A press release recently came across the Gear Diary email transom announcing a new wine suitcase from Wineline that they call the VinGarde Valise. This prompted a discussion among our editors about who would possibly ever need a suitcase for their beverages. As usual, I had a real-life anecdote about something I did while traveling that proved the case for the case.
I was traveling on a quick business trip to Florida, so I just packed a small bag. But since I wanted to bring a little hooch along, I went ahead and checked my bag and cushioned a small flask of spiced rum by wrapping it up inside my clothes.
1. Judging by how often I get find little slip of paper when I open my bag, my luggage gets searched by TSA more than you’d think would be statistically expected.
2. TSA agents apparently open bottles to check that they are actually what the label says they are.
3. These same inspectors are not good at tightening the cap after taking a sniff (or swig.)
4. Captain Morgan’s Spiced Rum is an excellent solvent.
5. The ink in a purple exercise t-shirt is apparently soluble in CH3CH2OH.
6. When aforementioned ink runs all over the only white dress shirt you packed for a big presentation in the morning where you are a featured speaker, the tie-dye effect is quite noticeable.
7. Buying a new dress shirt in a hotel lobby gift shop when you discover your new Grateful Dead/Brooks Brothers creation costs a heckuva lot more than just buying a little bottle of rum from the minibar in your room. (Or the VinGarde Valise.)
Lesson learned. I wish I’d had one of these wine suitcases. Here’s what I could have had:
The VinGarde Valise has been designed to safely cocoon up to 12 bottles of wine or spirits allowing travelers to check their bottles, whether it’s on the way out for a party weekend or the way home after some wine shopping in Napa or Europe. Wineline has partnered with Globatrac, LLC and its luggage tracking technology to offer travelers the peace of mind by notifying them that their valuable wine has arrived safely with an alert that notifies your cell phone via text or email of your bag’s airport location in real time.
The VinGarde Valise is a sturdy 22” suitcase with easy-to-maneuver spinner wheels and a high-density foam interior. Even though you can carry up to a dozen bottles, it is easily configurable to hold more clothes and fewer bottles if you pack less than a case. (Or drink a few before you fly home.) Here are the specs, straight from the wino’s mouth:
- Weighs less than 43lbs with a full case of wine
- Retractable, variable-height carry handle
- Double comfort-grip handles on side and top to facilitate easy lifting, and to minimize and disperse stress on the VinGarde Valise™
- Concealed, steel support bars for handles to improve durability, strength, and longevity.
- Exterior support straps with cinch buckles
- Temperature and impact-resistant polycarbonate shell
- Wine bottle cavity for 750ml wine bottles with flared bottom to accommodate unusual bottle shapes
- Removable foam plug to increase cavity space to accommodate champagne, Liebfraumilch, Riesling, and other tall bottles
- Wine cocoons may be separated into three 2-bottle modular segments to provide additional flexibility in using the VinGarde Valise™
- Four spinner wheels for easy and responsive movement of the VinGarde Valise™
- Pocket for Trakdot Luggage Tracker
- Pocket for luggage ID tag
The VinGarde Valise™ will be available beginning in April for $169 with the option of purchasing a Trakdot Luggage Tracking device for $79.99 including activation and a 14 month subscription (a $10 discount with two additional months of service). For more information, visit www.VinGardeValise.com or www.Trakdot.com.