Organising a spooks and ghouls themed party is far too easy when all you’ve got to do is pop down to the Accessories aisle in your nearest supermarket for the tee-shirts and masks. So how about an alternative approach – wine-themed clothing instead? You could just casually adopt the red-wine stain look and splash the contents of your wine glass around, but a much more sophisticated approach is to make the clothing from the wine instead.
What you’ll need is the equivalent of twelve full bottles of cheap Australian red wine and patience. Two weeks and a vat of red wine vinegar later, you’ll have enough Mother of Vinegar ‘material’ to make a mini-dress.
Researchers at the University of Western Australia discovered the skin-like layer produced when wine goes ‘off’ and turns to vinegar, could be used as a dressmaking material.
The resulting cellulose product at just five microns thick is very delicate and said to be more like tissue paper than cotton.
If you succeed in making your own little red number you’ll be sure to turn heads. On the down side, wearing it apparently feels like being covered in wet sludge and you smell like last night’s bag of chips.
If that doesn’t appeal then you could buy ready-printed dressmaking material instead – MyFabrics.co.uk sells Half Panama Wine Tasting fabric covered in images of wine bottles and cheese for £7.30 a metre, or if you’re not that handy with the sewing machine then how about a bit of lateral thinking – there’s a range of wedding dresses designed by Romantica called ‘Chablis’.
I haven’t managed to find any shirts with a grape-motif but I have come across a tie covered in a corkscrew motif (£29.99 from menswearstore.co.uk), some rather natty Wine Tasting image boxer shorts (designed by Bryn Parry as part of the Help for Heroes campaign funds initiative) and a pair of imaginative cufflinks that are illustrated with the chemical molecule for wine (£25.30 from etsy.com).
Want something a little less formal perhaps? Macadamia clothing produce a range of tee-shirts, vests, flip-flops and canvas shoes all covered with a cork-grain print.
And finally why not top it all off with an Aussie-style hat – you’ll be able to string up all those corks pulled from the Australian red wine opened earlier to make the vinegar material.
PG Wine Reviews
Tesco Australian White
Fresh and fruity with flavours of pear, apple and pineapple.
Finca Las Moras Argentinean Cellar Selection Malbec 2016
£5.75 Sainsbury’s (down from £7 until November 1)
Made earlier this year, this wine would benefit from keeping in a cool place for a couple of years to deepen the flavours. If you can’t wait that long then enjoy the sweet plum and violet nuances that are there right now.
Tohora Point New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc 2014
£5.75 Sainsbury’s (down from £8 until November 1)
Gooseberry smoothed with a little banana and pear.
Morrisons Cava Brut
A very acceptable sparkling that will cut through any rich foods: sharp apple and biscuit.
McGuigan Australian The Borders Shiraz
Damson, blackcurrant plus coffee and biscuits.
Morrisons Western Australia Cabernet Sauvignon 2013
Nicely balanced red with a noticeable vegetable edge.
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© Paula Goddard 2016 www.paulagoddard.com