I got a catalogue in the mail the other day from something called Napa Style. I don’t know if it’s 100% from Napa or just sort of a Fred Franzia Napa style. But they had the item shown above listed as “big bottle wine hurricanes.” Yes, empty bottles, albeit big bottles, priced $99 – $249!
How hard is it to cut a wine bottle and make your own “hurricanes” with big bottles left over from your last party or gotten from a restaurant? Not hard, it turns out. Check out the video below for details. Or, to save you ten minutes of your life, score (no points!) the bottle with a tool like this, then pour boiling water from a tea pot over the score line and the glass has a super clean break, apparently.
Voila. Now, if you like this sort of decor and feel a tiny bit artsy-craftsy, you can spend the $249 on bottles that actually have wine in them, not candles. Read more…
Have you ever been cycling home and thought, “Gee, I’d love to stop at that wine store but I have nowhere to put a bottle because I do not have a backpack or paniers or a basket or anything!” Well, this clever little gizmo available on Etsy will solve all your problems! And if you are commuting in New York City and a cab cuts you off, well, that wine bottle might just come in handy too.
One caveat: probably not great for Champagne. Unless you are seeking to turn the cork into a projectile.
When do the companion baguette holders come out for handlebars that turn your bike into a sort of Longhorn?
Hat tip: bottlenotes.
Rob, a site reader living in China, sent in these photos. He says he doesn’t drink Chinese wine (“for obvious reasons”) but this bottle was a birthday present (“tasted terrible and was definitely not made of 100% juice”).
Still, are the Chinese trying to send anglophone customers messages via corks a la fortune cookies? If so, cute idea but they may want to use a service other than Google Translate. Oh wait, maybe “You Fat in bed” sounds better? Hmm, not really.
David Pogue, tech columnist for the NYT, is known for his goofy videos. Earlier this week, on a lark, I joined him at his house to tape a segment about low-light cameras. Sure enough, it is pretty goofy–you can tune in to see my acting debut today at about 1:45 PM on CNBC. Don’t blink or you’ll miss my lines!
We were chatting during the taping and he told me that almost authored “Wine for Dummies” way back when. Read more…
Who said wine isn’t a contact sport? In an attempt to break a world record, Harry Constantinescu, sommelier at the St. Regis Hotel in Atlanta, had a crack and a zing at sabering 22 bottles of Champagne in 60 seconds last Friday.
We’ve talked about children and wine education before. And recently about divers finding old wine under the sea. So I was surprised to stumble on a reference in a book I was reading to my kids the other day, The Fantastic Undersea Life of Jacques Cousteau, by Dan Yaccarino.
“When diving in the waters near France,” Yaccarino writes, “Cousteau and his crew found a sunken ship full of wine jars over 2,200 years old! They tasted the wine. Alas, it was bitter.”
My seven-year-old son thought it was cool to taste something outrageously old, even if it was “bitter.” (Apparently, Cousteau’s comment at the time was that it was “a poor vintage.”) Here’s the same 1952 discovery in another book, for grown-ups:
“[Cousteau] checked his depth gauge. Two hundred and fifty feet. … He tripped his reserve valve to give himself an extra five minutes. … And there it was. Looking like an object in a museum … an amphora lay half buried on the slope in front of him. With the last measure of his strength, Cousteau pulled the amphora free of the bottom.”
Funny we get the tasting notes in the kids’ book. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find any video from on-board the Calypso. But I’m sure it was captured in the ABC series “The Undersea World of Jacques Cousteau.”
Last fall, my younger brother, Conrad, sailed from France to Brazil. By himself. In a race. On a 20 foot boat.
He set off from Brittany, where, aged 25, he was living in a used electrician’s van. He sailed about ten days to Madeira where the fleet stopped for fresh supplies before setting off again for Brazil. However, the degree of difficulty was raised for him when he lost one of his solar panels, and had to choose between the long-distance radio or the GPS. Needless to say, he kept the GPS. But that meant that he only talked to a few freighter ship captains over the twenty days from Madeira to Recife, Brazil.
When he crossed the equator he had a half bottle of “some cheap cava” that he uncorked to celebrate. He said he was more concerned about it being small and light than being good. But that said, it was “absolutely fantastic.”
The video of him toasting the boat and King Neptune is above. (To clarify, we are half-brothers and he was raised in New Zealand, which explains his jubilation of about being “home” again in the Southern Hemisphere.) You can check out his site and read about his preparations for his 30,000-mile around-the-world race that he starts next year. Hopefully he’ll have some nice bubbly to celebrate the end of that accomplishment.
Today’s summer wine factoid: Nomacorc, a purveyor of plastic wine closures that require a corkscrew to remove, was the brainchild of a Belgian businessman who made a fortune manufacturing extruded plastics, including pool noodles. So if you’ve been floating around in the pool this summer and sensed a connection, you’re right.
In related news, plastic closures were the closure that consumers disliked the most by a two-to-one margin over all other closures in our recent poll.