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Top Tips for Traveling with Wine

More From Biltmore 07/09/15

Written By Jean Sexton

From road trips to air travel, the words “summer vacation” are ones we dream of all year long—there’s just something about warm weather that puts us in the mood to take time off and enjoy ourselves!

Wherever your travels take you, be sure to take along your favorite Biltmore Wines, or bring them back with you if the estate is your destination. To help prevent mishaps, here are some of our top tips for transporting wine:

Airline etiquette wine tips

  1. Bring bubble wrap! Swathe wine bottles in bubble wrap to protect them from breaking in-flight and throughout your travels. If you don’t have bubble wrap, use heavy clothing. Note: to bring wine on an airline, you MUST check your bag (wine bottles cannot be stowed in your carry-on luggage).
  2. Checking your wine: Currently, you may take up to five liters of alcohol with alcohol content between 24% and 70% per person as checked luggage if it’s packaged in a sealable bottle or flask. Before you fly, be sure to verify all rules at the TSA site here.
  3. If you’re buying a lot of wine, it’s probably easier to have the winery ship it directly to you.  Shipping can be expensive, but at least you’ll know the wine has been packed carefully, and you can even have it shipped via climate controlled transport if the summer weather is extremely hot. Be sure to check the winery’s shipping rules as details can vary state-by-state.
  4. To avoid anxiety around broken bottles and leakage in your luggage, wrap an absorbent cloth around the bottle first before wrapping bubble wrap or clothes around it. Diapers come in handy for this purpose!

Road trip wine tips

  1. Extreme heat can ruin wine. The ideal temperature for wine storage is a cool 55–65 degrees F, so on road trips, the air-conditioned interior of your car is a better place for wine than your trunk.
  2. If stopping overnight, we recommend bringing the wine inside with you to ensure a consistent temperature.
  3. When packing wine for travel, store bottles on their sides or upside down to keep wine in contact with the cork. If the cork gets dry, it can let too much air through and oxidize the wine.
  4. A cooler will help your wines remain at an ideal temperature during travel, but opt for ice packs rather than loose ice.

Whether flying or driving, once you arrive at your final destination, let wines rest for at least a week if not more to help them settle. All of the traveling can shake up the wine and cause bottle shock. This does not ruin the wine, but can make it taste slightly “off.” Letting it rest for a few weeks allows the wine to return to its ideal state!

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