Posts Tagged ‘wine gadget’

Part 2: “12 Days of Wine Christmas” – Gadget Review of the VinniBag

As someone who travels a fair amount for work (the ‘other’ job) I was delighted to get a sample of VinniBag to test out. Given you can’t take bottles through security anymore, checking a bottle of wine, isn’t uncommon for me. Wine bottles are fairly sturdy, but luggage takes some serious abuse in handling, and just tossing a bottle into the bag, risks breakage and ruining everything.

Actually they point out on their website quite accurately, one need not limit it to wine. Almost any glass container would travel more safely in this.

The geek in me loves the technical details:

“VinniBag was engineered specifically to withstand air travel and high altitudes. The design and materials allow for significant changes in air pressure and temperatures. Sophisticated testing was done at an independent test lab using altitude chambers that surpass normal conditions in aircraft cargo holds.VinniBag can also handle some pretty tough temperatures. The important part is to load, inflate & deflate VinniBag in normal temperatures for proper performance.”

Deflated, the bag is small, as you can see, sitting next to a Riedel O glass.

This is a very easy product to use, nonetheless instructions are provided on a leaflet with picture, and simple ones are also on the bag.

1. Insert the Wine Bottle, to where it says ‘Stop Here’. Partially inflate, flatten the bottom seal.

2. Roll bottom portion up and buckle. Finish inflation. Voila.

Check out a funny, great video of Vinnibag in action.

When you get your bottle home, simply de-inflate, open and enjoy. This sturdy item is re-usable.

Vinnibag is available online, or at these retail stores and wineries.

Under $30 is a great, inexpensive gift any wine aficionado will find useful.

Cheers, and come back soon for Part 3!

Wine Gadget Review: The Wine Spike – “Don’t Spill Your Wine – Spike it!”

The World of Social Media can be funny; I can post the most serious, (self perceived) insightful post or blog and get little response, and then sometimes get large immediate responses to random things.

Last Tuesday at the weekly Healdsburg Music on the Square, I posted this pic and comment:

Love my wine spike :)

And got 5 responses back on Twitter in seconds and 3 on Facebook.

This was enough to spur me into action for an idea I have been percolating for awhile: Wine Gadget reviews. I am a closet geek and love gadgets; both techie and conventional. Lately I have also been approached for input on iPhone apps, gadgets etc and thought why not share these with readers, so tada, welcome to the new feature.

I stumbled across the Wine Spike some months ago on their Facebook site. At that time they didn’t have online ordering, and being the busy geek that I am, waited until they did. Luckily this was on time for the many Outdoor musics events we have Sonoma, including the one I am going to all afternoon today in Petaluma.

“Please drink responsibly, use a Wine, Beer, or Beverage Spike!”

This is the slogan for the product on their web page, along with things like “Don’t Spill Your Wine – Spike it!”

The wine spikes come in a variety of price points, styles, colors. There are (as of now) clearance spikes starting as low as $10, to $35 for premium, with a wide range in between. Spikes can be ordered as single or double glass holders, and even have a stand option so can be used indoors.There is a wide array of colors, designs (expanded since I bought mine) and wood tones. You can even have them customized with your company’s logo.

How Do They Work

I bought two singles and one double to test. I wasn’t sure how some of the colors would look with the wood, so went for a natural wood tone. They are relatively lightweight, but well constructed. The Spike is solid, and once pushed into the ground, is firmly planted.

This won’t win an Academy award, but I thought a little film demonstration might be fun.

Even larger glasses fairly full aren’t going anywhere. Playing around, I discovered stemless glasses like Riedel O series and GoVino can rest ok on the top of these…if the round hole was a tad larger would fit more securely, but its still better than sitting it on the grass.


Save the plastic tubing they ship with; the spikes aren’t razor sharp, but are designed to stick in the ground, and could poke through a bag or backpack. I wrap mine in a towel or the blanket.


I’d like to see an all wire metal frame version, maybe with a tribal or SouthWestern Kokopelli US kinda of theme.


I couldn’t be more pleased and will be putting to maximum use today at the Petaluma Music Festival.

Upcoming Reviews:

I have a few more in my hopper, and am taking reader requests/input, and samples for future articles. Next few planned are:

  • Wine storage containers/bags for travel
  • Portable stemware (am seeking containers as well; why Riedel doesn’t have a hard case for ‘O” escapes me.
  • Wine aeration devices: Vinturi, Wine Soiree, etc

Hope you enjoy; feel free to ask questions, make comments below – cheers!

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