wine bottles used as water decanter
photo: sally schneider

At dinner parties these days, everybody seems to be drinking lots of water, in addition to or instead of wine. Rather than plunking a pitcher of water on the table that will undoubtedly need several refills, we’ve found another solution. We decant filtered water into great-looking wine bottles whose labels we’ve soaked off. We keep 4 or 5 of them in the fridge to have chilled water readily available. They look great on the table, and seem to make non-wine drinking guests feel like they are included in the pouring of something special.

During an ordinary day, we find them a simple, useful pleasure: chilled water to pour from a lovely vessel.

Once you start really looking at wine bottles, you’ll notice all sorts of shapes and sizes and colors, some more beautiful than others. We go for the most austerely sculptural we can find.

To soak the label off an empty wine bottle, fill the bottle with hot water and then place it in a pot of hot water covering the label. After 20 minutes or so, the label should loosen; it it doesn’t peel off altogether, scrape it off with the dull back of a knife. If any glue remains, remove it with Goo-Gone. Then wash the bottles and fill with filtered water. If you are keeping them in the fridge for more than a day or so, cork the bottles to keep the water from taking on “fridge” air.

This is just one of many charming ways to serve water…check out Maria Robledo’s water carafe with a lemon stopper.

Related posts: d-i-y plant watering globes (made beautiful with wine and other bottles)
anthony giglio’s secret weapon: a china marker for home entertaining
smoky, bacon-infused spirits for holiday cocktails
carafe with a lemon stopper
the perfect glass (thin, cheap, well-designed)

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One thought on “wine bottles as chic, cheap water decanters

  1. Olive oil works great for removing labels also. Spread a little oil on the label with your finger and let it sit. Pretty soon the label slips right off.

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