What Are the Different Types of Wine Luggage?

Dan Cavallari

Wine luggage is any container designed for the transport of wine during traveling. These containers may range from the very simple and small one-bottle holders, to the more elaborate bags or boxes that hold several bottles securely. Wine luggage may be soft shell or hard shell, and the cost of such luggage will vary according to the size, materials, and function. Some varieties of this type of luggage look very similar to normal luggage. They may feature telescoping handles and wheels for transport through airports, train stations, hotel lobbies, and so on, and they may feature extra pockets for items other than wine bottles.

A picnic basket with a bottle of red wine.
A picnic basket with a bottle of red wine.

Perhaps the most expensive version of wine luggage is the hard shell case. This heavy-duty plastic case often features padded foam cells inside the hard shell to stabilize the bottles. The hard shell will protect the bottles from external impacts, and the foam will prevent the bottles from jostling around and potentially becoming damaged. This type of wine luggage often includes a removable or hinged top to allow for easy access to the bottles. Since this type of luggage is likely to be heavier than other types of wine luggage, the plastic shell is often mounted on wheels, and a telescoping handle allows the user to pull the unit behind him or her for easy transport. This type of luggage is very likely to keep the wine bottles safe and unharmed during transport. Some models can carry up to eight or ten bottles at once.

Some smaller wine luggage offerings can hold only one or two bottles as well as a wine glass. This style is meant more for short trips such as picnics or travel to a friend's house. The protection offered by this type of luggage is usually fairly minimal, but it does help make the transport of the bottles and the glass much easier. Some smaller versions of wine luggage offer more protection by using thicker materials or harder materials. The units will still hold anywhere between one and three bottles, and perhaps even a wine glass, but unlike other, less expensive versions, these versions can be stowed in an overhead compartment without risking damage to the bottles.

A wine case may be used as wine luggage as well, though this tends to be a heavier and more cumbersome option. Wine cases are often made of wood, and they are quite difficult to move around easily. They will, however, afford the most protection to the bottles, and damage to the bottles inside is fairly minimal.

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