LuxeGetaways Magazine – Spring 2017 | Whether visiting Bordeaux or Sonoma, one of the most difficult times of any getaway is being forced to part ways with the favorite vintages discovered during the wine tastings. Naturally, the desire is to share the experience back home with friends and family pronto, and not wait for days (or weeks) for the box to arrive in the mail. Worse yet, enduring fruitless weeks while waiting for an international shipment to clear customs.
Transporting red wine in checked bags was at one time a very risky game of roulette with your clothes. The invention of simple inflatables and clever, specialized rolling luggage pieces have made it easier than ever to arrive home stain-free, and ready to pop the cork to get the party started.
Options for amateurs and seasoned wine collectors include:
VinniBag – an inflatable, reusable bag for single bottles of wine or spirits. Stores flat when not in use. Retail $28.00 USD (www.ellessco.com/vinnibag)
WineCruzer – the ultimate durable and lightweight luggage. Holds up to 12 bottles of wine. Because it is insulated with a foam interior, wine will remain at the same temperature for six to eight hours, and is less susceptible to thermal shock and vibration issues. Extended handle and wheels for ease of transport. Retail $399.95 USD (www.winecruzer.com)
VinGardeValise® Grande 04 – the most versatile option with four spinner wheels and the ability to be used as a regular suitcase when not transporting wine. The flexible interior has removable wine cavities shaped to accommodate wine bottles of various shapes and sizes, and can hold up to 12 wine or 10 wine and two champagne bottles. If traveling with less, inserts can be removed to make room for clothes and toiletries. Retail $299.95 USD (www.vingardevalise.com)
How much wine can you bring into the United States from abroad? According to U.S. Customs and Border Protection, “Generally, one liter of alcohol per person may be brought into the U.S. duty-free by travelers who are 21 years old, or older; although travelers coming from the U.S. Virgin Islands or other Caribbean countries are entitled to more. Additional quantities may be entered, although they will be subject to duty and Federal excise taxes, which will be assessed and collected at the port of entry. Alcoholic beverages purchased in duty-free shops are subject to duty and federal excise tax when accompanying you into the United States.”