Most of them came from the UK, Italy or Netherlands - anywhere but the US. So another fun aspect - strange packages arrive covered in foreign postage...
These are 2 taste vins I collected. The goldie color is unusual. Usually they're silver, the better to see the true color of the wine and check for sediment in the wine. Something like the picture of the wine glass being held against the white paper.
Wine is not just about drinking but about describing wine's colors, aromas, flavors, "legs", on and on. A lot of chatting goes on among wine lovers. That's what makes it such a socialable activity, unlike chocolate you want to keep to yourself. One wine bottle can make 4-5 people very happy. One chocolate bar - it's not the same thing.
When you visit Burgundy wine tasting houses (Marché aux Vins) particularly Beaune, they you a tastevin to keep instead of a glass. They're not silver of course, but it's fun to bring home as a souvenir. The tastevin is traditionally Burgundian. You won't see them in other parts of France.
These sketches are from my crystal decanter period. If you're a regular on ebay, you're bound to go through phases. I used to covet beautiful decanters, often from Ireland or the UK. They're not cheap either... I've got a decanter that looks like a duck - the beak opens and out pours the wine.
When I grew tired of all these wine accessories I didn't take them back to ebay, but out to 33rd street, where other collectors can find them... I went through a period collecting corkscrews, till I realized they were out of my range..well the ones I liked.
Everyone has at least one funny Ebay story. I fell for these small wooden wine pitchers - so paintable. I bought this from I don't know where. When I saw another from a Netherlands dealer, I bought it thinking it would make a nice companion.
I waited and waited but no pitcher. I contacted the dealer, he searched and found it had been returned to his post office. Out it went again. I was patient but after another 2 months, I contacted him. He was terribly apologetic and gave me my money back. End of story.
Six months later, it turned up on my doorstep. But this was no small wine pitcher. Who knows what they poured out of this? I contacted the dealer,"could I repay him"? Though it was rather bigger than I'd imagined? He laughed and said just keep it! Note the tall Bordeaux red umbrella within - I got it at the Fete de la Fleure.
You can't begin to imagine all the wine stuff there is to collect for potential still life painters or anyone who loves wine. The wine industry is so mechanized these days, that most winerys will practically blind you with all their shiny high-tech equipment. The old days of glass bungs, tire bouchon (corkscrews), wooden wine keys, etc. are long gone and forgotten except for all the avid collectors out on ebay up at dawn waiting to get their bids in...