On Second Thought: Putting Used Bottles to Use

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Anyone able to pull a cork is capable of enjoying the spoils of a bottle of wine, but it takes a truly savvy enthusiast to take the good stuff where few mere fans have taken it before. Read on for tips on re-using wine bottles – because your enjoyment shouldn’t end just because you’ve swilled the last drop.

Savvy Centerpiece
Pour the contents of a bottle of wine into a decanter in advance of a festive meal. Decanting works wonders when it comes to opening up young reds, and even helps some whites to show their full potential (it certainly doesn’t hurt ‘em), so pour away! If you don’t have a decanter on-hand, any clean, empty flower vase or water pitcher will do the trick.

Next, pluck some flowers from your yard or local florist shop and arrange them inside the empty wine bottle. Voilà – you’ve got a centerpiece with panache, and you and your guests can admire the bottle on the table while enjoying the wine from the decanter. If you’re pouring from the flower vase, you can also share a good chuckle over the ironic role swap.

Wine Bottle As Found Art
Those interested in taking their bottles to still greater heights of innovation can experiment with empty wine bottles as found art. More and more, wine bottles are turning up as decorative elements in lighting fixtures (wine bottle chandelier, anyone?) and wall dressings (making the phrase “wine wall” quite literal). Even better, planning for your art installation is a fabulous excuse to try new wines.

Message In a Bottle
One of the best things about wine is the way it brings us together with friends and family. For a great way to harness the memories you generate while enjoying a special bottle, jot down highlights from your gathering on a piece of paper, roll it up and slide it inside the empty bottle. Store this “time capsule” along with others from particularly memorable occasions, and plan a time to open them up and savor your memories – ideally, over more great wine.

I can’t think of a better excuse to start enjoying the good stuff this very moment.

contributed by: Courtney Cochran

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