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Ship Your Wine – In a Suitcase
In the aftermath of the 9/11 tragedy,carrying wine aboard a commercial aircraft has been impossible and illegal. As someone who likes to buy various wines away from my city of residence, I am always on the lookout for any new method of protecting my wine when I choose to pack it in my suitcase. Over the years I have gone through a variety of methods to protect my wine from shipping damage, the most successful being wrapping each bottle in small bubble wrap and then placing the bottle back in the cardboard carrying case that most wineries provide. Periodically I have lost bottles through breakage due to handling abuse sometimes experienced in airports. Recently, after a loss of a good bottle resulted in additional cleaning costs, I began to look for a better solution. My initial thoughts went to bringing in my suitcase a Styrofoam container fitted for such a task.
While researching this online, I found an interesting site, http://www.spiritedshipper.com, which offers a somewhat different solution to the problem. I contacted Bruce Cappels, the president/owner of the company, and he offered to provide me with some of his boxes. These boxes are heavier cardboard than those provided at the wineries and are specially designed (Mr. Cappels owns the patent) for wine shipment. They also fold up when not in use and are reusable.
My test consisted of two separate flights one week apart on which I checked a 22 inch carryon suitcase in which I had packed six bottles of wine. Each bottle was packed in one of Spirited Shipper’s individual boxes which were then placed in another box from Spirited Sipper which tightly contained all six boxes. Though Spirited Shipper does not recommend this, I also wrapped each bottle in my small bubble wrap held on with a rubber band. The larger box fit perfectly in the carryon suitcase (expandable). The result was that on both flights there was no damage to the wine even though after one flight I noted a deep dent in the outer box that indicated some rough handling. Even though my test was somewhat brief, it convinced me that Mr. Cappels has something that might be a game changer.