Monday, July 16, 2012

In Vino Veritas

Disclaimer: This week's focus is on booze. I enjoy alcoholic beverages, but am a responsible drinker. And I can only wish others are the same. Please do not judge or criticize my choices.

With that being said...

Hello. My name is Manda. And I am a wino.
But I'm still sneaky enough to have limited photos of myself drinking wine
I enjoy other forms of alcohol, but my true love is wine. Semi-sweet whites to be exact. While there were times I drank more Merlot & Cabernet Sauvignon, there's something to be said about sweet (not too tart) taste that's light and doesn't linger. My most recent obsession is Moscato (especially if they are D'Asti).

Thankfully, I live in one of the best places for a wine-lover to reside, outside of Europe & California of course. We have two wineries in our little heaven in Western Kentucky...
Wine tasting at local Purple Toad Winery with great friends
And you wouldn't believe how many vineyards are across the river into Southern Illinois. In fact, there's 32 in the southern region of the state. Even better, that includes an area called the Shawnee Hills American Viticultural Area; where there's 21 wineries and 55 vineyards. It's nationally recognized as one the most well known & respected wine regions. There's even a trail to several of these areas I wish to travel one day. But until then, I will just keep visiting one of the best: Blue Sky Vineyards. We actually took one of my best friends from from Central Illinois there this weekend.
Good Wine, Good Food, And Great Company

So in between my love for fermented grapes during dinner and how often we socialize, we go through a lot of wine bottles. And most of the time, we just end up recycling. But I thought I would share a few ways that you can use left over wine bottles.

The first idea we stole from my husband's lovely parents a long time ago: we use an old wine bottle to carry dish soap. At the time, his parents picked out the bottle for us to use, but you can always try any left over bottle of your favorite wine... or any beverage for that matter.

Another good use that we are now trying out is watering the plants. It's a cheaper version of the watering globe they sold on TV years ago. It can also hold more water & is more durable since the glass is thicker. You pretty much wash it out, fill with water, then shove into the ground. The soil does the rest.
Not only do we hope it can help save the squash, but now my garden can drink with me
There are other great uses for wine bottles when it comes to home decor'. You can paint them, put lights or candles in them, reuse them with other beverages, use them as vases, use them as yard torches, I've even found a few links about cutting some of the glass to make cool designs. I plan to try that if I find enough bottles with colorful glass. I also need to get my hands on chalkboard paint eventually- buahaha.
I love the sight of a vineyard as sunset
So raise a glass to the never-ending enjoyment of wine. Even the mayo clinic notes that red wine (in responsible, moderate amounts) can help the cardiovascular system. The antioxidants in red wine may help protect the lining of blood vessels in the heart. One antioxidant - resveratrol - could reduce bad cholestrol & has shown to reduce the risk to obesity and diabetes in mice. Unfortunately, I can't say that includes my preference of white wine, but it is still a good beverage choice in moderation. And both red & wine wines can bring great additional flavors to certain dishes in the kitchen.

And what's the wine bottle without the cork? I'm currently trying to store up corks to make an pot holder. And thanks to one best friends, I now have an awesome container for the corks. I'll be sure to share how it all turns out.

Awesome, right?
And if you happen to end up using the bottles for your home & garden, you may avoid the risk of looking like an alcoholic come recycle day.
IN MY DEFENSE- there were mostly beer bottles. And it was after a HUGE house party. DON'T JUDGE ME.

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