One of the side effects of my Win(e)ding Road adventures is a growing collection of souvenir wine glasses. In most wineries, at least here in Connecticut, the tasting includes the wine glass etched with the winery’s logo. A nice idea, but what do you do with the wine glasses when you’re done?
Courtesy of great sales at IKEA, Target and Bed Bath and Beyond, I already have a large collection of basic wine glasses which I keep on hand for parties. And courtesy of my friends Richard and Charles, I have a set of beautiful crystal white wine glasses for special occasions. I also don’t have the luxury of a huge wine cellar and/or bar room, so finding space for souvenir wine glasses poses its own challenge.
When I can, I politely decline the glass at the end of the tasting ~ if the winery can wash it and reuse it, it saves them money and me space in my cupboard. My rememberance of the visit is usually several bottles of wine I purchase at the end of the tasting. Sometimes, though, the winery won’t keep the glass, or they wrap it up and slip it in with my wine before I remember to tell them I was fine not taking it home. I’ve given a few away to my friend and wine-trail-buddy, Christy, so she can have matched sets, but I’m still finding myself with a nice little collection of wine glasses in my garage.
So what does one do with all those glasses? Take a page out of Seinfeld and re-gift them! I can’t take credit for this idea, as I got it from a staff member at Priam Vineyards who while sympathizing with me when I said I already had too many glasses and really didn’t need to take another home, also told me that she doesn’t do dishes, so the glass was mine.
I regularly give gifts of local wines; it’s a great way to promote local wineries, and it’s a unique gift because I’m finding most people haven’t tried their local wines. Combine a bottle or two with one or two tasting glasses etched with the winery’s logo, and presto – a gift that feels like you put some thought and creativity into it. And best of all the idea can be expanded for any occasion. Need something more special (or substantial) than just a bottle of wine? Combine the wine and glasses in a basket with local cheeses, fruits or other foods; or add a cookbook featuring local cuisine, or a special book on wines of the region ~ you’re only limited by your imagination (and budget).
And best of all? You’ve found a use for all those glasses…