The famous British poet Lord Byron is quotes as saying, “Wine cheers the sad, revives the old, inspires the young, makes weariness forget his toil.” Called everything from social lubricant to drink of the gods to the most civilized thing in the world, wine is the ultimate social drink. Unfortunately, it also happens to primarily come in heavy, fragile, hard-to-transport glass bottles. Whether you’re transporting a bottle of your finest vintage across the street or between continents, you want to be certain your bottle or bottles are secure for the trip.
The best wine carriers, whether for a car trip, a picnic, or international travel, will have a hard exterior and a heavily padded interior to cushion the bottle – with way more bells and whistles than your standard grocery tote. If the container stores more than one bottle at a time, like this Leather Wine Tote, they should be held snugly together, with a layer of padding in between, to keep them from jostling against each other or the sides of the container.
Good totes tend to take the shape of a wine bottle, too, like this Mahogany Wine Tote, which has a tough exterior that closes snugly around the bottle inside, and snaps securely shut to keep it there. As a bonus, many wine carriers come with a spare cork and corkscrew.
For the more adventurous of you – or for anyone that would like a glass of wine in the wilderness after a long hike, this Adventurer Wine Tote is both rugged and sophisticated, sized to just fit a standard bottle without any room for it to jostle around so it stays secure regardless of the terrain you’re traversing. It also has an explorer-chic that I love, which adds a touch of whimsy to your picnic.
This simple Barossa Wine Tote looks like an ordinary side satchel, but fits not only a wine bottle, but includes two acrylic wine glasses, two napkins, a bottle opener and a cork – plus an extra pocket with room to add your own cheese board and knife, and maybe a little food to go with your wine. Perfect for spontaneous picnics or outdoor concerts, and no one will guess what you’ve got unless you offer to share!
If you’re just looking to transport multiple bottles of wine in a casual sort of case, this Leather Wine Carrier is stylish without standing out as a wine carrier. It houses two bottles and can be carried from the top or with a shoulder strap, and comes with its own corkscrew – just in case!
For serious rough-and-tumble, long-distance wine transport, though, your wine is going to need something a little more heavy duty. This Wine Travel Case contains two padded, leak-proof pouches that can safely transport two bottles of wine in your checked luggage. While TSA regulations won’t allow more than 3oz. containers of liquid to be carried on airplanes, at the time of this posting there are no regulations against carrying wine in your checked bags. Before you travel, though, double check your airline’s policy (if any) and bring a print out of it, or their banned items list (assuming alcohol isn’t on it) just in case.
If you’re traveling abroad – especially to France or Italy! – you might want something that can stow more than one or two bottles. This Wine Trolley can carry six full sized bottles of your favorite foreign vintage and is (theoretically) sufficiently padded to make an international flight. Again, though, double check your airline and customs regulations, and maybe give the case a stress test with some less expensive bottles before you trust a lot of expensive wine to bag throwers and international flights. If the airline allows it, though, even with checked bag fees, this is a MUCH less expensive way to transport your wine than mailing it – and these bags are designed to stay under the airline’s 50lb weight limit.
Whether you’re transporting your wine down the block, up to your local camp grounds, or across the Atlantic, make sure your bottle is protected and easy to carry – your mood will thank you on the other end! What are you looking for in a wine tote? Do you have any more questions about transporting wine internationally? Let me know in the comments, I might be able to help!