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Best way to bring wine on an airplane?

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We're going on vacation and want to bring a couple of nice bottles of wine with us. Can't carry the wine on, and am nervous about a bit nervous about checking it in our luggage. Any fool proof ideas out there about how to transport wine on an airplane? Best way to pack it?

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  1. I've wrapped in bubblewrap and then put in the middle of the suitcase surrounded by underwear, sweaters, etc. We used to use a hard-sided case but with the weight limits now in effect, that seemed a waste of some of our precious pounds. It could still take a solid hit and break. Ruined clothes and/or large cleaning bills don't seem like a fun way to start a holiday. TSA has announced that they're going to be relaxing the limits for carryon liquids some time this year. But they have said when or how much. I'm hoping it will allow us to carry wine on again.

    1. is it really worth it? Pre-"NO LIQUID" rule I brought a couple in my carryon when we went to Iceland 'cause I'd heard that alcohol prices were exhorbitant there (they were), but I'd hate to ruin my vacation with broken glass and wine in my checked bag. Have you seen how they treat bags? We have these rolling duffles (soft sided) that have flat, plastic bottoms. We had to go through a secondary screening at customs and watched as he tossed the bags UPSIDE DOWN (soft part down) on the conveyor belt. Yikes. One of our bags came back with the plastic flat liner completely smashed. 'nuff said.

      1. A thread on this topic:

        http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/504984

        1. I used wine bottle shippers.

          1. Wrap them in bubble wrap and tape it well. Place in a well-sealed large ziploc, then place in another ziploc, filling in any empty spaces. Works every time.

            2 Replies
            1. re: bayoucook

              I regularly pick up bottles of craft beer on my travels, so the process is much the same.

              I wrap each bottle in bubblewrap, but never use tape. Then I put the bottle inside a ziploc bag. I have packed as many as half a dozen bottles at a time in my suitcase and have been doing this regularly since the liquid restrictions were imposed.

              I have never had a problem, althouth my suitcase is often examined by the TSA.

              1. re: brentk

                I fear the ziplocs aren't very reliable at containing the liquid should the bottle break. I had a eye makeup remover in a ziploc bag in the middle of my suitcase and when we arrived in Portugal I was so disappointed to find that the bottle had leaked and the ziploc bag had leaked and I had oily stains on many of my clothes. I was not a happy girl. :(

            2. In place of bubble wrap, I've used beach towels. First ziplocs or at least a few plastic bags, then wrapped well with towels and secure in the middle of the suitcase. Did this with wine and beer (bottles and cans) and booze...haven't had a problem yet
              Actually I never did this on the outgoing flight, only when coming back.

              7 Replies
              1. re: porker

                that's kind-of why I wonder whether it's worth it. Nice to bring back "souvenirs", but is it necessary to bring from home to the destination? Why not pick up something local and nice when you get there? Especially since an "accident" is way worse at your destination than once you're home with your washing machine and extra clothes.

                1. re: DGresh

                  Most of the time, when possible I ship my wine ahead and have it waiting for me at my hotel, so much better than having to deal with a shipping container. But when it is not legal to ship, (like when I visit my son in KY....silly shipping laws!) I use a shipping container and check it, never had anything break. There is a newish product on the market called The Wine Mummy, it is a bubble wrapped pouch with a ziploc thing at the top. It was created for just this situation, I know people that have used them without issue but I have yet to try them.

                  1. re: DGresh

                    The answers to your questions are simple - why bring from home? Because we're celebrating a birthday and want to bring something special. We don't have a car and I don't know if there are wine shops in nearby walking distance. From what I've read, there are not. I'm sure the hotel has something special too....at 10x the store price price. Think of it as a concession to recession. At the same time, it IS concerning that it can break in a suitcase and I have to decide if I'm willing to risk it.

                    1. re: amanda3571

                      If you're going somewhere where you don't need a car, I can't imagine that there wouldn't be tons of things in walking distance. How are you planning on going out to dinner, touring, whatever? But you can always call the hotel and ask about proximity to wine shops or even grocery stores. The grocery stores around me carry wines WAY beyond my budget :) BTW, where ARE you going???

                      1. re: c oliver

                        We chose not to have the car. This is not a touring, eating out kind of vaca. We are going to FL strictly for beach time -- coming off one of the ugliest winters in the NE in years. I do plan to call the hotel and see. Thanks.

                        1. re: c oliver

                          Some years ago, I traveled to Upper Captiva Island with my two sons for a two week stay. There are no cars. yes there are a couple of small restaurants (of the beach shack variety) and virtually no stores on this island - we needed to bring everything we wanted to have/eat/drink/use with us for the two weeks. Happily, we were advised of this long before leaving home so made arrangements to have groceries waiting at a local market.

                          We taxied from the airport to the market, picked up our groceries etc and caught the boat to the island. We were met by a fleet of golf carts and taken to the house we'd rented that also came with a golf cart for our use.

                          Our planning paid off and we spent two weeks lazing on the beach, shelling, swimming and doing everything but shopping. Good thing we'd brought our own great wines because the available products were severely limited and very expensive -- 99 cent flip-flops priced at $19.99.

                          I had bubble-wrapped the wine in my luggage and had no broken bottles, though I can only guess that we were very lucky.

                          c.oliver, I only point this out because there are places to go, enjoyable places, that do not offer "...tons of things in walking distance".

                          1. re: Sherri

                            Sounds wonderful for you --- because of your research and planning. 'Cause if there aren't "tons of things" you could have been very unhappy, couldn't you? Since a beach vacation for me would an extreme version of torture, I guess I think of places where I wouldn't need a car as being also places where there was plenty to walk or take a bus to.

                  2. If you're travelling abroad, you could buy them at the tax free and carry them on in sealed bags. That said, I'm not sure how the wine selection at your airport taxfree fares. Otherwise, all the other answers look like safe bets to me.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: hangrygirl

                      Yes you can, but unless you're travelling nonstop then they'd have to be put in the checked bags once you clear customs.

                      I'm like others here. I'll do it when returning with something special but not heading out. Just not worth it to me.

                    2. I've been taking home souvenir bottles in checked luggage for at least 20 years, without incident. I wrap each bottle inside a plastic shopping bag (a silly precaution I know---it would hardly save my clothes in case of breakage) and embed each bottle amid my clothes, spaced far apart, making sure there's nothing rigid nearby for them to jostle against. Biggest drawback I find is that it adds quite a bit of weight to the suitcase.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: Boswell

                        Someone I know recently took two bottles of cachca from Rio to London and they broke and leaked all over clothes etc. I do it but do hope they'll lessen the restriction enough so I can carry on soon.

                      2. We do this all the time but usually on the flight home because the wine selection is so limited where we live. I've only had a beer bottle break once and it was my own fault for packing it badly (Yes the mess and broken glass was awful. Made worse by the fact that my connecting flight was cancelled so I had to retrieve the bag, load it in the back of a rental van and drive through the wee hours of the morning with four strangers to get home for an 8am meeting. That was a fun trip.). The best way we've found is to wrap the bottle in bubble wrap and then stick it inside Mr. B's shoe (he wears a size 14 and bottles fit nicely). If I'm by myself I will place my shoes around the bottle to give a solid structure, and this helps the bottle survive any heavy impacts or handling by TSA.
                        Phoo-D
                        http://www.phoo-d.com

                        1. Use a large, plastic, empty soda bottle. Cut off the top, slip the wine bottle in and stuff underwear, t-shirts and other soft things in the space between the two bottles.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: manhattank

                            That sounds like a better mousetrap!

                          2. Thanks everyone - just reporting back - we did figure out the solution and here it is:

                            Take 2 suitcases. Make him pack the booze in his suitcase.

                            The end.
                            (Worked out just fine! :)

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: amanda3571

                              Excellent solution. Your clothes are WAY cuter, I'm bettin' :)

                            2. How to bring wine on a plane? Drink it first.

                              1. My solution (which has never failed with several hundreds of bottles and dozens of trips all over the world) is to use a pair of crew socks around each bottle (one put on from one end and the other put over the first but from the other end). Place in the bottom of the suitcase, well-wedged with other clothes. Works like a charm, and I need socks when I travel anyway!