Checking Wine On a Plane thread

I’m flying to Colorado later this week to visit my brother. I’m going to bring a case of wine in Todd’s awesome rolling wine check bag ( I’ll likely take two champagnes, five whites and five reds.

Which wines travel well and which don’t? Clearly, my older Ports, Clarets and Barolos are not traveling candidates due to sediment shakeup. What about my older Riojas? Northern or Southern Rhones? Burgs? Young vs. old bottles?

Are there any hard and fast rules, or clear suggestions for which wines travel and which don’t?


I’ve never had sparkling wines travel very well. Unless you have several days to a week to let it settle I’d buy your sparkling wines when you get there.

+1. I’d stay away from really aged wines, they just won’t show like they will if left upright and opened carefully at home. One exception is aged Sauternes, which have shown well despite travel.

Also, at this time of year, I would put all the bottles in the frig the night before you travel. Then pack and fly. Have done this several times when flying with wines during hot weather. Each time the bottles come out of the WineCheck cool to the touch. Once even with a 4 hour layover in 95+ degree heat.

EDIT: Agree, young wines only.

Does anyone put the WC in an oversized softside bag, or do you just check the WC as is?

I always check as-is. Seems like you’re asking for trouble if you’re putting bags in bags - more incentive for TSA to go digging.

Whites, sweets and youngish reds are my general rule. And Dale’s refrigerator suggestion is a good one.

No need to cover the WC. Plus then, the wheel and pull functions of it won’t work, which are the whole point of using it.

Oh no, I missed you?!

Two weeks ago, I had a fantastic 2003 Dom Oenotheque and 1953 Gilette Creme de Tete that rested only 3 days after a flight. Might they have been better with rest? Could be. But they were both fantastic.

My worry is wine with sediment. Especially fine, slow-to-settle sediment. Usually older reds. Prefer to have them settle a week or two, so I would ship ahead to a friend if I was really set on having them.

I’ve flown to Portugal with 100+ year old wines that did just fine knock on wood in the WC. Granted I let them settle for a couple days after arriving and they tasted as they should.

I think people get a little carried away when it comes to flying. If you drive for an hour or fly for an hour there isn’t much of a difference. Actually flying is probably smoother than driving…set a cup of water on your floor board of the car and then do the same on a plane. Just saying.

Not sure it’s just the flying that people are worried about, it’s also the baggage handlers!

regarding champagne - I traveled with a checked 1981 Krug Clos des Mesnil a couple years ago. wine showed great…but i think most are right, avoid wines that would throw sediment.

i just lost a 4-pack of wine on a ORD-LAX flight…so using a wine check instead of just a well-sealed cardboard/styro shipper is probably best practice.

Just picked up a Wine Check today! Some thrift store in Denver posted it on Craigslist. Best part of getting it was they just wanted to get rid of it for free because a wine-only suitcase seemed odd to them and it was just taking up space! So now I’m the proud owner of a very used, Robert Mondavi Winery co-branded Wine Check. Can’t wait to try it out.

Todd will be wincing.

Not at all! Good for him for getting a free Wine Check! We’ve heard the ‘it’s too big!’ complaint before, even though people realize it is a 12-bottle suitcase, apparently NOT realizing how much space 12 bottles takes up, as it isn’t really adjustable… newhere

I have a different type of carrier and usually only put 10 or 11 bottles in it to make sure I stay under 50 pounds.

With the Wine Check (shameless plug for The Todd), you have little added weight from the cardboard styro box and the bag, so I think you can almost always check a case safely under the 50 pound limit, unless maybe all 12 bottles are Mas de Can Blau or some behemoth oversized bottle like that.

Yep. I’ve never been over the limit with a full case of wine.

Just used a Wine Check to bring a case back from my LA locker to AZ on Southwest and didn’t have any problems. The baggage guy at the Southwest counter recognized the Wine Check and asked me to open it up so he could verify that the wine was indeed in styrofoam. I slipped him a $5 and told him to keep it safe for me and everything arrived intact. TSA DID open it up and have a look, as evidenced by their friendly pamphlet that they left inside with the bottles, but all 12 were still there.

Another thumbs up for Wine Check!