03 February 2008

Wine Gear Review: Wine Travel Tote

The good folks at Simply Bags sent me their monogrammed Wine Travel Tote ($34.99) for evaluation. I was pretty excited when this arrived, because I've really been needing one of these but haven't seen anything like it locally. I'm ashamed to admit that when I take wine to friends' houses it's usually in a plastic grocery bag, with newspaper wrapped around the bottles to keep them from clacking together.

The canvas and leather bag holds two standard 750mL bottles of wine and comes with an attractive waiter's-style corkscrew with a wood-plated handle. Inside there's a padded divider to provide protection between the bottles, but it is attached with velcro and can be removed if needed. It closes up with a zipper, and there's a pocket on the front for storing notepads and pens or whatever else you need.

I've tried it out with unopened bottles and knocked them around a bit, even casually tossing the bag into the car. No breakage, and while I know that kind of abuse isn't good for wine, I wanted to test the product under real life conditions. It performed admirably and gets the "Benito Seal of Approval".

It also solves another problem for me, which is traveling with wine. You can't take bottles in carry-on luggage, but they're fine in checked baggage. My strategy of stuffing the bottle in a big tube sock and surrounding it with t-shirts was doomed to failure eventually. This bag is compact enough that it can rest inside a larger suitcase and provide some protection for the bottles.

In addition to the many other bags produced by this company for various purposes, they offer two additional wine bags that are waterproof inside and can be filled with ice for chilling wine. The four bottle version ($29.99) is cool, but the three bottle bag with cheese board and knife ($37.95) looks perfect for classy picnicking.

Disclaimer: I'm not receiving financial compensation for this review or for sales of this product. It's a genuinely good product that fits my wine needs, and I enjoy supporting companies that produce such wine/food accessories.


Big Mike said...

I love the seal of approval!!! Man you are big time now for sure. If you ever want a pro bag let me know I come across them every now and then..


mjhughes76 said...

So, what bottles are inside the bag in that middle pic? I can see "Dubeuof" on one of the labels.

Benito said...

The blue-topped bottle is a NZ Sauvignon Blanc I'll review soon. The Duboeuf bottle is an 03 Chenas that I'm excited to try. Can't wait to see how it's held up.

Wine Tapestry said...

Very nice review - I was looking for a wine related gift for a friend.