How to make sure a fine bottle gets from A to B in pristine condition
With great bottles, comes great responsibility. Opening them and enjoying them is the easy part, but making sure they arrive in pristine condition is a whole different matter. Whether you’re travelling half-way around the world or just down the road to a friend’s, it’s key to know how to carry your bottle of wine properly because doing it wrong can seriously alter the taste. George Restaurant chef sommelier Gabriele del Carlo, at the Four Seasons George V in Paris gives us some of his top tips.
How to take care of a bottle of wine when travelling … In the car
Ideally, the bottle should be transported in the same way it was stored. From the cellar to the table, keep it horizontal so the sediments don't rise. However, if the bottle has been stored upwards, don’t lie it down.
… On the plane
Pack it in your suitcase and send it in the luggage hold. But before you do, make sure to buy a special bottle bag. It’s best to invest in one with a bubble-wrap interior designed to absorb shock and impact, which will guarantee the bottle doesn’t break. If you’re worried about cabin pressure, don’t. The bottle will hold out. The pressure on a plane is equivalent to being at 2,000 meters’ altitude, in other words, at ski resort level. So, if a bottle doesn’t explode in the Alps, it won’t on the plane either.
How to avoid accidentally shaking wine
If you’re bringing champagne, it will be fine as long as the muselet (champagne wire) is kept firmly in place. To make sure the cork doesn’t go flying or the champagne overflows when you open it, wait an extra 10 minutes before opening the bottle. If it’s wine you’re bringing, shaking it could really impact its taste. The sediment within an older vintage could be stirred and disrupted, in which case, postpone drinking the wine for 48 hours.
Keeping it cool
Take your bottle out of the fridge at the last minute and never leave without your wine-cooler. If driving, put the air-conditioning on, which will help to keep the wine cool.
Carry it in style
What else than the Rimowa Gourmet collection. The Wine Case and the Sparkling Wine/Champagne Box are both sturdy and beautiful to look at. They’re our favourite pieces of luggage. Safe travels!