Scrapping Whispers


Turning Cheap Wine into Good Wine

Who says scrapbookers are wasteful. Sure they throw away extra paper and odds and ends, but overall they are a rather thrifty bunch. Do it yourself types generally are! I am proud to say that I qualify hands down. Take wine, for example. It is one of my passions apart from cutting and pasting, and I spend a few bucks now and then. However, sometimes you have to draw the line on price per bottle since it quickly adds up. Unless it is a super special occasion meriting a decent layout of funds, you can use my favorite trick: a pretty wine decanter.

You can get these gems in any department store or specialty shop from pretty cheap to pretty expensive. In terms of what I have to say here about saving money on wine, I am referring to a basic style with or without a lid (which can get broken). You have no doubt seen those Italian wine decanters for Chianti that are pretty modest and only cost a few dollars. Try upping the ante and spending more to get a better grade. If it is really nice, you can display it. It doesn’t have to be cut crystal, mind you, just something that can pass for the real thing. Think of it as an investment that will last, and be reused, over time.

Here’s the thing. The wine (fairly cheap, remember) will look great in the decanter and people will never be able to guess the original price. No label means no information to read. It’s not that it’s a state secret. Your excuse is that you want to entertain in style. Using a decanter also means that your average wine can breathe in its new surroundings outside the bottle and may even taste better as a result…or so they say.

So you have two reasons to serve wine for parties or guests in a decanter. If someone asks for the original bottle, tell them it is already in the recycling bin. So, if that is the end of the discussion, you will have, in fact, turned cheap wine, into good. You will have shown your fabulous ingenuity, the same kind that helps you devise ever new and wonderful scrapbook pages for special events.

If you do go out and buy a really good bottle of wine, or are given one, and an occasion arises, by all means tote it out for all to see. Leave it with the label in full view. You can even talk about the great harvest and year or describe the nutty and fruity oaky taste. This way, when you serve the decanter-filled wine, people will absolutely believe it is the best. You will never tarnish your newfound reputation.

If you love wine as I do, you will want to include it at the dining table when you cook for others or when you just have a wine and cheese party. I find it essential, along with beer, for most social occasions. To take a tip from me, and make it a staple of your entertaining. You can do so with my secret strategy.