NEW YORK, N.Y. - Looking to please a wine lover this holiday season? You can always spring for a special bottle or wrap up the latest and greatest corkscrew, but why not play off the passion through a recycled gift instead?
From sunglasses made of old wine barrels to colorful wind chimes created with bits of bottles, the reuse, repurpose, recycle crowd has been busy with wine industry materials for gifty products. Some ideas:
CANDLES & CANDLE HOLDERS
Several makers package up handmade candles in cut off, spiffed up wine bottles, but Adam Fetsch at Rewinedcandles.com based in Charleston, S.C., takes his offerings a step further. He and his crew mix scents into natural soy wax that evoke the notes of 10 wine varietals when you light the all-cotton wicks. There's Sauvignon blanc, for instance, with hints of basil and mint. Each hand-poured candle sells for $28 and has a label with a bit of sealing wax bearing the date it was packaged and by whom.
Fetsch started the company four years ago and it now sells nearly half a million candles a year.
"In the first year I made the candles myself in the backyard," he said. "This has all been somewhat of a surprise to me."
Rescuedwinecandles.com in Truckee, Calif., also mimics wine notes in soy wax for candles packaged in old wine bottles. Unwinedcandles.com outside of Baltimore also uses recycled bottles but goes for non-wine scents, including pumpkin pie and moonshine.
In addition to candles, wine barrel staves come crafted as candle holders. Theoakbarrelcompany.com has a curved, votive centerpiece that holds five for mantel or table.
GARDEN & YARD
Feeders for hummingbirds and other bird species are available online made of recycled bottles painted to suit a range of recipients. So do wind chimes. See Sterlingwineonline.com, Etsy.com and Modernartisans.com.
The Oakbarrelcompany.com sells a tree swing made of three curved oak barrel staves, for $139.
Or offer the gift of herbs grown indoors in snazzy, soilless hydrogardens made of reclaimed wine bottles. There's basil, mint, oregano, chives and parsley in the contemporary-looking kits that sell for $36 from Pottingchedcreations.com. Each bottle is cut in half and the top inverts and nests into the bottom.
"For the holiday we have a paperwhite bulb and Christmas tree that use the bottom half of the bottle," said Ann Killen, the Idaho company's co-owner.
For the hydroponic herb gardens, a natural wool wick (included) is threaded into the inverted bottle neck to draw up nutrient-rich water from the base, creating a self-watering system. Seeds and plant food also included. The company offers replant kits for $8.
The site Woodzee.com makes sunglasses out of wood. In November, they're teaming with Northern California's Robert Mondavi Private Selection to offer glasses made of repurposed barrels, wine stains included. The wood is smooth and the aroma heavenly. They come in four different lenses but the same wayfarer-esque shape.
"We have these barrels on hand. Why not turn them into something," said Sally Campion, associate marketing manager for the wine label.
The glasses retail for $120.
FURNITURE, KITCHEN & DINING
Home decor is definitely a specific gift for just the right person. So are housewares made of wine parts, mostly barrels.
Theoakbarrelcompany.com has a variety of furniture. Wineenthusiast.com offers a rustic, tone-down end table for $349, along with reclaimed barrel lazy susans of all styles for $109 and up. There's also a kit for $129.95 in mahogany for collecting wine corks for display under a piece of plexiglass.
Trays and other servers made of old wine barrels are plentiful, as is glassware using the bottom, or punts, of wine bottles.
For dogs, try an oak barrel bed. They come in different sizes.
Pottery Barn offers oversized wine and sunflower oil bottles purchased from a collector who selects them from restaurants throughout Central Europe. They were used for storage and range from 10 inches to 24 inches high in clear glass and green hues. Prices range from $99 to $199. Offered in limited supply online only at Potterybarn.com.
Seasonal wreaths for door or kitchen show off grape leaves, vines and wine corks. Sterlingwineonline.com sells one with vintage corks, silk grape leaves and realistic-looking purple grapes for $87.99.
The site has numerous other wreaths and centerpieces with a wine theme, including one centerpiece in a wood wine boxes filled with dried sorghum, myrtle, nigella pods, wine corks and faux grapes, for $75.95. The box bares the word "salute," which is Italian for cheers!
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