Monday, January 24, 2011

Wine bottle DIY: Harvesting

Any winemaker worth their merlot will tell you harvesting is the first step in wine production. For our DIY project, we followed a similar path... only we're harvesting bottles instead of grapes!

Ffffwooosh, Napa countryside whizzing past
on our way to another winery.

We *heart* wine.

Whose genius idea was it to wear white linen for a full day of reds??
Editor's note: 10am is not smiley time for Mr. P, even after a Caymus tasting
(Both from our 2008 Napa/Sonoma trip with Mr. P's family)

We *heart* it so much I have brainstormed a multitude of ways to work it into the wedding. Table names, favors, escort cards, jeroboam guestbook (more on these later)... but my favorite iteration is FREE, tree-huggin' green and does the two birds/one stone thing. Our centerpiece vessels will be wine bottles!

Harvesting wine (bottles)
Step 1 - Drink wine. Lots of it.
Step 2 - Save the bottles. For about 6 months. Take home any orphan empties from wine-lovin' folks. Take care to store your precious bottles in a cool, dark place... like your basement.

Step 3 - Do nothing with them for another 3 months. This rest time is crucial to the wine bottle DIY process. It's also called procrastination.
Step 4 - Are you anxious to start on your DIY yet? Good. Wait another two months while you figure out how to cut the blasted things.
Step 5 - Sort your lovely bottles by whatever criteria suits you. You'll need two groups: your favorites and the rest. I'm after a specific color range so the green, blue-green and yellow-green bottles are set aside as favorites. Instead of recycling the rest (clear and brown bottles), save them. You will need practice bottles.

About 5 cases, or all that would reasonably fit onto the work table

The "favorite" bottle colors
(all personal photos)

Step 6 - There is no Step 6. Don't be such an overachiever. If you've come this far, please eject the cassette, turn to Side B and wait for the rest of us to catch up.

Please note: For shorter engagements, the timeline can be expedited. You'll just end up with fewer bottles.

Are you DIY-ing to save money or to create something unique?


  1. I don't know what your centerpieces look like, but ours include wine bottles. We have about 20 bottles on top of our fridge right now. We drank every bottle and only saved the ones with the smallest labels. LOL. We didn't start doing this until September either. That's a little sad...

  2. I'm loving this blog, Nic! So, I used to work with glass a lot, and there's actually a thing called a bottle cutter. I've tried to before and it's not easy, but it can be done. Not sure if you were being tongue-in-cheek or not, but beautiful wine bottles make beautiful vases...

  3. Laura: Oddly enough, I don't know what our centerpieces will look like either! Totally giving this one up to randomness - no expectations. I think drinking your way to wedding decor is utter awesomeness.

    Jhugs: You know, my favorite bottle colors are the ones from Heron Hill and Weimer! Brian saw the bottle cutting rig online but "for $45 plus S&H" he wanted to use what we had first. (Details on our various trial and errors coming soon.) In high school AP art class (amazingly such a thing exists), stained glass was one of my many projects. I still have all the supplies -- except the glass grinder. Turns out to be the ONE thing that could've expedited the process.