Man Opens Giant Bottle of Wine from 1995 Tuktoyaktuk Concert after Major Surgery


David Connelly, who received a giant bottle of Wine after volunteering at the 1995 Molson Ice Polar Beach Party in Tuktoyaktuk, N.W.T, finally decided to open it following being scheduled for an open heart surgery in Edmonton.

The Wine

The bottle was a 1990 bottle of Amarone and was a meter tall and approximately a third of a meter wide and held about 12 liters – equating to about 16 bottles of wine.

“I just didn’t want to take the chance of, shall we say, missing out on the chance to drink this bottle that I’ve been carrying around for over 20 years,” said Connelly.

“I was concerned that if I waited much longer, it passed its peak, [then] I’d have some really expensive vinegar.” Connelly said he had a gathering of around 60 of his friends and celebrated the event. “I hate to make people drool, but it was the most amazing bottle I’ve ever had,” he said eventually.

After his surgery, CBC News contacted his family who confirmed that he was “on the road to recovery.”

Connelly received that bottle after volunteering at the 1995 Molson Ice Polar Beach Party in Tuktoyaktuk. Molson had launched a new ice-brewed beer that year, which was promoted at the party.

The bottle was apparently first given to Dan Smith, who was responsible for the catering for the event. Several years later, he gave it to Connelly, who was one of the volunteers.


According to Connelly: “He said, ‘David, I’m really not drinking wine anymore,’ and he asked would I make sure it was well taken care of and eventually well drunk.”

He recalls memories of the concert: “Every [Boeing] 737 that could legally land on gravel in North America, I think, was deployed to bring people to that concert,” he said.

“I have great memories of watching the 737s flying between two pingos, with the sun setting in the background… And going down the dirt, gravel runway with huge clouds of dust behind them, whether they were landing or taking off.”