The 10 Best Wine Totes
This wiki has been updated 18 times since it was first published in September of 2015. You just bought some decent Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and Pinot Grigio, but you are lugging them around in plastic grocery bags. Take one of these handy wine totes to your next dinner party, picnic, or outdoor event and class things up. They’ll allow you to carry those bottles comfortably and safely, and many will even keep the contents cool, too. When users buy our independently chosen editorial selections, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki. Skip to the best wine tote on Amazon.
Why You Should Use A Wine Tote
Anyone who truly cares for their special vintage really shouldn't transport it without one.
Before you just grab that bottle of wine to bring as a host gift or to your favorite BYOB restaurant, think twice about skipping the tote. Anyone who truly cares for their special vintage really shouldn't transport it without one. You probably know that the climate where the grapes are grown and the wine is made plays a big role in how it tastes. yet for some reason, vino lovers can be rather casual about exposing their bottles to all sorts of temperature changes. That is a shame since, when this nectar of the gods gets too hot, or too cold, its flavor can be permanently altered. Wine totes can regulate the temperature of your precious inebriant.
Let's talk about getting credit for the bottle you selected, too. If you consider yourself a bit of a vino snob who is particular about the wineries to which you're loyal, then you'd probably like the vintage you picked out to get some attention at the party. When you just carry in your host gift, without a bag, and set it on the counter, it quickly becomes surrounded by the dozens of bottles the other guests brought. Before you know it, people are just opening whichever bottle is nearest, and your carefully-picked vintage is gone. Putting in a tote distinguishes it from the others and says, "This bottle is special." Perhaps, when someone wants to open it, they'll actually ask, "Who brought this?" giving you the chance to show off some of your wine knowledge.
Totes and carriers protect your bottles from damage, too. If you tire of carrying your bottle, you might place it in the trunk of a car, where it starts to roll around, knocking against other items, and risking breaking. If you're traveling with more than one bottle then the risk is even greater. Totes, luckily, are typically made from padded materials that prevent harm from reaching your wine. As you can see, any true wine aficionado simply cannot transport his merlot or pinot noir without a tote.
What To Look For In A Wine Tote
There are some features that will make your wine tote your favorite accessory. Some can essentially carry a full boozy picnic to go, with a spot for your unbreakable glasses, a corkscrew, napkins, and more. If you have a long evening at a concert in the park or drive-in movie ahead of you, your friends will love that you brought everything you needed to keep everyone hydrated (or something like that). Speaking of drinking with friends, some totes can hold multiple bottles, so nobody's glass will ever be empty and you won't look like a whino drinking alone.
Should you want to pack some charcuterie to pair with your drinks, you can find a tote with a separate compartment for food.
If you have a long hike planned for the day, perhaps to that romantic spot you've chosen to break open a vintage for a special occasion (red wine can have aphrodisiac effects, after all), make sure your tote has sturdy handles. Some models have shoulder straps, too, to leave your hands free to hold your date's hand. Should you want to pack some charcuterie to pair with your drinks, you can find a tote with a separate compartment for food. Make sure yours has a secure closure, such as quality zippers or a stainless steel clasp, to keep the contents from falling out.
Style is also important. The wine you drink says a lot about you and the bag you carry it in says a lot about it. There are some high fashion options that resemble designer bags (these are also handy when you don't want anyone to know you're holding wine, as they look more like purses). Then there are those with charming, bright patterns that you'll love to bring to summer cookouts. If you prefer something simpler, you can opt for a sporty design in a solid color. Just be warned that if your tote is too attractive, everyone around will want to know what's inside and ask for a sip.
How To Take Care Of Your Wine
Opening a bottle of wine that you've waited years to open — and perhaps took even more time to hunt down — only to find that its flavor is not what you'd expected can be a huge disappointment, even more so if don't understand how this happened. The winemaker himself told you that this month of this exact year would be the best time to sip on his intoxicating nectar. Your other wine-collecting friend has the same bottle, just drank his, and said it was spectacular. Unfortunately, you may need to face the fact that the error was on your end. You may have made the all too common error of storing your wine incorrectly. If you don't want that to ever happen again, follow these tips.
When no liquid touches the cork for months or years, it can dry out, which is another way air can get inside the bottle.
Control the humidity of your wine storage location, whether that be a room or a wine cooler. The ideal level is 70 percent, but you can get away with 10 degrees higher or lower than that. If you're wondering how to even address this, just add a humidifier to the room where you store your wine. Instruct others only to go in there when necessary, so as to not let the air out. This is important for taste and aesthetic purposes. When humidity levels are too high, the label on the bottle can mold, which makes its value go down. Meanwhile, when levels are too low, the cork can actually shrink, allowing air into the bottle, and modifying the flavor of the wine.
You've likely noticed that some wine racks position bottles at an angle. While this does create a visual allure, there is actually a practical purpose behind this. Angling the bottles ensures that the cork is always touching some wine, which is important to keep it moist. When no liquid touches the cork for months or years, it can dry out, which is another way air can get inside the bottle. As for lighting, wine cellars aren't dark for the dramatic effect: it's important to keep light off of the bottles since this, too, can ruin the flavor.
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