Reduce, reuse, recycle, and enjoy your wine and Baggu

Ages ago, we found ourselves wandering through wine country. And, while everyone else was busy looking at the wine, I was busy looking at the wine barrels.

Specifically, at the incredible things they made out of old wine barrels.

Who knew recycling could be so, well, gorgeous?

Reduce, reuse, recycle
So the first thing I did when I got back home was research this online. And, let me tell you, there is a whole community recycling old wine barrels. And making absolutely wonderful things.

And I found not one, but two companies you should know about.

Vintage at Heart
They make amazing cutting boards and dough bowls, vineyard baskets and serving trays and ... well, the list goes on and on.

Sure, I'd love to look at every piece. But in the name of brevity let's look at the Lazy Susan.

Handscraped Lazy Susan
First, the Lazy Susan's here are huge. How huge? With, loosely, a 22" diameter you can fit every condiment or bottle of liquor you have ever owned.

Which means you don't have to choose between the salt or the pepper or the rye or bourbon.

Second, every piece is hand crafted from either a French or an American Oak vintage wine barrel from Napa Valley, California.

Which means each piece is laden with history.

The Lazy Susan's come in a variety of finishes, each in a different shade. For example, the handscraped unit has a lovely warm patina; looking like it has been in your family for generations. What I especially liked was the sheen. Trust me when I say that the picture does not do it justice.

California Wines
Another company that also has amazing items made from wine barrels is California Wines. Here, too, you can get everything from wine racks and baskets to tables and stools (including a rocking chair that is so gorgeous it makes my knees just a little weak).

For comparison purposes, let's look at their Lazy Susan, too.

Bistro Lazy Susan
Similar in size and spinning hardware (both items turn smoothly) to the first item, this item only comes in one finish. But the finish is so gorgeous, with the richness and depth of a really good chocolate, that one is all you need.

And how do the two items compare?
While the California Wines Lazy Susan is less rustic than the Vintage at Heart Lazy Susan (it did not have a vineyard logo stamped on it, but it was smoother, with a richer finish) both are as pleasurable to use as they are to look at. Truly a delight. And what a great way to do something nice for the environment!

And speaking of the environment . . .
I wrote recently about Envirosax and received a comment about Baggu. So I went and checked them out, and they are just too adorable.

Designed by a mother and daughter team, these bags are made from rip-stop nylon and can hold the contents of up to three plastic grocery store bags. They also fold into a flat 5 by 5 inch pouch (meaning they are perfectly purse-sized), have handles, and have a good-size gusset in the bottom so they will sit flat (good for piling in the cookbooks).

Now, these reusable, lightweight bags come in all sorts of wonderful colors. But, for a real treat, I'd go for the striped bags which come in red, white, blue, and grey.

Because no one said reusable can't be fun, too!