Having smuggled, er, legally transported wine in my checked luggage across country borders many times, BottleWise is a “D’OH, why didn’t I think of this first!” kinda thing.
My usual modus operandi for carrying wine in my suitcase is to double-bag the wine bottles in the finest grocery store plastic, twist-tie them twice for maximum liquid retention, then roll ‘em up in a pair of jeans or sweatpants or heavy sweatshirt for optimum shock absorption. Except for one unfortunate casualty (I saw my suitcase drop off the belt from the plane’s baggage door onto the tarmac, after which the gorilla, er, baggage handler heaved it 10 feet into the cart transport), this method has worked flawlessly over the years.
With BottleWise, they’ve taken my proven method and spruced it up a bit. When opened, the bag houses two separate compartments, each compartment holds one 750ml bottle in an airtight plastic sleeve. When folded and secured, the bag measures approx 16” x 11” x 5”, which is about the equivalent of two bottles rolled up in a pair of XL sweatpants. (BTW – I’m not an XL. I like my clothes baggy, okay!) According to the manufacturer, “In case of breakage, the airtight sleeve(s) keeps wine from spilling into your suitcase and ruining your underthings.” (Hmm, pinot-scented panties… never mind.)
We wanted to test BottleWise appropriately, but with our limited travel budget (did I mention that we accept free press trips), we had to improvise. We filled each plastic sleeve with 750ml of water, then threw the bag abound a bit. Then, ‘cause we were bored, we “Myth Busted” its ass and threw it out of a second story window just to see what would happen. Nothing! It held perfectly.*
BottleWise also comes with a shoulder strap should you desire to wear it as a fashion accessory. There are two models: The Duo and the Duo Plus. Colors for the Duo range from black to, er, black. (Hey, it worked for Henry Ford.) If you order the Duo Plus, you get more color choices – Burgundy and Cork. Cork’s a color? Who knew. Personally, I’m waiting for the screwcap color.
BottleWise Duo - $49
BottleWise Duo Plus - $59
Visit http://www.bottlewise.com for more info and/or to purchase.
* We can’t guarantee that your BottleWise bag will pass this test. But the sample they sent us did.