Designed and produced by Portugal’s Omdesign, this piece looks like a cross between a traditional liquor package and some hitherto unknown IKEA furnishing for fairies. Details are minimal but no less impressive for being so, particularly the blind deboss stamp beside the wine’s name.

Yet what truly impresses, of course, is Omdesign’s novel approach to wine packaging sustainability. Not content to simply craft another box bound for the recycle bin, they’ve given it a second life as something that’s actually practical. It’s comprised of a pair of cork blocks and an outer sleeve of pressed cardboard that holds those blocks together.

Due to the unique properties of cork – such as lightness, impermeability, thermal insulation and yes, sustainability – the packaging can be put to a number of uses. Omdesign recommends using it as a cooler, “somewhere to keep your pocket contents,” pen holders, jars, or even as a flower vase. (This last might require a bit of modification…)

“The packaging is 100% eco-friendly, complying with the environmental and sustainability concerns that Casa Ramos Pinto has made its policy,” Omdesign is quick to point out. “‘Reuse this packaging in an original and creative way’ is the challenge to consumers. It appeals to their creativity and encourages them to share the original ways they have found to reuse these two pieces of cork on the brand’s Facebook page. This ensures that the packaging is not just used to transport and display the wine, but can be reused creatively and innovatively.”

After years of watching one beautiful wine or spirit box after another put out with the recycling, it’s refreshing to finally find one that aspires to something more. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to figure out how in the world I’m going to transform this piece into a flower vase 🙂