What to Do with Bad Wine and Beer? Turn Them Into Ink with This Beautiful Pen

By Noah Kaufman |
FWX WINKPENS 1

Courtesy of Jessica Chan

In the Internet age, you’ll find many a curmudgeon bemoaning the lost art of letter-writing. And with good reason—we receive hand-written letters only about once every two months. But maybe we just need a new tool to find the joy in scribbling out longhand notes, and maybe that tool is a pen that lets us write with beer and wine.

The WINK pen—which got its name from combining wine and ink—is a handsome piece of letter-writing equipment that would be as at home on the desk of a 19th-century British aristocrat as it would on your messy Ikea Galant. But the thing that differentiates it from other upscale pens is its glass nib—that would be the tip where the ink flows out. According to Jessica Chan, the pen’s creator, the veined design of the nib lets you load it with any liquid with a staining property. Chan herself likes to work in wine and beer.

The idea of wine as ink isn’t new; it’s really more of an extreme throwback. An unknown varietal was a key ingredient in a 1297 copy of the Magna Carta. Chan developed her pen with an eye toward sustainability, though: “Traditional pens are, more often than not, disposable products; once the pre-loaded ink stem is exhausted, they essentially just become empty plastic cases that wind up in a landfill somewhere.” And if they don’t end up in a landfill, they at least clog up the pen graveyard that is the drawer next to your kitchen sink.

Chan has also been doing some dabbling with wine and beer, and for early investors in her crowd funding campaign, she’ll include a piece of hand-drawn, alcohol-stained artwork with your pen—either a wine flower or a beer tree. We know some of you might think wine belongs in one place, and that place is in your mouth. But remember, it’s not all worth drinking. And this could help some bad bottles find a second life.


One of Chan's wine sketches

You can find the WINK Kickstarter here.

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