As we packed our last night in California, I carefully wrapped each of our 18 wine glasses in bubble wrap, tissue, or whatever type of padding each winery provided. It was a game of wine glass Tetris as I strategically placed each glass into shopping bags to carry on the airplane. One problem though, we had too many carry ons. My purse, Mark’s laptop bag (some day I’ll get him to stop bringing that on vacation!), my rolling suitcase, and two shopping bags full of wine glasses. It was time to get creative. I removed the extra shoulder strap from my purse and placed the smaller of the two shopping bags on the larger. Then, I hooked the purse strap through the handles to make a double-decker shopping bag. I could carry both bags by the strap and the whole contraption was just slightly shorter than my roller bag. Success!
Now you may be asking, why all the wine glasses? And why take the trouble to haul them back from California? It’s because of this guy:
From our first date to today, Mark and I have always enjoyed wine together. When registering for our wedding we spotted this chandelier at Pottery Barn and thought it would be a great functional and decorative piece to store our wine glasses. Sadly when it was finally installed, we realized that it wasn’t quite stable enough to use as a storage unit. Upon taking down a glass the whole chandelier tips and becomes off balance. Quite a bummer when we had filled it with our new crystal wine glasses, rendering them unusable. That’s when Mark had the idea to collect wine glasses at wineries we visit and fill the chandelier with memorable tokens of our trips.
Throughout our recent trip in Napa and Sonoma, we picked up glasses wherever we went, paying little attention to how many we accumulated along the way. We gathered glasses from Peju, Ledson, and Coppola. Cline, Port Creek, Gundlach Bundschu, and many more. We even received a free one with our tasting at Prager (see Mark’s thought’s on Prager’s Port here)! A total of 18 in all, however we had one casualty along the way. Our glass from Ballentine vineyard didn’t make it and the stem somehow shattered during transport. Oddly enough, the bowl remained intact.
The night we returned from the trip, we carefully removed our crystal and replaced it with the treasures of our travels (granted most of the winery glasses are Riedel so it wasn’t a downgrade by any means!). The chandelier holds 30 so the top and second tiers hold our 17 glasses from Napa and Sonoma and the rest is filled with glasses from local wineries we have picked up here and there. Most local places give you the glass with your tasting so we already had a few. We even have a couple from Plains Trading Company, Mark’s parent’s book and gift store in Valentine, Nebraska. (They have a great selection of wines from the Midwest, hence the wine glass.)
Our chandelier has become quite the conversation piece when we have guests and is now a great reminder of the wineries we have visited. We hope to add more unique glasses to our collection and even swap them out on the chandelier from time to time. We have even discussed how the chandelier will come with us someday if we move. As we merged households after marriage there were often debates over “my stuff” and “Mark’s stuff” however this piece stands out as something that is both of us.