Home > Experiences, wine > Meet The Winemaker, Get Your Bottle Signed, Now What?

Meet The Winemaker, Get Your Bottle Signed, Now What?

You come to the wine tasting, meet the winemaker. Talk about vintage, talk about history, taste the wine, get very excited, taste another wine, get even more excited, get a few bottles, and the winemaker signs them for you. So far so good, right?

d'Arenberg bottle, signed by Chester Osborn

d’Arenberg bottle, signed by Chester Osborn

You come home, put the bottles in the cellar. Now the time comes, and you remember that great wine you put aside to be enjoyed later. And you decide that the moment is now. You get the bottle. And it has a winemaker signature on it!!! Is it still the bottle of wine? Yes, but now, it is also the memorabilia! What now?

Yes, you can keep the signed book, baseball or baseball card, a cap, a painting and many other objects … forever!. You can take them out, show to the friends, tell the stories, rehash the memories, re-live the moment, pass those mementos from generation to generation if you wish. But wine? What do you do with the wine?

Another signed bottle I have - might be past prime already!

Another signed bottle I have – might be past prime already!

Drink the bottle and keep the empty, proudly displaying it (yeah, really not sure about that one)? Never open the bottle and keep it as is? But it is wine. It will not be good indefinitely…

So, what would you do? I’m asking this question as a generic one, not pertinent to the bottles I have. What would you do or what do you do with the signed bottles you have?

Happy Friday, friends. Cheers!

  1. Mika
    June 14, 2013 at 11:00 am

    Drink the wine, and if the memory’s important save the bottle. If you plan ahead you can remove the foil carefully enough to be able to replace it so it looks untouched…

    • talkavino
      June 14, 2013 at 3:17 pm

      Hmmm, that is possible – not sure if I would want to do that. But maybe…

  2. PSsquared
    June 14, 2013 at 11:15 am

    Excellent question. We had one signed bottle from a local wine maker, but we didn’t save it. Now I feel like I should have put more thought into putting it in the recycle bin. 🙂

    • talkavino
      June 14, 2013 at 3:18 pm

      No, I think you are right. I think I’m over-thinking it…

      • PSsquared
        June 14, 2013 at 3:37 pm

        We had one special bottle, that was more of a souvenir from a vacation, and we turned that into a candle after we drank the wine.

        • talkavino
          June 15, 2013 at 7:12 am

          That’s a great idea! You keep it around and it is used for something, that makes sense.

  3. June 14, 2013 at 1:06 pm

    I use them as decor in the home♥

    • talkavino
      June 14, 2013 at 3:20 pm

      Probably would work for a basement or the cellar, but I wouldn’t want that type of decor around the house.

  4. June 14, 2013 at 3:31 pm

    Drink them. Wine like life is transitory. It’s value lays in enhancing the moment. Just as meeting the winemakers were great experiences. Either way, you’ve got the photos if you get nostalgic =)

    • talkavino
      June 15, 2013 at 7:13 am

      Very well said! Will follow your advice, thank you. And yes, now I definitely have photos.

  5. June 14, 2013 at 4:09 pm

    When I won the Gundlach Bundschu poetry contest, they gifted a magnum of ’97 Cab Franc which I wrote about for Open That Bottle Night. When I received it, I said, “I’m never going to want to open it!” To which they replied, you better drink it! So I did, and I save the empty bottle because it is a beauty and somewhat of a trophy for me.

    • talkavino
      June 15, 2013 at 7:11 am

      Yes, you are absolutely right! Will be opening bottle soon…

  6. June 14, 2013 at 9:00 pm

    I’ve only had a few signed bottles, but I drink them and recycle them, after I take a picture of the signature. Perhaps if it were a bottle by a celebrity winemaker, it would be different…

    • talkavino
      June 15, 2013 at 7:08 am

      To me, all the winemakers I want to buy a bottle of wine from, are celebrities : ) It is a memory connection which is important, this is why I want to keep them around…

      • June 15, 2013 at 1:56 pm

        True, but I tend to think of them more like friends, who I would get an autograph from. Can you have them sign the label instead of the glass? I pull labels from some bottles to preserve the memories – much easier to collect than the whole bottle.

        • talkavino
          June 15, 2013 at 2:03 pm

          I agree – but they usually sign the bottle…

  7. June 14, 2013 at 9:14 pm

    I’d drink it when I think it is at its best, and then keep the empty bottle with the signature as a memento – enhanced by the actual (hopefully great) memory of enjoying the contents of that bottle! But hey, that’s just me Anatoli, and I understand your predicament 🙂

    • June 14, 2013 at 10:30 pm

      I’m with Stefano on this. I keep some empty bottles around for the memory and I like the look. So that would totally work for me…

      • talkavino
        June 15, 2013 at 7:04 am

        Yes, I guess this is the right approach – at least seems this is what the majority recommends : )

    • talkavino
      June 15, 2013 at 7:07 am

      thanks, Stefano. Sounds like I have no choice but to open that bottle from 2000, and really hope that it is not past prime yet : )

  8. June 14, 2013 at 9:41 pm

    I have a couple of bottles of wines that bear autographs. After the wine has been enjoyed, I usually remove the labels for either one of my scrap books of wines, or to now wallpaper the outside wall to my wine cellar. A bottle with an autograph, is kept on a shelf in my wine cellar for certain keepsake items such as this.

    • talkavino
      June 15, 2013 at 7:05 am

      Thanks. My only problem is that I don’t have a cellar, so I don’t have a logical place for keeping the bottle…

  9. June 15, 2013 at 8:56 am

    I’ve never gotten a bottle signed. I guess I didn’t realize people did that. Things that make you go hmmm! I can’t imagine not drinking it at some point.

    • talkavino
      June 15, 2013 at 9:06 am

      I met Chester Osborn, winemaker from d’Arenberg, at the tasting in the local store – and he had a special pen handy for signing the bottle. I always maintain that wine if form of the art, so having am autograph by the creator of particular piece of art is quite appropriate, in my opinion. But then one gets to ponder at the silly questions : )

  10. June 18, 2013 at 9:48 am

    I am a little late to the party, but I understand your dilemma. It is not helped by the relatively recent trend of wine maker as rock star, but having spent a little bit of time with some, they are just like everyone else. So while the signature is cool and special to us, I would bet that almost all of them would want you to drink and enjoy the wine.

    • talkavino
      June 18, 2013 at 10:45 am

      thanks Jeff, this makes perfect sense of course. I guess I just need a new house with the cellar…

  11. June 20, 2013 at 8:53 am

    HA! Reminded me of going to a tasting with my best friend where we met the visiting winemaker and he offered to sign the $100+ my friend was buying. My friend was VERY excited at the moment of receiving the signed bottle but as we got to the parking lot I heard him mutter “Great, now I can’t open it!”
    I say pop that cork and ENJOY!
    Thank you.

    • talkavino
      June 20, 2013 at 9:57 am

      Yep, my dilemma exactly : ) Thanks for the advice!

  12. Stacey
    August 7, 2016 at 11:27 pm

    Look on line for ideas that will work well in your house that involve using old EMPTY wine bottles. For example, use a glass cutter and cut off the bottom and place over a candle, electric or real, then the signatures will have a glow to them. Or if you don’t want to cut them, there are ways of using wired Christmas light and hanging them from their tops.

  13. Lil
    December 15, 2016 at 1:05 pm

    I have two signed bottles and in the process of moving wondered if I was tossing away value. You have all given me something to consider. BTW, I did drink the wine. I might just take a photo of the signature and labels and keep the memories that way. Thanks.

    • talkavino
      December 15, 2016 at 9:43 pm

      I agree – unless the bottle itself is super-special (label, shape), it doesn’t make much sense to keep it around.

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