Recently, the guys at the FABAL Group in Australia took the Wine Check airplane luggage through a number of intensive crash tests to see how it really will protect your wine bottles through a typically demanding air voyage. See the results below:
Video transcription of the Wine Check Drop Test
"Today we're using a US standard procedure to ensure that we're able to comply with airline policy around the world on the durability and robustness of the Wine Check internal bag. So the test we're carrying out today, a drop test where we're going to take the black bag full of 12 bottles of wine. As you can see we're going to drop it from varying heights. We're going to do some other tests as well. One includes actually hitting the box from the side. Another includes having a drop test from above, where we drop a big box, about four kilos, on top of the wine to make sure it's protected. Like that.
One of the other tests that we needed to do was actually taking the box and see what would happen with side impact, if there was something like an arm in an airport conveyor system that whacked the wine on the way through. All of that wine are still intact. As you can see again, the heads have been hit but there is no damage to the internals of the wine because of the corrugated board inside having a protected outside layer.
This time we dropped that on a point, which was also one of the tests that they wanted to see you do. 10, 11, 12, all structurally integrity. That's drop number three using the same box and the same inner tray.
Two, three. Looks like it's all right, doesn't it? As you can see, all 12 bottles are still intact. We've had no damage and we've dropped this same box five times from between four and six feet or between 1.5 and 1.8 meters. We've got a combination of thin, very light weight glass and three very heavy, expensive Australian glass, about $2, $3 a bottle, down to 30 cent bottles.
Last few years I've been going backwards and forwards to the US bringing wine home to Australia each time I got. I've also been taking wine to America each time I go. This is how, when I have no wine, I take the Wine Check to the US. I basically have it flat, sitting on the top of my suitcase without an internal system in it.
Come to one of Australia's 67 famous wine regions and be able to buy 12 bottles of wine. Take them home with you on the plane, drag them behind you in relative ease as if it's just another bag. It packs and goes alongside your normal luggage in the hold of the plane. Most importantly you can get home and not have to pay the freight charges that most wineries need to charge you to move it across our great country."
Italy is a country of thousands of wineries large and small. If you are a wine lover planning a trip to visiting Italy, you are surely wondering which wineries are most worth visiting and which wine producers create wines most worth tasting and potentially purchasing to bring back home.
Slow Food International offers an English-language edition of its unique guide to Italian wines whose qualities extend well beyond the palate. Drawing upon visits to more than 300 cellars, the 2000 wine reviews in Slow Wine 2017 describe not only what's in the glass, but also what's behind it: the work, aims, and passion of producers; their bond with the land; and their choice of cultivation and cellar techniques--favoring the ones who implement ecologically sustainable wine-growing and winemaking practices. An essential guide for travelling oenophiles.
If you look around the world of wine today, you'll notice that most wine is made with the same grape varieties. Pretty much every 'New World' country produces wines made from grapes native to France; Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot... the list goes on. This is no bad thing as stylistically, all the above varieties can be drastically different depending upon climate, soil, viticulture and vinification. The vast majority of glossy, bold Shiraz from Australia is, literally and figuratively, a world away from the savoury, peppery wines of the Northern Rhone, for example. However, in the last 10 years the fashion has been to move away from seeking out the 'best' examples of these well known varieties and instead to look for unique expressions, typically from grapes native to specific countries and regions. This has seen the emergence of some new stars in the world of wine, from the austere, mineral wines of Mount Etna in Sicily to the powerful, racy Assyrtiko of Santorini in Greece. Austria has re-modelled its vinous reputation with the versatile Grüner Veltliner and even as afar as South America, Bonarda and Pais are resurging on both sides of the Andes, in Argentina and Chile respectively.
However, no country has been rediscovered in quite the same way as Spain. There are somewhere in the region of 600 grape varieties on the Iberian Peninsula, the vast majority of them indigenous and regionally specific in production. Despite this, Spain was for decades synonymous with oaky, extracted wines from Rioja, and to a lesser extent Ribera del Duero, with Tempranillo the only celebrated indigenous grape hailing from the country. Short-sighted producers ripped up their old, unfashionable vineyards and replanted with Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and anything that was currently selling, not realising that in doing so they were giving up their major point of difference on the international market-place. However, this wasn't true for all producers and quietly, many went about their business as they had done for centuries; cultivating their families vineyards and producing wines of distinction and style, as their vines slowly became older, sturdier and produced better quality fruit. To look at the market now compared to 20 years ago is staggering. Shops in Barcelona are awash with local Catalan wines, Galician field-blends are appearing in top restaurants across the world and even Sherry is making a come-back! To cover the entirety of this resurgence would take a strong liver and a lot of time, but I'd like to share a few exciting varieties from my own little corner of Spain, the fiercely independent Catalunya:
Wine is a fussy product. Starting from its very beginnings as embryonic genetic material located on the buds of vines, to its moment of glory in your glass, there are countless chemical reactions, pitfalls and opportunities to be navigated and controlled in order to create a good bottle of wine. The vast majority of these is, fortunately, taken care of by the time we actually buy a bottle of wine, as the vigneron has spent the entire year wrestling against nature, ensuring the right balance of sugars, acids and flavour compounds, before handing over the baton to the wine-maker. This is where the grapes will be converted into wine through the magical process of fermentation, possibly aged and then bottled with care being taken to ensure biological stability. Then depending on where the wine is to be sold, it will go through a long or short supply route, potentially crossing oceans, continents and all sorts of checks before it finally appears on a shop shelf or restaurant list somewhere in the world.
Enter us; the consumer. We purchase the wine with the intention of one day drinking it, whether that be within minutes of the purchase, or 20 years down the line, after extended storage to allow for it to evolve within the bottle. Assuming the bottle has been purchased close to home and you intend to drink it in the near future, this is all well and good as any issues of storage are very much the responsibility of the retailer/restaurant and bottles can be returned for a refund. However, if you're buying the wine far from home, possibly, abroad, we run into some potential issues quite quickly.