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Friday, January 11, 2013

Glam-up the Dinner Table: Wrapping a Bottle Like a Wine Steward

We're still a month away, but a Valentine's dinner date at home comes to mind when I think of wrapping a bottle, restaurant-style. This would also be a lovely addition to a dinner party at home with friends.

It's just one of those things that you can do that costs absolutely nothing, but it elevates your dinner table from standard to fabulous!

My own bottle was free -- a repurposed cider bottle. I use it for filtered water (plain and flavored). A practically free beverage wrapped in a napkin I already own. Glamour for pennies.

Here's how:

Take a dinner-size square, cloth napkin (between 15 inches and 16  1/2 inches square) and lay it on the angle, like a diamond.

Fold up the bottom corner to not quite the halfway point on the napkin if folded on the diagonal.

The napkin should be about 1 inch longer than the bottle is tall.

My best tip would be to roll the bottle up in the napkin as tightly as possible, much like swaddling a baby. Line up the base of the bottle with the folded edge of the napkin. Begin at one side and roll across the napkin.

Roll the bottle as tightly as you can, almost stretching the napkin as you roll.

The bottle should now be completely rolled in the napkin.

Stand the bottle upright, holding onto the rolled end.

Face the back of the rolled bottle towards you, with the bottle standing up. There should be an outside "point" towards you.

Holding the rolled end securely, gently pull the top outside point of the napkin down and fold over the rolled napkin. This is what secures the rolled napkin around the bottle.

Finish peeling the outside point down, then fold the inside point down and over the outside point.

Turn the bottle around, and your bottle wrap is complete.

If you have done origami or napkin folds, then wrapping a bottle may feel familiar. Practice a couple of times. It took me a few tries to get it tight enough.

While a wine steward can wrap a bottle with the bottle standing upright, I find it easier to wrap a bottle while its on its side.

If you need to wrap an opened bottle of wine (such as a red wine, to allow to breathe), you can make the wrap on a dummy bottle, carefully slip the wrap off the bottom, then slide up the new bottle. Otherwise, wrap a sealed bottle (such as a chilled bottle of white wine or sparkling cider), or wrap a repurposed empty bottle for water (wrap the bottle, then using a funnel, fill with chilled filtered water).


You may wonder, "what's the point?" A bottle wrap keeps the bottle's contents from dripping on a nice tablecloth, and absorbs condensation from a chilled bottle.

Why I like to wrap the bottle -- I do this with repurposed bottles, used for drinking water (both flavored and plain) on a dinner table. My repurposed bottles are nothing to write home about, and this just adds a bit of glam.


  1. Very nice job of instructions. Maybe someday, I will start glammming things up and actually do this.

    1. Hi live and learn,
      Thanks. As you've likely guessed, I have a very practical side, but also enjoy fun little things like this.

  2. What a great idea! I wonder if I could also use this to wrap a glass for hot coffee? It would keep my hands cool without a handle : )

    1. Hi Anna,
      Its worth a try. It would give you that added layer of insulation between your hands and the cup! Thanks for commenting. Welcome!


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