greeting card company or a wine manufacturer looking to increase profits.

Open That Bottle Night started in 1999 when then Wall Street Journal wine columnists Dorothy J. Gaiter and John Brecher urged their readers to forget about saving that special bottle for the right occasion because it may never come. They designated the last Saturday night in February as the annual evening to dust off a bottle that wants to be opened or grab the bottle of Champagne in your refrigerator that’s there “just in case” and go ahead and drink it.

If you don’t have a special bottle, it’s a good reason to go ahead and buy one that costs a little more than you usually spend. If you always go for the $10 bottle, splurge for a $15 bottle. If you allow yourself a $20 bottle once a while, maybe you can spring for a $30 bottle tomorrow night. Open That Bottle Night gives you a good excuse for a bit of a splurge. 

Related on MNN:

Robin Shreeves ( @rshreeves ) focuses on food from a family perspective from her home base in New Jersey.