Today's post, Dear Reader, is about bottle baskets. Bottle baskets? Yes, you read that correctly.
Ten or so years ago, Boy and I were out trolling the antiques shops in the surrounding area. In a junk store, among the dross, Boy came across a dusty, old-fashioned rectangular wicker basket with an arched handle and internal dividers. It was tagged for five dollars.
"What do you think?" he asked, holding it up for me to examine.
"I'm not so sure about that," I said. "What would we use it for?"
"For what's it's made, silly, for carrying wine bottles, of course!" Boy responded as he handed it to the fellow who ran the shop.
I became a convert in short order, and since then we've acquired half a dozen or so bottle baskets. And we use them frequently and for their intended purpose—to carry and store bottles. They are attractive and sturdy little workhorses. We keep one on the floor in our kitchen, next to Pompey's basket, filled with bottles of San Pellegrino. We use others to bring bottles of wine up the stairs from our wine cellar for luncheons, dinners, and parties. We've picked up all of these baskets at tag sales and group shoppes, usually for less than twenty dollars apiece.
Bottle baskets are particularly useful to have in an entertaining household. During parties our caterer's staff find them most convenient and aesthetically pleasing for shuttling chilled bottles of white wine and Prosecco upstairs from our basement refrigerator to the bar set up in the center hall. We have a large, two-handled one that holds twelve bottles, perfect for red wine at a porch or dinner party. It is very decorative and looks more festive than bottles simply arrayed on a table. You will notice that I'm showing it empty of wine bottles, though, because we . . . uh . . . drank it all.
Photographs by Boy Fenwick