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Updated August 2022
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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and all opinions about the products are our own. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
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Buying guide for Best wine totes

Properly transporting bottles of wine requires care and planning, particularly if your goal is to open one at your destination. Wine bottles are prone to moving around if not properly secured in a bag, which can risk breaking the bottle or disturbing the contents inside. What’s more, white wine and rosé, and even some bottles of red, should be chilled before serving.

Wine totes offer a practical, simple, and often stylish way to transport wine. They can hold up to half a case of wine and are designed to keep the bottles from moving around. Some are crafted with transportation solely in mind, while others are geared more toward an outing.

Though relatively simple as an idea, wine totes have a variety of options and features that cater to many different needs. Our guide will take you through what's available and how to best assess which wine tote — or totes — would be best for your needs and lifestyle.

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Wine totes are ideal for temporarily carrying wine to a destination, not for lengthy travel. When moving or flying with wine, store bottles securely with proper wine boxes or snugly within luggage.

Key considerations

Capacity

Wine totes may hold anywhere from a single bottle of wine up to six. Most options hold between two and four. Those that hold one or two typically secure the bottle with a strap or mesh elastic. Other totes feature dividers, so each bottle has its own slot and won’t move around or topple over, even if the tote isn’t full.

The main purpose of your wine tote will likely inform the size you choose. If you're using the tote to transport bottles from a store to your home, you’ll likely want a larger model to accommodate any purchases. A tote that holds a single bottle is useful for those who may regularly visit friends or go to events where you would bring a bottle with you. Those that hold two or four may be useful for a hike or for a day at the beach or park, where one might pack wine for a group as well as other snacks and accessories.

Keep in mind that at full capacity, larger totes may be quite heavy. Depending on how far you're traveling, a bigger option may not be as practical.

Design

For some, a wine tote can be as stylish as it is practical and thus can be purchased in various designs and patterns. Some have a single color, while others may feature lively designs that cater to a certain style or environment. Many wine totes obscure the contents within, appearing as generic handbags or backpacks. Some models may be more multipurpose in design, allowing you to carry a bottle of wine safely along with other items or purchases.

Material

Most wine totes are made of canvas or polyester, which are both durable and lightweight materials. Some higher-end models may be leather. Depending on how you plan to use the tote, you may want to inspect its base — some are reinforced so that they stand up on their own, while others become flimsy once bottles are removed and topple over when empty. These latter options may not be ideal for, say, trips to the park.

Carrying mechanism

Smaller totes simply feature handles by which to carry them. Larger options, though, may include across-the-shoulder straps or even be worn like a backpack. In most cases, straps are adjustable, and some may feature padding for comfort. Several models employ both a handle and a strap.

Insulation

Depending on its planned use, an insulated wine tote may be called for. If your main need is to transport wine safely from a store to your home, then probably not. However, if you plan on taking a bottle to the beach or park or along on any other outdoor excursion, insulation comes in handy as warm wine, even a red, will not be pleasant. While insulation will increase a tote’s price, it also will allow the flexibility of using it to pack other items, like snacks or other chilled beverages.

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Did You Know?
Wine totes are typically designed to hold a standard 750ml bottle of wine. While some dividers in totes may be flexible, some carriers may struggle to hold certain bottles, including some sparkling wines and 1.5L bottles.
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Features

Color

Simple, less expensive wine totes are typically offered in black, brown, or gray. Some options, though, come in various colors or designs, allowing you to purchase one that matches your style or personality.

Removable insert

Totes holding multiple bottles usually have dividers, often in the form of inserts that can be removed. This allows the tote to be used to hold larger, wider items instead of wine as needed. It can be repurposed for grocery shopping or traveling with items that need to stay refrigerated. Note that most removable inserts are less sturdy than those that are fixed — it’s best to fill all sections in order to maintain integrity, as one bottle may topple the insert and then fall over within a larger, empty tote.

Accessories

Some purchases include accessories for enjoying wine upon reaching your destination. Often, a tote will include unbreakable wine glasses, some of which may include a lid. These are useful when enjoying wine in an outdoor setting or when on the move. Certain totes even include places to secure the glasses within. Other producers might throw in a corkscrew for opening the wine, or even cloth napkins to enjoy on a picnic.

Compartments

Many wine totes that are designed to accommodate leisurely days outside feature a number of compartments and pockets to welcome all the additions you need. Some include elastic mesh pockets, either on the outside or within, while others employ clips and straps for wine accessories like a corkscrew or glasses. Most compartments are secured with a zipper or buckle.

Reusable totes are a terrific way to shop sustainably and cut down on litter and plastic bag waste. Just be sure you don’t forget your tote on the way out the door.

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Accessories

Wine opener: HiCoup Professional Corkscrew
Wherever you’ll be enjoying wine, you’ll need an opener to remove the corkscrew. We love this simple yet strong option by HiCoup that comes in a variety of colors.

Unbreakable wine glasses: FineDine Stainless Steel Unbreakable Wine Glasses
For those enjoying wine (or other beverages) outdoors, we suggest investing in unbreakable glasses. These modern stainless-steel glasses by FineDine maintain a cool temperature and won’t shatter.

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Did You Know?
While adding ice to your wine is a useful way to chill the contents, it dilutes the drink and may ruin the flavor. If there’s no way around it the need for ice, consider using your wine to make a spritzer or other cocktail.
Staff
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Wine tote prices

Inexpensive: Simple one- or two-bottle wine totes can be had in various styles and designs for $15 or less.

Mid-range: Most totes cost between $15 and $30, and this range has options in both capacity and design. Some models may include accessories.

Expensive: For those willing to spend over $30, more stylish wine totes are available, often with accessories included. These typically have visual appeal and are designed to accommodate social gatherings.

Tips

  • Clean your tote. If you’re using your tote for picnics or outdoor adventures, be sure to clean both the inside and outside of it regularly, especially if you’re transporting empty glasses and bottles after use. This will prevent odor and bacteria buildup.
  • Properly store bottles. Wine totes are meant for temporary travel, not long-term storage. Keep your wine in a cool, dry place. Store bottles sealed with corks on their side (as opposed to standing up) so the cork doesn’t dry out.
  • Pack the right wine. Outings on warm days call for crisp, floral whites and rosés, or maybe light reds. Avoid packing full-bodied reds for afternoon or evening drinks when the sun is out.
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Wine totes are useful for transporting anything slender and delicate, including cans or bottles of water, oil, vinegar, or other pantry goods.

FAQ

Q. How effective is wine tote insulation?

A. Insulation can maintain a temperature, but it won’t cool items that are warm. It’s important to chill your bottles to their desired temperatures ahead of time. You may want to add ice or gel packets to the tote if traveling for a while. It’s also advised to avoid opening the tote and to quickly remove the desired contents if you must open it. Each opening lets cold air out and warm air in. A wine tote isn’t designed to maintain cold temperature for hours on end, but it easily can keep its contents cool for an hour or two.

Q. What types of wine do I need to chill?

A. Most wine should be served at least slightly chilled to achieve the optimal aromas and flavors. Sparkling wines (like champagne) and light whites should be served between 38°F to 45°F, while full-bodied whites and rosé are best enjoyed between 44°F and 55°F. Lighter reds, like pinot noir, should be a bit cool, around 55°F to 60°F. Lastly, big bold reds can be enjoyed at or slightly below room temperature, in the 60°F to 68°F range. 

It can be tricky to obtain the ideal temperature when traveling with wine. If the tote is insulated, chill to the desired temperature and keep the tote closed until you’re ready to drink the wine. If the tote isn’t insulated, consider chilling below the desired temperature knowing that the bottle will slowly warm up.

Q. If I can't pack a decanter, how do I aerate wine?

A. If you’re traveling with wines that benefit from decanting, there are few tricks you can use to smooth out and enhance the wine without a proper decanter. One option is to decant before you travel: you can pour out the wine and then pour it back into the bottle, which is essentially double-decanting. This will accelerate oxidation, so don’t try this if you're traveling for a long time. Similarly, you can pour wine into a glass and then carefully back into the bottle, or from one glass into another to speed up the process.
 

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