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Top 5 Ways to Upcycle Wine Bottles

Top 5 Ways to Upcycle Wine Bottles

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, and Tag Us #IGTupcycle

Each In Good Taste wine flight features six to eight mini bottles of premium wine, presenting the perfect opportunity to taste your way through the best that the world of wine has to offer. We’ve put our fans on social media to the test to provide their favorite upcycle ideas for reusing each 187ml bottle after their tasting is over.  Let’s take a look at some of the most creative wine bottle upcycled DIY projects!

Wine Bottle Upcycle - Plant Propagation

First Things First: Removing the Labels!

If you are like most people, you don’t want the wine bottle label stuck on the glass when repurposing it.  However, it is a mistake to attempt to peel off the label with your fingernails as doing so will chew up your precious time and prove quite frustrating.  Instead, take note of the following helpful tips to remove labels from your wine bottles prior to repurposing them, for additional utility or decorative beauty.  

Option 1) Dry Heat

One of the best ways to remove labels from wine bottles is to hold a hairdryer over the bottle label, running it on high for a couple of minutes.  The heat from the hairdryer will soften the adhesive and might even help its corners curl upward away from the glass for easier removal.  

Option 2) Wet Heat

Another effective way to remove the labels from your used small wine bottles is with the use of hot water.  Soak your wine bottles in a dish basin full of hot, soapy water for several hours or even overnight.  The hot water will loosen up the label, making it that much easier to peel it off with your fingernail or a butter knife.

Option 3) Solvents & Oils

If you’re unable to remove all paper and adhesive from the bottle using either heat method, following up with Goo Gone or even good, old, creamy peanut butter may help! The oil from peanut butter breaks down and weakens the adhesive, and is surprisingly simple to clean up. Spray Goo Gone or spread PB liberally on your wine bottles, let sit for 10-15 minutes, then wipe away.

Clean, sanitize and dry your bottles fully before using them for food or drink preparation.

DIY Wine Bottle Tiki Torch

Wouldn’t it be nice if you could repurpose your wine bottles into tiki torches?  Flex your creative muscle and you will be able to do exactly that, turning wine glass bottles that would have otherwise been recycled into artful tiki torches that illuminate the area around your home.  Here is a quick look at how to make your own wine bottle tiki torch.

Wine Bottle Tiki Torch
DIY Wine Bottle Tiki Torch
    • Materials:
  • Empty In Good Taste wine bottle
  • Gravel or small marbles
  • A funnel
  • Copper coupling measuring ½-inch by ⅜-inch
  • Tiki torch fuel
  • Tiki torch wick
  • Plumber’s Teflon tape
      1. Instructions:
  • 1. Fill the empty wine bottle one-third of the way with gravel or marbles to enhance its stability.
  • 2. Use the funnel to help guide the tiki fuel down into the wine bottle.
  • 3. Wrap the Teflon tape around the outside of the copper coupling, ensuring it has a sung fit within the bottle’s opening.
  • 4. Move the wick into the coupling so it reaches the interior of the bottle.
  • 5. Give the wick a minimum of 24 hours to soak up the oil prior to lighting it.
  • DIY Wine Bottle Fruit-infused Water

    Once you've enjoyed the last drop of your fruit-forward wine, our 187ml glass bottles also work great for fantastic, single-serving water infusions! is Fruit-infused water sipped from a wine bottle tastes refreshing and sweet, yet has significantly less sugar and calories than eating those fruits in solid form.  This is the quickest and best way to clench your thirst without resorting to plain water that lacks flavor.  An added bonus is the beauty of a water-filled wine bottle that doubles as décor in your fridge or table.

    DIY Fruit-Infused Water in Upcycled Wine Bottle
    DIY Wine Bottle Fruit-Infused Water
    • Some great fruits and vegetables to use in infused water include:
    • Berries like Strawberries, Blueberries, or Blackberries
    • Citruses like Lemons, Limes, or Grapefruit
    • Other fruits like Melons
    • Vegetables like Carrots, Cucumbers, or Fennel
    • Herbs and Spices
    • Edible Flowers like Violets
    • Have fun and create delicious combinations like:
    • Strawberry, Basil, and Lemon
    • Honeydew Melon, Cucumber, and Mint
    • Blackberries, Orange, and Ginger
    • Blueberry, Lemon, and Rosemary
    • Pineapple, Coconut, and Lime
    • Mango, Raspberry, and Ginger
    • Grapefruit and Jalapeno
    • Raspberry and Rosemary
    1. Instructions:
    2. 1. To begin, wash all the herbs, fruits, and vegetables you want to add to your water-filled wine bottles. To avoid extra bitterness, peel all citrus and cucumbers before use.
    3. 2. Next, chop your fruits or vegetables small enough to fit into the mouth of the bottle. Pre-chopping will also provide more surface area to inject even more flavor into the water than whole fruits. Fill the bottle ½-¾ full with fruit and top with filtered water.
    4. 3. Allow this mixture to steep for at least 15 minutes. You can continue to add more water to the fruit-laden wine bottle as you drink it to maintain the amazing fruit flavor. Longer steeping times will deepen the flavor.

    Enjoy your fruit-infused water within eight hours for optimal flavor, and to avoid spoiling. For a longer shelf-life, straining the pieces of fruit and retain the flavorful water within a covered bottle or thermos.  Keep this fruit-infused water in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.

    For even more flavor, steep your bottles in a warm area with sunlight for an hour or less. Similar to sun tea, the sunlight extracts the flavors all the more prior to moving the bottle to the fridge.  Once your fruit-infused water is ready to drink, filter it with cheesecloth layers or even a sieve to eliminate the pulp and seeds prior to sitting back, relaxing, and sipping away.

    Alternatively, switch it up by flavoring ice cubes, to chill and flavor your water as it melts. Add fresh pieces of chopped fruit to ice cube molds, top with water, and freeze until solid.  Once the ice cubes are ready, drop them into your partially filled wine bottles so the water tastes cooler and has that much more fruit infusion. Or try these recipes with sparkling water!

    DIY Wine Bottle Plant Propagation

    Many of us picked up hobbies during quarantine; from baking, to puzzles, Netflix-officianados. If you've chosen the path of "plant-aholic," our beautiful bottles also make great propagation stations, or nurseries for sprouts to grow their widdle roots.

    Wine Bottle Upcycle - Plant Propagation
    DIY Wine Bottle Plant Propagation
    • Materials:
    • Scissors or garden shears
    • Clean IGT Mini Bottle
    • A plant that can be reproduced using propagation, such as pathos ivy, philodendrons, Christmas cactus, monsteras, ZZ plants, or even mint
    1. Instructions:
    2. 1. Use scissors or garden shears to cut a small section of the stem (at least 3" long) just below its joint. For ivy, this will look like a gray knob on the vine, for others it may be where the plant has roots showing, or a knuckle of the branch.
    3. 2. Dip your plant in root stimulator or even ground cinnamon, and place the cut end into the bottle.
    4. 3. Add water so that cut end of stem is 1-inch below water's surface and place in a sunny area.

    DIY Wine Bottle Infused Oils

    There’s no sense in paying through the nose for savory-infused oil when you can make your own at home with your empty wine bottles.  A freshly cleaned used wine bottle is perfect for all different types of oil, herbs, and spices.  From pure olive oil to canola oil, safflower oil, and beyond, you can make all sorts of different savory-infused oils on your own in the comfort of your home.

    Resist the temptation to use the super expensive extra virgin olive oil as you will add flavoring that offsets the olive scent and flavor.  Furthermore, canola oil and grapeseed oil are worth considering, especially if you want to infuse stronger flavors such as mint or ginger.  Regular olive oil is optimal for oregano and rosemary.

    Wine Bottle Upcycle - Infused Oils
    DIY Wine Bottle Infused Oils
    • Best herbs and spices for making flavorful oils:
    • Chamomile Flower
    • Lavender Flower
    • Comfrey Leaf
    • Chili Flakes
    • Lemon Balm
    • Thyme
    • Peppermint Leaf
    1. Instructions:
    2. 1. Add herbs to the empty bottle, leaving a couple of inches of room above for oil.
    3. 2. Fill the bottle with oil, covering the herbs by at least an inch.  When in doubt, err on the side of adding more oil rather than less. 
    4. 3. Replace the bottle top, shake and place in a sunny window.  Continue to shake the bottle once per day.
    5. 4. After a couple of weeks pass, strain the herbs from the oil with a mesh strainer or cheesecloth and store the savory-infused oils in a dark and cool area. Depending on the oil used, your infusion should be useful for 2-12 months.

    In general, it is best to use dry herbs.  However, if you choose fresh herbs, bruise or crumple them and give them some time to wilt so excess moisture can be eliminated.  Cut the wilted herbs into small pieces and crush them prior to adding them to the empty small wine bottles.

    Steeping oils in the sun will also help to naturally infuse flavors into the oil.  Rely on the sun to enhance the infusion process and the resulting herbal oil will prove useful for both culinary oils as well as body care. For an oil hair mask that hydrates, use your empty small wine bottles to make rosemary-infused olive oil.  

    DIY Cocktail Mixers

    Upcycle your wine bottles into cocktail mixers, invite some friends over and you are sure to have a blast.  Most cocktail mixers are a basic blend of simple syrup and flavoring.

    Wine Bottle Upcycle - Mint Mojito Mix
    Flavored Simple Syrup Recipe for Cocktail Mixers
    • Ingredients:
    • ½ cup Water
    • ½ cup Sugar
    • ¼ cup Herb of Your Choice
    1. Instructions:
    2. 1. In a small saucepan, bring water and sugar to a boil.
    3. 2. Remove from the heat and add flavorings, and steep for at least 2 hours at room temperature.
    4. 3. Strain, pour into a clean IGT Mini Bottle, cover tightly, and refrigerate.
    Flavored Liquor Recipe for Cocktail Mixers
    • Ingredients:
    • 6 ounces Vodka or Rum
    • ¾ tsp Dried Herb of Your Choice
    1. Instructions:
    2. 1. In a clean IGT Mini Bottle, combine vodka and dried herbs.
    3. 2. Cover tightly and store at room temperature for one week.
    4. 3. Strain and store in a refrigerator for up to one month.

    Cocktail mixer recipes will vary, so follow the instructions for making and storing.

    Share Your DIY Wine Bottle Upcycling Ideas!

    Do you have any other ideas for wine bottle upcycling? We would love to share them with our community!  We welcome all creative ideas.  Tag us @ingoodtastewines or #IGTupcycle with your wine bottle upcycling ideas.

    Summer Picks

    Our Favorites

    Warm, sunny days require wines that are crisp and oh-so refreshing. With two delicious rosés and a delightful Sauvignon Blanc, our Summer Picks are the perfect addition to your sunshine-filled adventures.

    $61.97

    Add to Cart

    California Wine Mixer Top 3

    Our Favorites

    Californian wine is a state of mind. The Cabernet Sauvignon, Rosé, and Red Wine from our California Wine Mixer bundle can transport your state of mind (and palate) all the way to The Golden State.

    $77.97

    Add to Cart

    International Whites

    Our Favorites

    Experience a world-class wine tour for your tastebuds from the comfort of home. This bundle features incredible selections from France and Italy that will have you ready to grab your passport and hop a plane.

    $67.97

    Add to Cart

    Vine Voyage Top 3

    Our Favorites

    The Vine Voyage bundle will remind you why France and Italy are two of the most well-known, wine-producing countries in the world. Take your senses to the European countryside with Montepulciano, Rosé of Sangiovese, and Nerello Cappuccio.

    $58.97

    Add to Cart

    Light Reds

    Our Favorites

    Like the infectious laugh of a best friend, these wines will warm your soul and lighten your mood. Our Light Reds bundle with a Grenache, Coteaux Borguignons AOC, and Pinot Noir are sure to be your new wine besties!

    $79.97

    Add to Cart

    Big Reds

    Our Favorites

    Big. Bold. Unapologetic. The rich, unmistakable flavors of the Cabernet Sauvignon, Barbera, and Bordeaux Rouge in our Big Reds collection are perfect for the unwavering palate that demands something more.

    $81.97

    Add to Cart

    Rosé of Sangiovese

    Andiamo

    Sangiovese can be found in both the Chianti and Montalcino regions of Tuscany (it all sounds so romantic, right?) and is known for producing classic medium-bodied wines. A rosé wine is actually made from red grapes (like the Sangiovese) that haven’t fully ripened by harvesting time. Try as these grapes might, they ended up a little too tart and a little too light in color for a typical red; but that’s where the Rosé of Sangiovese comes to play. Crisp, fruit-forward, and easy-to-drink—it’s everything you want in your bottle of rosé and more.

    $19.99

    Sauvignon Blanc

    La Pluma

    We couldn’t have rosé and Pinot Grigio at the La Pluma party without inviting its ring leader, Sauvignon Blanc. If Pinot Grigio is the dry, acidic friend of the group and rosé is the always sweet and highly affable one, Sauvignon Blanc exists between the two to create true Zen. An interesting and addictive blend of grapefruits and herbs set this white wine apart and make it incredibly difficult to resist, especially when the temperature is high and your desire for a refreshment is higher. La Pluma Sauvignon Blanc is the perfect poolside or beach companion; just be sure to bring a few bottles because your friends will definitely want to partake, and we don’t blame them!

    $23.99

    Barbera

    Wild Child

    The perfect pizza wine. Barbera is a simple wine that’s not only easy for winemakers to make, but easier to drink. It’s low in alcohol and an Italian red wine we implore you try chilled because it’s truly *chef’s kiss*. Classic Barberas are fruity, medium bodied and offer the perfect hint of tartness. It’s also the best of both worlds in terms of light and heavy red wines. Let’s say you’re having a friend over who always prefers a cab, but you’re more of a Pinot Noir kinda gal. Order a pizza and open the Barbera for a perfect middle ground kind of evening. After all, the combo of good red wine and pizza is the great equalizer.

    $24.99

    Montepulciano

    Andiamo

    Big, bold, and full of flavor—exactly what you’d expect an Italian wine to be! This classic Italian grape produces some of Italy’s most straightforward red wines and is often used as a blending grape. Not here, though. We let Montepulciano do the heavy lifting as a heavy red wine and shine on its own. If you enjoy the smell of leather bound books, nibbling on dried fruit, and complementary notes of bitter, dark chocolate and sweet plums, you will love this Italian wine. No need to pair it with any certain dish—Montepulciano tastes great with all the Italian classics.

    $20.99

    Cabernet Sauvignon

    Unprecedented

    If Pinot Noir is the light and juicy queen of reds, Cabernet Sauvignon is her bolder, heavier, meatier sister. Often referred to as just “cab,” it’s the wine of France’s Bordeaux and California’s Napa Valley. There’s nothing subtle about Cabernet Sauvignon—high in alcohol, full-bodied and robust, you can usually find this red served with a ribeye, New York Strip, or filet mignon (re: carnivores love cab). Classic cabs usually offer tasting notes of chocolate, coffee, and darker fruits like prunes and plums. The Unprecedented Cabernet Sauvignon is as classic as they come, and we highly recommend letting the bottle sit and mellow until your next red meat and potatoes dinner!

    $34.99

    Rosé

    La Pluma

    While it’s the unofficial official wine of summer and warm weather situations, La Pluma’s Rosé is one you can drink year-round, no matter the occasion. All rosé wine is derived from red grapes that didn’t quite make the cut, but the result exceeds expectations in terms of highly-sippable, easy-drinking wine. This La Pluma Rosé is as light as its feathery namesake and is best served extremely chilled for an extremely chill afternoon of nothing but vibes. And maybe a few snacks.

    $17.99

    Pinot Grigio

    La Pluma

    If you’re looking for more zest in your life, a bottle of Pinot Grigio can provide that. We included a classic Pinot Grigio in the La Pluma collection because we’re all about light and easy here, which is exactly what this grape from Italy is. It has that dry sense of humor that seems so effortless with a punchy acidity to keep you on your toes, all while offering notes of lemon, limes, green apples, and honeysuckle. Long story short; when it’s been a heavy day and your soul is seeking light things only, you’ll be happy to have this bottle on hand.

    $19.99

    Pinot Noir

    Unprecedented

    We couldn’t create the In Good Taste Unprecedented collection without the Golden Retriever of wines: Pinot Noir. Pinot is likable, it’s easy, and its natural state of being is simply charming. It’s an incredibly easy red wine to love, which is why so many people do. The grape itself is from the Burgundy region of France, but has made its way to California, Oregon, Australia, Italy, Argentina, and Germany since. Our Pinot Noir has no surprise twists—it’s a classic light red with just the right amount of sweetness to keep you coming back for another glass (or two).

    $25.99

    Coteaux Bourguignons

    Passport

    The Burgundy region of France is home to their best Pinot Noirs, but we took the grapes into our own hands to create something extra special with our Coteaux Bourguignons. It’s a blend of Pinot Noir and Gamay, which results in a French red that’s light in body but full in flavor. The ripest blueberries and freshest herbs can be easily detected in this French burgundy blend. May we suggest pairing it with some creamy brie and freshly baked bread? It’s a oui-ning combo.

    $25.99

    Nerello Cappuccio

    Wild Child

    This is not your average Italian red. Nerello Cappuccio is a dark-skinned grape variety from Sicily, the Mount Etna region to be exact (yes, the volcano). Although its color is vibrant, you might be surprised to know that it’s a much softer red than it looks to be. Our Nerello Cappuccio is cherry-forward, with other tasting notes of vanilla, light coffee (like your favorite breakfast blend), and minerals. The delicate tannins in this Sicilian wine will surprise and delight you and tastes exceptionally good paired with margherita pizza or arancini balls (drool).

    $17.99

    Chardonnay

    Unprecedented

    Ah, Chardonnay. The buttery, oaky, rich white wine that is polarizing in its very nature. This is the type of wine you either love or hate; it’s rare to find someone who lies somewhere in the middle. If you’re in the “love” category, our classic Unprecedented California Chardonnay will surely become a new favorite. Its buttery vanilla nature pairs extremely well with like minded buttery, creamy foods such as brie cheese, lobster, crab cakes, crème brûlée, squash, corn, and mushrooms.

    $33.00

    Verdicchio

    Andiamo

    A little sweet. A little tart. A little salty? You truly get it all with this white Italian wine. If you’re into that biting acidity, Verdicchio will probably be high on your list of most-loved wines from our Andiamo collection. Citrus fruits like mandarin, lemon, and grapefruit are at the forefront, but what really sets this Italian wine apart is its distinct notes of almond. While our Verdicchio can start out tasting a bit bitter, the more you sip, the sweeter it becomes. In fact, we suggest approaching it as an aperitif (Italian for an alcoholic drink sipped before a meal to stimulate the appetite) to experience its full effect.

    $23.99

    Red Wine

    Unprecedented

    We’d love to introduce you to our old friend: Unprecedented Red Wine. She’s a 2019 blend that has been with us through it all and grown to be one of our more popular wines. She’s a mix of all the best Italian grapes: Barbera, Sangiovese, and Tempranillo with a splash of Mourvèdre and a few others. They’re all hanging out, having one big, juicy, delicious party! Tasting notes include a touch of spice, a hint of leather, and some of the best juicy fruits, including blackberries. She truly gets along with just about everybody!

    $24.99

    Côtes du Rhône White

    Passport

    This was one of our first French wines to join the Passport collection and one sip will explain why. Some background on the Rhône Valley in France: While this region is known for its dark, juicy reds, a very small amount of special white wines are made in the Rhône Valley. Our Côtes du Rhône is packed with French-perfected, floral flavor and Old-World charm. Its natural tang paired with the weighty Marsanne grape and aromatic Roussanne grape results in a crisp, savory sip that’ll transport you to a sunbathing chair by the Rhône itself.

    $23.99

    Bordeaux Rouge

    Passport

    When you picture medieval folk sitting around a feast with goblets of wine, chances are they were drinking Bordeaux. This wine has been made in France since forever and is arguably the most classic French wine out there. Bordeaux is known for its full body, smoky notes, and rich, oaky taste. If you love cabs, chances are you will adore Bordeaux. For our Passport wines, we had to include this classic French red for you to sip and enjoy to your heart’s content. Best savored over a rich meal like lamb ragu, ratatouille, or BBQ.

    $21.99

    Ventoux Rosé

    Passport

    You probably know that the Tour de France is held on Ventoux Mountain in France, but did you know that the same area is known for its high-altitude rosé? This is the kind of quintessential French rosé that you don’t need to spin your wheels over—it’s simply delicious, crisp, and perfect for warm weather. Despite its delicate, pale pink color, each sip is lush with flavor, from tropical passionfruit and zesty citrus to refreshing melon. This has the potential to be your new summer go-to, so we’d suggest stocking up.

    $21.99

    Tempranillo

    Wild Child

    Say “¡Hola!” to Spain’s main grape: Tempranillo. This red grape put Rioja wine on the map and is un vino tinto classico. It’s best compared to a classic cab, but with a bit more unique magic that’s hard to put your finger on, which is why it’s a part of our Wild Child line. This medium- to full-bodied wine with its relatively higher tannins usually offers complex notes of cherry, fig, cedar, tobacco, and dill. This is the type of red wine you want to buy and pour for a Latin-infused meal; think carne asada, tacos al carbon, or just perfectly cooked steak fajita meat.

    $27.99

    Grenache

    La Pluma

    We knew the only red in the La Pluma collection had to be exceptionally good and exceptionally light. That’s why including a Grenache was a no-brainer. If smooth, fruit-forward, light-bodied reds appeal to your tastebuds, this could be your new favorite. The grape itself is tricky; depending on the climate of where its grown, Grenache wines could be light, dense, or somewhere in the middle. La Pluma’s version has all the airiness and flavor notes we wanted in our Grenache, which is how we know you’ll love it. Get the most of this red by pairing it with roasted meats, spice-heavy vegetables, and Mexican-inspired dishes with lots of cumin.

    $27.99

    Barbera

    Andiamo

    We really try not to play favorites at In Good Taste, but there is just something about an Italian Barbera that hits different in the best way. Barberas are the perfect wine for pizza night; they’re low in alcohol, medium bodied but taste super light, and their berry and plum flavors pair incredibly well with savory tomato sauce and cheese! Another fun thing about Barberas? They actually taste great when chilled, which is not something we’re in the habit of suggesting for our red wines. Our Italian Barbera is the perfect marriage of a cab and a pinot and is the ideal choice for a ladies who lunch kind of afternoon.

    $21.99

    Vermentino

    Wild Child

    We couldn’t not have a weird white in the mix, right?! The Vermentino grape grows exclusively along the coast of Italy on the island of Sardinia (yeah, like the fish). Because of its origin, this grape offers a salty, crisp flavor that’s incredibly easy to drink and enjoy. We say it’s “weird” only because it’s not widely known by name, but chances are you’ve probably had it before if you’ve ever ordered white wine in an Italian restaurant. If you love peaches and lemons and get a kick out of anything that reminds you of the sea, our Vermentino is the perfect Italian white to experience on a sunny day outside.

    $23.99

    Viognier

    Unprecedented

    For the Chardonnay lovers who are looking to dig a bit deeper in the world of bold whites, a Viognier (pronounced vee-own-yay) could be your next big adventure. Viogniers tend to have more range; while they can be creamy with hints of vanilla like their Chardonnay counterpart, they also offer lighter, fruitier flavors like tangerine, mango, and honeysuckle. It’s still a more full-bodied white wine, but unlike Chardonnay, it’s softer on acidity and more perfumed. Spend an afternoon with a glass of Viognier amongst the flowers and it’ll all make sense.

    $24.99

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