On a visit earlier this year to California's Central Coast wine country, I fell in love not just with some excellent pinots, but also with a set of lawn furniture handmade from the staves of old wine barrels.
And, yes, I did buy a couple of chairs and a table for a not-particularly-reasonable price, with no regrets. The chairs are oversized and comfy with staves that extend from the sides of the seat to hold a wineglass stem wedged between. Better yet every time I sit on my suburbs-of-L.A. patio, I am reminded of California's beautiful, rural wine country.
Lately I've begun to notice all kinds of things made from wine barrels: dog beds, wine cabinets and planters among them. You can even buy an entire used barrel on Amazon or EBay.
Now comes a fashion-savvy entry into the mix. On Friday, Northern California eyewear designer Woodzee introduced sunglasses with frames made of oak from barrels that once held Robert Mondavi Private Selection Coastal Crush red wines. The lenses come in a selection of four tints (gray, bronze, reflective blue or reflective green). Each pair has a wine barrel logo at the temple.
The classic style, for men or women, is $120 at Woodzee.com.
If wine's not your thing, Woodzee has frames made from bamboo, exotic woods or recycled skateboard decks. They are all in keeping with the company's stated mission: to construct beautiful pieces created from renewable resources.
Any of them could make a noteworthy gift this holiday season.
But, Santa, it's a pair of those Robert Mondavi Private Selections that I have my eye on.