The holidays are upon us, and with them comes holiday travel. Whether you're bringing a bottle of Idaho wine to your destination or sending visitors home with bottles of liquid treasure, you can't just drop them in your suitcase and hope for the best.
So, before you wander to and fro, slow your roll and get to know our six essential tips for traveling with wine.
Buy it on the way.
There’s always one person who you forget to shop for. As long as that person is over 21, consider bringing them a bottle of Idaho’s award-winning wine to show how much you care. Just like other last-minute gift ideas (we’re looking at you Darth Tater), frequent fliers at Boise Airport can pick up a bottle of vino at The Greenbelt Magazine Souvenir Shop while their wait for their plane to taxi. As long as it fits in a carry on there is no need to worry about checked bags or fluid ounces in security.
Fly wines for free.
If flying, the first important step is knowing TSA policies on packing alcohol. It's also good to review the policies of your specific airline. But the good news: On Alaska Airlines, wine flies free from Boise (BOI), Spokane (GEG) and Pullman (PUW) airports to all United States destinations. Get the specifics on this perk through Visit Idaho.
Save your bubble wrap (or puffy coats).
It's Amazon's world, we just live in it. One benefit is all the free packing materials – from bubble wrap to the packing peanuts. Re-use what you can. But if you’ve already recycled your postal aids, put your wardrobe to work. Roll up bottles inside sweaters or jackets. Use sleeves to wrap the neck for extra protection. Keep the wrapped bottle (or let’s be real, bottles plural) snuggled up in the center of your suitcase – keeping them away from the sides of your bag to prevent impact. Wine lovers and frequent travelers might consider reusable wine protectors too.
Check it or ship it.
We can picture it: you were showing off for visiting friends at Idaho wineries and now they have several bottles to pack home, but their suitcases were already bulging upon arrival. This is a scenario for boxing it up and shipping it. Many wineries are prepared with Styrofoam inserts that are perfectly shaped to hold bottles snugly over long distances and fit inside standard shipping boxes. Ask if the winery has shipping capabilities, or check the sealed wine-shipper box on the flight home. Just be sure to check the policies of your airline before you arrive at the airport.
Road trip with it.
Of course, the easiest way to travel with wine is to drive. For road trips or short jaunts around town, there are many kinds of travel bags, totes and carriers to choose from. However, driving presents other challenges like temperature control. If you are road tripping in the middle of summer or winter, make sure to not leave wine in the car for long. To keep from spoiling, wine should be kept between 55 and 65 degrees. But remember, re-corked wine is considered an open container and should not be in the cabin of your car.
Let them get settled.
Just like you after a long holiday weekend, your new wine will need a rest after some travel. While some disagree about the idea of “travel shock” or “sediment stirring” bothering all wine, you can play it safe by popping corks from stock at home instead of tearing into your wine immediately after it arrives safely at baggage check. We recommend letting your new vino hang out for at least a week after it flies the friendly skies.