Below is a screen shot of my kenbrown.com site at the moment.

I go to the stores where this MEEKER MERLOT is stocked.  Market Street is my main wine destination and I find the section where these bottles are displayed.

Since each bottle is different, and some lend themselves to better spaces than others to engrave, I look at every one on the shelf and pick the best for engraving.  As you know, if you read below, I suppose some dude sits at a table, near the bottling machine’s conveyor belt, with two giant palettes of color in front of him/her.  Each hand is placed palm down in the color and then the bottle is grasped on each side, leaving two multicolor handprints of acrylic paint on each bottle coming down the pike.  Obviously, dipping into the color each time, they would become mixed colors that change every time the palettes are touched.

When I have the best of the bunch, I buy it and take it to my engraving table.  On this bottle, I used a brand new #1 round carbide and got through the entire,  l  o  n  g   message with that one bur.

Before I begin, I ‘map out’ the route my lettering will take. Maybe, start at the bottom of the thumb, near the wrist, weave up to between the thumbs and around the fingers of one of the hands.  The route I take is different on each bottle.  If it’s a long message like this, I’ll type it out, look at it, repeat some mumbo jumbo and visualize the words on the path.  Then I begin engraving.  Usually, it’ll all fit.  If not, I figure it out as I go along.  The mumbo jumbo didn’t work its perfect magic on this one because when I got to the bottom of the bottle….left photo where you see the word ‘sparkles’…I planned for it to end there.  I still had more words in the message so I had to continue around the front of the bottle, below the label.  Worked out fine.  Just have to make some adjustments in the jumbo part of mumbo….

Adding the color is a major pain on these bottles but the pain is worth the time and effort when you see the final results.  I apply the color…Antique Gold Rub ‘N Buff (from any craft/hobby store) with a pointed, cone-shaped cotton swab.  That allows me to get color into every nook, cranny, serif, and i-dot.  Actually, the most time-consuming step is the removal of the color.  Just found a better, quicker way to accomplish that.  On a future post, soon.

Jim loved the bottle and said so.  It got passed around the luncheon where about 25 other people saw it as well.  I suggested that Jim drink the Merlot and save the bottle.  Have no idea if he drank it or not.  But I would bet the bottle found a home on some shelf in his big house.

If YOU engrave one of these, share your experience with us.  However yours looks, if you do it as a gift, the recipient will love your creativity and you’ll want to do more.


Oh yes.  One more thing that still amazes me.  About 5 years ago when I first discovered this bottle in an event, I bought one and crafted a cool little verse.  Using all the steps listed above, I engraved it, and sent it by major carrier to MOLLY MEEKER, one of the principals at the MEEKER VINEYARDS in California.  So far, either the truck hasn’t arrived yet or she hasn’t opened the package.  Winemakers are busy, you know.  Maybe she was insulted I interfered with her arty wine bottle.  No sweat.  I merely added her to the Al Roker list with a few other luminaries who, apparently, are unimpressed.  Yet, I press on, loving to share these coolest EVER bottles to engrave.

Joan Rivers was next on my list, but…..

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