With the summer upon us, many of us will be taking trips: by car, by plane, on your bicycle, perhaps even by camel (it could happen). We will be gone a day, a week, or even a month. These trips may involve five star hotels, flea-bitten hostels, or “bring your own tent” accommodations.
In addition to the sunscreen and the bug repellent, the bathing suits and the comfortable shoes, we must not forget to pack the other necessities. such as band-aids, extra cash and, of course, the wine.
Travelling with wine, however, is rarely easy. Bottles are heavy and breakable. There are practical considerations such as how to uncork them and what to do if you don’t finish the bottle at one sitting (it also happens!)
While shopping at a sports and camping outfitters for The Tween’s summer supplies (side note: is it me or are the lists of required supplies getting more and more expensive the older they get?), I spotted something for me: a solution to my wine travel needs.
The GSI Outdoors Soft-Sided Wine Carafe ($19.95 at Le Baron) promises to hold an entire bottle of wine and solve my vacation dilemma: a wide opening to allow you to easily fill the carafe and a smaller pouring nozzle to prevent “burping” while pouring. In addition, the carafe has a handy reference thermometer printed on the back indicating the appropriate temperature at which to serve different wines. There is also space on which to write the details of the wine, vintage, varietal etc. The carafe is silver in colour, allowing you to hide the contents. Needless to say, but I’ll say it anyway, this is not intended for your finest vintages requiring decanting and breathing before serving.
The carafe could also be called a bag, although I suppose that would not be as romantic and make it hard to charge $20. The temperature gauge is also useless: who carries a wine thermometer with them while traveling? As for the filling, it was not entirely without spillage but that may be my unsteady hand rather than the design of the carafe. As for the pouring, the direction of the stream can be regulated by the pressure applied on the bag; it took me a while to aim for the glass….I now understand the men in my life a bit better.
Conclusion: overpriced and over-hyped, but it does the trick and allows you to safely transport your wine, and discreetly too.