As avid wine travelers, we enjoy visiting wineries domestically and abroad and bringing our special discoveries back home to share with the rest of the NWR Tasting Panel and other friends. Getting wine back home, though, has always been a difficult — even stressful — proposition. It has either gone in our suitcase — wrapped and stuffed among our (usually dirty) clothes — or shipped via UPS, FedEx, or another shipper, which can be expensive domestically and pretty much impossible internationally (without an importer’s license); all limiting, even worrisome, prospects. We cannot count how many times we have been disappointed in having to leave so many good bottles behind. That is, until our most recent wine country journeys.
Enter the VinGardeValise, a wine suitcase that has transformed how we travel with wine. VinGardeValise is designed specifically for transporting wine as checked baggage. It features a hard polycarbonate outer shell, thick, bottle-ready high density foam inserts (which can be removed and reconfigured depending on your particular needs), and plenty of thick foam padding — all working in sync to keep bottles snug and secure. The case is available in a 12-bottle (full case) format as well as an 8-bottle (“Petite”) format, has a retractable handle, reinforcing corner bumpers, internal and external support straps, heavy-duty zippers inside and out, and four sturdy “spinner” wheels that allow the case to be comfortably rolled without tilting.
We employed both the 8-bottle and 12-bottle cases during recent visits to wineries in Spain and California, and were highly impressed with their construction quality, functionality, and durability. They were easy to pack, roll, and transport. Fully stocked with bottles, each of the cases weighed-in at less than 50 pounds (the 8-bottle case was 33 lbs; the 12-bottle case was 49.5 pounds), so we managed to avoid any excess baggage fees (although the 12-bottle case was a nail-biter). It is worth noting, too, that VinGardeValise is fully compliant with FAA and TSA luggage policies and procedures, and in neither of our trips were any questions asked when we checked the bags at the airline counter. And, perhaps most importantly, after returning from both trips and opening the cases, we found all of our wines securely fastened, intact, and ready to drink.
The VinGardeValise has, for us, eliminated the trouble and stress in traveling with wine, and we highly recommend the product for your coming wine trips. It is available at ww.vingardevalise.com, select locations of Total Wine & More, and at some winery tasting rooms. The 12-bottle case retails for $269.99; and the 8-bottle for $199.99.
NOTE: The National Wine Review is an independent publication and has no business, personal, or material connection with the company that produces and markets the VinGardeValise (Line Sales, LLC) or its employees. We were not asked to write this review or paid to do so, and we do not sell the product. We purchased the cases we used and feature them in this review.