Text Size:-+
08.10.2006

Those BASTARDS! Terrorists Screw Wine Lovers.

OK. Now they're really pissing me off. I didn't mind the extra long lines to get through security. Nosiree I handled that fine. After all, I figured, it's only to make everything safer. Then came the shoe bomber, and for month's we've all been having to take off our shoes. No problem with that either (once they finally started telling you to do it, instead of just telling you it was optional but not mentioning that if you didn't, they'd have to do secondary screening). I understood, and was happy to doff my shoes to avoid getting blown up.

But now they're fucking with my wine.

It's now illegal to carry any liquid onboard any flight in the United States for the forseeable future. Which means all of us used to doing only carry-on luggage either have to check our bags and leave all our toiletries behind. But even worse, it means that in a couple weeks when I go up to the Willamette valley to do some wine tasting, I can't bring any home in my checked luggage.

Luckily for me, I can just have these folks ship the wine to me at a later date without paying an arm and a leg, but I'd be freaking out if my trip were to Provence instead of Oregon. Ruth and I are used to bringing a couple of cases home in our carry-ons, but we'd never trust the airlines with wine in our checked luggage.

You know, the thought occurred to me that these terrorists might be really smart -- so smart that instead of actually blowing up planes, they just get as far as a reasonably coordinated attempt and then watch a whole nation suffer under outrageous and highly restrictive travel security measures for months. In some ways it's much more powerful than killing a bunch of people. This way they're making millions suffer, every day.

What I can't understand is why they've targeted the wine lovers. Don't they know that Bush thinks wine is for uptight liberal sissies?

Comments (27)

sam wrote:
08.10.06 at 7:04 PM

a couple of cases in your hand luggage? I always thought you were only allowed to import a couple of bottles when travelling?

Alder wrote:
08.10.06 at 7:28 PM

Technically, you are only allowed to import a couple of bottles "without duty" but you may actually bring several cases home with you as long as it is in your luggage and not shipped separately. It is up to the discretion of the customs agent as to whether you pay duty on the wine or not. I've never been charged.

Denise wrote:
08.10.06 at 10:12 PM

Not to mention what it will do to our sales in the wine tasting room!!! I sell almost exclusively to tourists day in and out here in Sonoma....guess that will be curtailed. Kind of sucks for the wine industry as a whole.
But hey, nothing sucks more than terrorism and the terrorists themselves; by the way, I can't perceive of them as "smart", only bloodthirsty and animalistic.

Mithrandir wrote:
08.11.06 at 9:33 AM

You're coming to the Willamette Valley? Awesome. I'll be looking forward to hearing your opinions on the local offerings.

Really though, if I were you, I'd drive. I've made the trip to the bay area a number of times, and it's not that bad. Plus, you get to stop in Ashland, where there is good food and Shakespeare. And it gives you a chance to stop by Wooldridge Creek in the Applegate Valley, which is the only way to get their phenomenal wine.

Alder wrote:
08.11.06 at 9:54 AM

Yes indeed. If you have recommendations, especially for lunch and dinner in the valley I'd love to hear them. And of course, any wineries that I'd be a fool not to visit. We'll be up for a long weekend in September.

We've already booked the flight, so we'll have to hit Applegate another time.

Mithrandir wrote:
08.11.06 at 10:38 AM

Must-see wineries (I'll limit myself to five):

Anne Amie
Adelsheim
Gypsy Dancer (not normally open except Memorial Day Weekend and Thanksgiving, but I suspect you can get Gary to let you taste a few things)
Beran Vineyards (small producer, appointment only, but it's as easy as a quick email)
WillaKenzie

As for food, the Dundee Bistro is worth a visit, and convenient to some of the best wine country. It's owned by the Ponzi family, but they don't concentrate on their own wines. There's an attached wine bar with a fine selection of Oregon wines.

I've had good wine and decent pasta at Assagio in Portland. Bleu is fun, and one of the best dining values I've ever seen. It's a student-run restaurant attached to the Western Culinary Institute.

Portland itself boasts something like 170 microbreweries. If you like beer, I strongly suggest you check out the Rogue Ales Public House, McMenamins and the Bridgeport Brewpub.

Outdoorgrrl wrote:
08.11.06 at 12:32 PM

Here's my list of must see wineries, based on the wines we've enjoyed from the Pacific NW Wine Club:
Amity
Argyle
Elk Cove
Erath
Ponzi
Sokol Blosser

Dave wrote:
08.11.06 at 4:10 PM

Flying with wine--before it was prohibited this week--typically means you will have to put it through X-ray (on carry-on or in luggage). Not a great way to treat your favorite beverage.

Patrick wrote:
08.11.06 at 10:22 PM

You write, "Ruth and I are used to bringing a couple of cases home in our carry-ons, but we'd never trust the airlines with wine in our checked luggage." If I know I'm going to be buying wine on a trip I bring an empty shipping case with me and I check it in. When I buy my wine I pack it in the box and check it in. I've never had a problem with the airlines. I'd rather check it in than not bring any home.
Patrick

Rose wrote:
08.12.06 at 6:31 PM

This past May, I went out to Napa/Sonoma regions and ended up shipping my clothes home so that I could bring back to PA--17 bottles of wine in my carry-on! I will be disappointed if this ban on carrying wine continues as I have no other way to get the wine that I enjoy so much into PA.

GregP wrote:
08.13.06 at 3:13 PM

Alder,

I have been traveling with wine in tow for who knows how long now. Shipping styro boxes are the best way to do so, IMO, so the new regulations are not an issue anyway. I used to carry wine with me in carry-on wine bag as well, guess it will be less weight to worry about as check in.

If you planning on bringing wine back with you, simply check in two empty styro shippers on your way there, then you bring them full on your trip back. The wine will be safe, the X-Ray comment above is groundless and poorly informed, to be mild. Someone on eBob tested a full case of styro (bottles filled with water) dropped from an 11th floor and the only damage was to the walkway below, the bottles were all intact. I doubt any airline employee will do anything similar :-))

I will be packing 2 styro shippers on our trip to NY in September, business as usual. And probably ship a couple more before our departure. When checking in the styro boxes, leave them open for check in inspection, airline employees will then tape the boxes (aftyer verifying they are wine, indeed) and put "Glass" stickers on them. Easy does it.

Alder wrote:
08.13.06 at 5:16 PM

Thanks for the tips. Greg. So where does an ordinary consumer get a bunch of styro wine boxes anyway ?

GregP wrote:
08.13.06 at 7:23 PM

Any decent wine shop? They are just a few dollars and worth every penny, IMO.

LarryS wrote:
08.13.06 at 8:24 PM

As others have said, a 12 btl styro shipper is the way to go. Empty going there, full on the return.

However, there is one thing you should make sure of. If by chance, the case should be opened for inspection, you ABSOLUTELY want to make sure you purchase a shipper where the bottles stand up. If you purchase a 'lay-down' shipper, each layer of bottles has to be removed to see the bottles in the layer below. Who knows if it'll get repacked properly. With the 'stand-up' shipper, only the styro top has to be removed to see all the bottles.

I'm going to Boston next month. I have a large suitcase which will hold a 2-3 btl shipper within it and still leave space for clothes, etc.

Jared S. wrote:
08.14.06 at 11:19 AM

Seeing as how we just returned from South Africa with 18-bottles in carry on, I can only say...

WHEW!

08.14.06 at 1:37 PM

My recommendation in the Willamette Valley: Archery Summit. Their Red Hills Estate, Arcus Estate, and Archery Summit Estate Pinots are amazing.

—Theory

Jim Kaye wrote:
08.14.06 at 6:30 PM

This no carry on is a drag. I took several bottles of wine in my carry on bag on a recent trip to France (CA wines for gifts). The bag was xrayed on check in but never inspected. I remember thinking how easy it would have been to put whatever I wanted into the bottles. It seemed like they should have at least opened the bag and looked at them. The same thing happened on the way back (rosés) - no inspection beyond an xray.

On a trip to Texas last year I used a variation on the shipper container advice offered above. I wanted to bring back some Tito's Vodka, but assumed I couldn't carry it on because it was flammable. I also didn't want to lug it around. So, I sent an empty stryofoam shipper to my hotel in Dallas a day before we left. They weigh next to nothing empty and are cheap to send this way ($4 to $5 Priority). I did get a funny look from the postal clerk ("What are shipping, mountain air?"). It was waiting at the hotel. I added the vodka and a few bottles of TX wine, then FedExed it back 2nd day. We had done this in Arizona a few years back (Sierra Nevada Beer schnapps and some AZ Sauvignon blancs). I hadn't planned ahead that trip, so the bottles were shipped in a box from the wine store, cradled in dirty clothes.

The Wall Street Journal ran an article about the impact of these new regulations on Duty Free Shops. The shops sell a lot of liquor and wine that can no longer be carried on board, and thus no longer purchased. A spokesman for one indicated that he felt a solution would be worked out. Duty free shops are a large business at airports. Loss of beverages sales would likely put them out of business. Hopefully they will work out a way for their customers and other passengers to bring wines and liquors with them again.

Alder wrote:
08.14.06 at 6:57 PM

Jim,

Thanks for the thoughtful comments. I hadn't even considered the impact on the duty free shops of the world. They must be really hurting. More so than consumer outrage, I think it will be these people who will be responsible (as you suggest) for some solution to the current restrictions.

GregP wrote:
08.14.06 at 7:39 PM

Larry,

STYRO shipers all ALL standing bottles. The one you describe as a "lay down" is made of recycled paper and although good at shipping, they are not as great at temp retention and ease of use as you pointed out.

Buy only STYRO shippers, you'll be fine.

Earl wrote:
08.15.06 at 8:54 AM

other great wineries in WV OR

Ponzi: if you go to their tasting room in Dundee you can get some nice snacks, try a couple of other wineries wines and then stumble across 99w to Argyle

Carlton Wine Makers Studio:, many small production wineries are at this place

Penner Ash: call em to make sure they have stuff to taste, small production and they sell out fast

LarryS wrote:
08.15.06 at 12:39 PM

Greg,

Not all 12-btl styro shippers are stand-up. I have a lay-down one at home.

sharon wrote:
08.15.06 at 2:39 PM

You can order boxes and styro inserts from Cartons and Crates in Napa 707-224-7447. You can pick up there or they deliver for free on a $100 order.

Ian wrote:
08.15.06 at 4:09 PM

I have to second the tasting room at Adelsheim. Had a very nice time, caught the not-so-subtle differences between vintages, and found a wonderful dessert wine.

Paula wrote:
08.18.06 at 6:59 AM

A few times we've traveled and either gingerly packed them in our checked luggage (and were mega lucky) or carried them on. Although I have had champagne stolen from my checked bag.

here's the kicker though - try being a tourist from PA. Most wineries won't ship to PA because of the extremely stupid shipping laws. So, what's a wine lover to do when traveling & tasting? (other then of course have a good friend in NJ or DE to accept your shipments!).

Gene wrote:
08.20.06 at 12:54 PM

Alder, Be sure to check out Panther Creek Winery in McMinnville. Nick's Restaurant in McMinnville has a great list of local wines and typically they only charge $8 over retail. At Cuvee bistro in Carlton, be sure to order Ken Wright Chardonnay at a very reasonable price. Gene

JJ wrote:
09.01.06 at 1:05 PM

Are you going to be in Portland? If so, you should go to Noble Rot. It's a wine bar/restaurant with excellent small plate food and really a really interesting wine list. It's kind of off the beaten path but worth finding. You may need reservations though. It's small.

Jack wrote:
06.23.07 at 10:02 AM

Nobody seemed to mention this but from Europe, at least, you can now buy wine in duty free(still limited to one bag and a small bag for carry-on) And , supposedly 2 bottles duty free(ha ha). But if you then are travelling somewhere other than your port of entry it will then have to be checked. Hope this helps. Bonne Chance.

Comment on this entry

(will not be published)
(optional -- Google will not follow)
Yes
 

Type the characters you see in the picture above.

Pre-Order My Book!

small_final_covershot_dropshadow.jpg A wine book like no other. Photographs, essays, and wine recommendations. Learn more.

Follow Me On:

Twitter Facebook Pinterest Instagram Delectable Flipboard

Most Recent Entries

Vinography Images: Into the Tank 72 Pinot Noirs on a Sunny Afternoon: Tasting at IPNC 2014 The Great White South: An Introduction to Châteauneuf-du-Pape Blanc Vinography Images: Along the Row Time For The World's Best Prison Wine Coastal Diamonds: The Rieslings of Oregon Vinography Images: The Red Window Taking Celebrity Wine to the Next Level Vinography Images: The Blue Berry 2014 Family Winemakers Tasting: August 17, San Mateo

Favorite Posts From the Archives

Masuizumi Junmai Daiginjo, Toyama Prefecture Wine.Com Gives Retailers (and Consumers) the Finger 1961 Hospices de Beaune Emile Chandesais, Burgundy Wine Over Time The Better Half of My Palate 1999 Királyudvar "Lapis" Tokaji Furmint, Hungary What's Allowed in Your Wine and Winemaking Why Community Tasting Notes Sites Will Fail Appreciating Wine in Context The Soul vs. The Market 1989 Fiorano Botte 48 Semillion,Italy

Archives by Month

 

Required Reading for Wine Lovers

The Oxford Companion to Wine by Jancis Robinson The Taste of Wine by Emile Peynaud Adventures on the Wine Route by Kermit Lynch Love By the Glass by Dorothy Gaiter & John Brecher Noble Rot by William Echikson The Science of Wine by Jamie Goode The Judgement of Paris by George Taber The Wine Bible by Karen MacNeil The Botanist and the Vintner by Christy Campbell The Emperor of Wine by Elin McCoy The World Atlas of Wine by Hugh Johnson The World's Greatest Wine Estates by Robert M. Parker, Jr.