Not To Wine, but…

Wine is a wonderful thing.  I should know, because my husband works in the business.  Yeah, it’s tough being married to somebody who has to bring home bottle after bottle of delicious wine to taste.  I know, I know.  Your heart bleeds for me.

Anyway, wine is a multi-billion dollar, global industry, and anything that big generates a LOT of waste.  So I thought I would share some of my favorite sustainable goods made from the remnants of the wine making process…

Elegant curves define this beautiful folding chair from Whit McLeod.  Made from used oak wine barrels – many of them decades old – this chair is surprisingly comfortable and very chic.

Here on this Fontenay coffee table, it is easy to see how the type of wine, and the length of time a barrel is used, provide a rich variation in staining.

That beautiful variation is also evident in this richly patterned “barn door” by master furniture maker Cliff Spencer, also made of reclaimed oak from wine barrels.  I so wish I had a place in my house or studio to put one!

And of course, the oak can be used to create a stunning floor, like this custom one, also by Fortenay.

There are other great materials to be reused too.  For instance, wine corks make a terrific flooring, as these sweet round tiles cut from surplus wine corks show. And yes, that’s a picture of a shower floor.  Believe it or not, these tiles install just like regular ceramic tiles, with standard thin set and grout.  The only difference is the water based urethane you finish them with once they are installed.

Yemm & Hart has gone so far as to collect used wine corks, reprocessing them into 3′ x 3′ tiles, that can be applied to floors, walls or even as a surfacing material for furniture.

And of course, no post would be complete without things made from wine bottles.  Now, I could write an entire post on lovely vases, glasses and decorative items made from bottles, and maybe I will someday, but for now I wanted you to see a couple of more unusual applications.

Here are some marvelous color block pendant lamps by Jerry Kott.  Handcut from recycled wine bottles, and then reassembled, they would look striking suspended over a kitchen island, or a stylish wet bar.

Another piece I just love is this sideboard.  Designed and handcrafted by Blue Moon Bottles from recycled steel, glass and wine bottle punts (the bottom end of the bottle), it looks so pretty and yet truly useful at the same time.

To really appreciate how pretty the punts look in this table though, you have to see them with a little light coming through.  It reminds me a bit of the stained glass windows made from cut bottle bottoms that were at a Mexican restaurant I ate at as a kid.  They absolutely fascinated me.  Ah nostalgia… I have a sudden craving for cheese enchiladas now!

So, do you have a favorite piece of furniture, decorative piece, or building material you’ve seen made from the remnants of winemaking (and drinking!)?  Please feel free to share it in the comments below.

Meanwhile, just so you know, I’m on vacation.  Not a “throw all cares to the winds, sipping margaritas by the pool, can’t be reached by cell phone” type of vacation, but a little time off nonetheless. So I hope you won’t mind the brevity of my writing for the next several days.  I have some serious relaxing to do.  Maybe with a glass or two of wine in hand…

One Response to “Not To Wine, but…”

  1. Katherine S. Says:

    Love this! Where can one get the cork flooring in the shower? So many bottles get dropped in a shower, and some break…..

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