16 Wine Gift Ideas (aka Awesome Things on Etsy): 2016 Edition

Guess what I’m not doing today?  Studying.

I sat for my WSET3 Advanced Exam last night.  A three-hour exam, consisting of two wines in blind tasting, 50 multiple choice questions, and four 4-part essay questions.  I haven’t written that much with a pencil (a PENCIL, for Pete’s sake!!) since college.

My hand, it aches.

I feel reasonably confident I did well enough to pass the exam, but because WSET is a London based program, the exam papers have to be sent to . . . London . . . for grading.  Results aren’t expected until the first week of February.

So, what to do while I’m suddenly not-studying, and waiting for my exam results?

Last year, I put together a post highlighting Sixteen Recycled Wine Gift Ideas on Etsy.  I love crafts (and by crafts I mean things made by people with skills and talent), especially ones that are recycled and repurposed.  No one would ever mistake me for an artisan, and I’m a terrible crafter.  I have neither the patience nor the skill for it.  Michael’s makes me twitch, glitter makes me itch, and I’m not allowed to use a hot glue gun anymore.  If it looks like something I could make, I’m not impressed.

So, I treated myself to not one, but two cups of coffee this morning, and sifted through 13,000 recycled wine things on Etsy, to come up with my 2016 Etsy Picks list.  Well, I didn’t actually look at all 13,000 items, but I saw enough to get inspired.

These are the things that impressed me.  If you’re looking for the ubiquitous wine cork keychain, another slouched wine bottle cheese plate (I own three of these), a wine bottle that someone bedazzled the crap out of, or a wine glass that says, Mommy Juice (eye-roll and sigh) . . . those are readily available by the hundreds.  But they don’t make my list.

In no particular order, here are my 2016 Etsy Picks:

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  1. Wine Bottle Cozy/Sweater by Frenchstyle1.  I can’t knit.  I flirted with crocheting a few years ago and actually managed to make a baby blanket.  One.  Singular.  It looked more like a trapezoid than anything else, so I decided textile arts weren’t really my forté.  No one brings wine to my house anymore (apparently, I’m difficult to buy for), but if they did, I’d be thrilled to receive a bottle of wine wearing one of these cozy sweaters.  $10 each.
  2. The Vineyard 3-Light Chandelier by MoonshineLamp.  I’ve seen oceans of wine-bottle chandelier/lights (and piles of wine bottles with Christmas lights stuffed inside them like Thanksgiving turkeys), but this is the first time I’ve seen someone use different lightbulb/filaments.  The effect is stunning.  $369.
  3. Grapevine Knobs by Winecountrycraftsman.  Made from old California grapevines.
    Each knob is unique.  I wonder if the vanity in my bathroom needs new knobs.  $18 per knob.
  4. Wine Painting: One World by Schribe.  Wow!  Here’s an artist who paints . . . with wine!!  Wow, wow, wow.  I love this.  I tried watercolor painting once.  My painting was very, um, impressionistic.  This is beautiful.  Expensive, but actual art is expensive.  $4,500.
  5. Champagne Bottle Art by trilobite glassworks.  Send a Champagne bottle or two to Jane, and she’ll create fused glass window art, or even a bowl.  Beautiful, and a terrific wedding gift idea!  $100.
  6. Wine Barrel Ring Holiday Tree by Winecountrycraftsman.  This made my list last year, but it’s just so freaking awesome, I’m including it again this year.  (I should have bought it last year; last year it was $637).  This year:  $750.
  7. Wine Barrel Ring Pumpkins by Purplethumbnotions.  Made from recycled wine barrel rings.  Maybe I’m not ready to part with fall just yet.  Outstanding.  Various sizes, from $49.50.
  8. Champagne Cap Locket Ring by Wearing Memories.  These statement-piece rings aren’t available on Etsy, but they are in the vein of recycled wine (Champagne) things.  Each ring is like an interchangeable locket for your Champagne caps.  I own one of these superb rings in sterling silver, and it’s always a conversation starter.  They come in pendant and bracelet form, too.  From $220.
  9. Hydroponic Wine Bottle Herb Garden by PottingShedCreations.  Sleek and functional.  I’ve never grown anything hydroponically before.  Maybe that means there’s less chance I will kill the basil?  $36.00.
  10. Wine Barrel Marine Corps Wall Art by Martellas.  For the wine-drinking Marine in your life.  Martellas makes wall art for other military branches and schools, too.  $325.00.
  11. Ginko Leaf Earrings by westernartglass.  Made out of recycled wine bottles.  Whimsical and fun.  $52.00.
  12. Grapevine Coasters by Winecountrycraftsman.  Made out of one piece of ancient grapevine (the grapevine is actually from the Prohibition era in California), so the pieces are sequential in size and grain.  I have a ton of coasters, but I’d be willing to phase some out to make room for these guys.  $50.00.
  13. Wine Crate Chest by Wine Barrel Furniture Company.  Again, this is not available on Etsy.  But it’s so fantastic, I had to share.  This company is located in England (right outside of York) and they don’t ship to the USA.  My loss.  Sadness.  £1,595.
  14. Wine Barrel Ring Succulent Holder by battsinthebellfry.  I love succulents — I have a whole collection that lives outside during the summer, and inside during the winter.  But I don’t have any succulents that live in an awesome wine barrel ring.  Yet.  $120.
  15. Key Wine Glass by Moerkey.  A wine goblet sculpture made out of over 20 individually curved keys.  Tarnishes beautifully as it ages.  I almost didn’t tell you about this one, because I’m doing some serious coveting over here.  Love this!!  $111.32.  Ships from Australia.
  16. Pottery Wine Glasses by Potterybydiana.  I have a set of pottery wine goblets that I bought at a craft show years ago.  They’re works of art (and I feel very Game of Thrones when I drink out of them), but they’re totally impractical.  I love that these combine pottery with glass, so you might actually use them.  $48.00 for a set of two.

24 days and just over 8 hours until Christmas . . . time to get shopping!



    1. Hi there, FV!! Quite honestly, from a rote perspective, I feel the amount of information required for the CSW is far more intensive and comprehensive than for the WSET3. However, the difference lies in the Systematic Approach to Tasting (something I was skeptical about at the start, but now see as immensely valuable) and the requirement to make connections, think critically, and explain, explain, explain. I’m very glad I did the CSW first, as it gave me a more than solid foundation. Will you start the WSET program? Cheers!!


      1. Good to know that the CSW compares so favorably to the WSET3! Funny – when I attended the 2014 SWE conference in Seattle, I met a guy from London who was an exec with WSET. When I asked him how the CSW compares with the WSET program, he said “somewhere between Level 1 and Level 2. Riiiiight….Pretty proud of his program! I bought the WSET 3 Book, Study Guide and Specification and am going to work through it on my own as there’s not much opportunity to attend a class way up in the Northern Cal mountains. I did spend a weekend at UC Davis for a tasting seminar once and I agree with you – learning the Systematic Approach to Tasting is helpful (and fun!). Love your blog by the way. During my studies, I subscribed to many, and yours is right up there with Wine Folly as the best!


      2. Thanks so much for your kind words!! Please do keep me posted on your WSET progress. Having a foundation of CSW knowledge was key for me. I have no doubt you’ll do A-OK! Cheers!!


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