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We’re approaching that time of year when many travelers in the Northern Hemisphere are gearing up to take food and wine trips. I’ve been fortunate enough to go on many, including in California, France, Italy, Portugal (photo below), Switzerland, South Africa (the second photo below), Argentina and Australia. RELATED: Why Packing Cubes Are a Travel Essential

If that’s your style, there’s no doubt you’re going to want to bring some vino home with you, and that means you’re going to find yourself with a dilemma: how to safely pack bottles of wine so they don’t break while in transit.

You can’t carry wine through security and you don’t want the bottle(s) to break in your checked luggage, ruining all of your clothes, which has happened to me once before. Yup, I learned the hard  way.

After the TSA implemented its restriction on the amount of liquid travelers could carry through security, I stopped traveling with bottles of wine simply because it was no longer worth the risk. So, what can you do? How do you pack a bottle of wine so it can be transported safely in your luggage?

For starters, if you’re flying with Alaska Airlines along the west coast, you may be in luck as they offer a free checked case of wine from 32 cities.

Beyond that, you can either try shipping bottles or packing them very carefully. I thought wrapping my bottles in a sweater and then a plastic bag would be sufficient for protecting the bottle but nope. So I would recommend packing some bottle protectors like WineSkin bags that will give your wine bottles protection and you peace of mind.

WineSkin is a bottle transport bag. Each WineSkin is made of a cushion of bubble packaging and a thick-grade vinyl exterior. You simply put one around a bottle of wine (or olive oil, etc.), peel the inner seal, compress it against the protective outer vinyl covering, and pop the whole thing in your bag. Each unsealed WineSkin measures 17.75″ x 7″ x .25″ and fits a bottle up to 750ml in size (standard wine bottle size). At the time of this publication, you can pick up a pack of eight WineSkins for $26.99 on Amazon. There’s also a cheaper version that Amazon recommends called Wine Angel for $18.99.

DID YOU KNOW: The TSA says: Alcoholic beverages with more than 24% but not more than 70% alcohol are limited in checked bags to 5 liters (1.3 gallons) per passenger and must be in unopened retail packaging. Alcoholic beverages with 24% alcohol or less are not subject to limitations in checked bags.

Even if you use these bottle protectors, remember to never pack two bottles of wine next to each other and still cushion them as much as possible

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5 Comments On "How to Pack a Bottle of Wine Safely When You Fly"
  1. Allen Wong|

    Have you heard of clothes? Makes a great packing material and most travelers have some with them. I’ve packed bottles of wine dozens of times in my checked luggage without incident. Just put the bottle in the middle of luggage and surround with clothes.

    1. Johnny Jet|

      Yes, I’ve done that and once the bottle exploded and red wine all over my clothes.

  2. Tony|

    Used the Wine Skins numerous times – used to have a converted carryon luggage for wine that can no longer be used. While the Wine Skins are made for one time, I’ve used mine repeatedly by re-sealing with velcro and/or duck tape. Works great. Also have used those styrofoam wine things that wine I order from wineries ship in. Clothes – nope had the same experience you mentioned. Johnny, good recommendation.

    1. Johnny Jet|

      Thanks! I appreciate the confirmation

  3. Charlie|

    I DO have a couple of the inflatable bottle pouches you can find at Amazon but I think the last time I used them was pre-pandemic on some special Talisker I REALLY did not want to break. Like Tony, I use them more than once with duct or gaffer tape.

    More often that not though, I pack wine (or beer, liquor, sauces, mustard, honey, stuff in bottles) by putting each individual bottle into a thick sock, then several bottles into a heavy duty zip seal plastic bag. Then I put that/those sealed plastic bags into my day pack, stuff clothing in/around and zip the day bag closed. I make one layer of clothing, put the day pack on top, pack around it with non-fragile stuff and over the top with more clothing/non-fragile stuff. So far, I’ve been lucky and my socks remain stain-free!

    I travel with a checked bag intentionally to Europe to visit friends each year and the checked bag is used to transport United States goodies they love but can’t find over there. I then use it to bring back European goodies I either can’t find in the US or cost an arm and a leg in shipping. When I retire, I should open a small grocery courier business! HA! :-)

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