Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Wino4Life Product Review: WineSkin Wine Travel Bag

Having just returned from our fabulous vacation in Spain with three bottles of wine safely stowed in our luggage, my thought was that this week's Wino4Life tip would be my recommendation for you to use the WineSkin bottle transport bag that we have used for years.  I don't have any affiliation with the company - I typically buy them on Amazon or elsewhere if they are cheaper, and have safely brought home many wine and liquor bottles from destinations near and far.

These babies encase your wine in a layer of bubble wrap, and then double seal to protect the other contents of your luggage should (sadly) one of your wine bottles ever break.  Below are pics of me wrapping up a fantastic gift from our new friends at Casa Pedro restaurant in San Juan de Parres, Spain (stay tuned for a post about our wonderful dinner at Casa Pedro) - a 1984 Marques de Murrieta Rioja Reserva.

Luckily, I've never had a bottle break - but it occurred to me how can I recommend this product to protect your luggage in case of a bottle breaking if I'm not sure it actually performs as advertised? Sounds like it's time for a Wino4Life product test!  Not having the budget to take countless vacations until a bottle happens to break in our luggage - I'll just have to simulate this tragedy and hope it never happens to any of us.

Before we begin, a disclaimer that the WineSkin that will be used for our review has been in storage in our garage for a while, so the some extreme hot and cold temperatures (ah... life in Arizona!) may have impacted the glue on the seals - we'll just have to see.

The Test Subject. 
Not being one to ever waste wine, I chose to save a bottle of last night's wine, El Coto Rioja. I am still working on learning Spanish, but I believe the name roughly translates as "The Coto".

Next, the bottle is filled with tap water. The tap water will be playing the role of some delicious wine procured on a wonderful vacation in a faraway land.

The cork is re-inserted just to hold the liquid in, a good seal with the cork isn't important for our product test.

Now - our wine skin will be used to protect our bottle of "wine".

First, the bottle slides into the WineSkin:

The wine skin has two seals. The first (wider) protective strip is removed, and the bag is carefully sealed. The bag will protect your belongings only as good as the seal you make, so this step is crucial:

 I run my thumb over the seal several times to make sure it is a good, smooth seal without any air bubbles or wrinkles:

Now, I remove the second (thinner) protective strip for the second seal:

Once again, I make sure there is a good seal without air bubbles or wrinkles.

Voila! Sealed and ready for your luggage (shhh! don't tell the WineSkin what is about to happen!):

The Tools. 
The tools for this test are our  wine safely packed in our WineSkin bag, one blunt force trauma inducer to break the bottle (a.k.a "The Hammer"), safety goggles, and a towel and t-shirts to simulate conditions inside of a suitcase. I have a lot of confidence in the product, but just in case we'll do this in the garage!:

The Setup. 
Our wine bottle is placed on top of the towel, with the t-shirts (go Phoenix Coytoes!!!) placed on top:

Well lookey there - looks just like the inside of my luggage (minus the hammer):

Lights, Camera, Action! 
Alright - goggles on, camerawoman (Wino4Life wife) at a safe distance,... the wind up...

... and POW!!!  Actually, I hit it a couple of times thinking it had not broken - but without a single sound the bottle did break, probably on the first hit:

The Results. 
I had to remind myself - it was only tap water, absolutely no wine was harmed in this exercise. The bottle however, was completely shattered:

The result ... one broken bottle, full of water, but not a single drop out of the seal. Remember, these had been in storage for a while and still passed the test.

So... back to my original thought - I highly recommend this WineSkin product when you are transporting wine or liquor in your luggage. If you are unlucky enough to have a bottle break, at least you will only lose that bottle, and not the other contents of your luggage as well.  Not that anything would ever happen to your luggage violent enough to break a wine bottle...

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