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I’ve had the VinGardeValise wine suitcases on my wishlist for a very long time. I regret not buying one before our trip to Tuscany. And I really regret not buying it before our trip to Cava country in Spain. So when we got home from Spain in April, I ordered the VinGardeValise Petite wine suitcase (holds 8 bottles). I will not miss an opportunity to bring wine home from our travels again.
I’ve taken my VinGardeValise Petite on two trips since April: a trip to wine country in New Jersey where I checked the Petite, and a road trip to McKinney (northeast of Dallas, Texas). Both trips were carefree and the sturdy suitcase worked like a champ. I’ll write a full review at a later date, but for now, here’s how I packed my new toy!
On our trip to New Jersey to meet family, we packed Texas Wine and my homemade fig & wine jam to bring as gifts. I really like the wine bottle shaped holes ready for a variety of bottle shapes. It is recommended to insert the bottles neck first. Very easy packing! For fitting bottles into shapes that aren’t an exact fit, the Petite includes foam shims and removable shoulders. On the side that I packed mason jars (hey, glass is glass), I used wine corks to fill in the gaps.
VinGardeValise wine suitcases come with ample foam layers and straps, so no additional padding is needed. Luckily I don’t need an advanced degree to figure out placement. I just secure straps where there are straps, insert foam layers in between closures, and zip where there are zippers. Just for good measure, I shook the crap out of it when I packed it the first time (no rattling…color me surprised!).
For additional security, the VinGardeValise wine suitcases include burst straps (in case the zipper fails, I suppose), locking channels so the straps don’t disappear if inspected by TSA, and TSA locks. My wine bottles aren’t escaping (not like that one time when our box of wine mysteriously disappeared while shipping between Rome and home…seriously, where is our wine?).
The VinGardeValise Petite wine suitcase typically weighs 32-38 lbs. with all 8 bottle pockets occupied, so this doesn’t exceed the weight limit on most airlines where I’d have to pay a heavy baggage fee. It is easy to lift in and out of the car, and easier to wheel than my Samsonite suitcase.
Here’s how I packed my VinGardeValise Petite wine suitcase going TO New Jersey (above), and here’s how I packed it coming FROM New Jersey (below). Neat, right?! For future trips where I’d be flying with mason jars of my homemade preserves, I’ll be using this Do-It-Yourself insert, which is the recommended packing method for non-wine bottles (packing non-wine bottle items in wine inserts could corrupt the security and durability of the suitcase and items can break…oops!).
Isn’t she pretty? What shall I name her? If you’re in a shopping mood, check out VinGardeValise’s products. I’m pretty happy with my Petite. Cheers and happy travels!