During this annual, heaviest travel period of the year-end holiday season, and with Thanksgiving as the largest US wine purchase period, my thoughts turn to corkscrews…
Airport Security makes business and pleasure air travel a pain no matter what the purpose, time, or place – especially for wine lovers who prefer traditional cork closures.
Frankly whenever, wherever, I’d rather drive for hours-and-hours than run the inconvenience of airport’s TSA Security gauntlet (and the inflexibility of that scheduled return home flight). Commuter airline terminals offer some crowd relief – usually tolerable if you can deal with the tiny cramped aircraft (with their very personable baggage handling pilots ). As a joke or maybe not – simply arming the cockpit would have been a far cheaper alternative than an army of TSA agents ;).
I’ve yet to read of an Airliner hijacked by a corkscrew or nail-clipper-cuticle-”knife” wielding terrorist.
Here’s a link to TSA’s prohibited items list no mention of corkscrews here.
BTW TSA even has a BLOG (how blasé blogs have become…) at this link to TSA ‘s Blog there is mention of Corkscrews and nail clippers with blades:
“Corkscrews are a little tricky, but also permitted. Let’s be clear, corkscrews without knives. We know many corkscrews have the little knife that help cut the metal wrapping on a bottle, those are not allowed, but the little corkscrews with no knife are.”
BTW the TSA blog continues “So to sum up, if you are the kind of person who likes to drink wine, knit and clip your nails, you are free to do all three in flight… So long as you don’t have any blades.”
I’d add you better have bought that wine in a post post-security check airport terminal shop.
For you purists that (properly) want to cut and remove capsules prior to removing the cork – to gain access to that-most-incredible-Nectar-of-the-Gods in the wine bottle, you need a foil/capsule cutter on your TSA allowed corkscrew (unless you are a fan or master of the grab-twist-and-pull technique to-remove the entire foil/capsule obviating the need for a foil cutter of ANY type.
Frankly I abhor pulling/bursting the cork through the intact foil/capsule as a boorish technique in opening a wine vessel. But in times of distress or if TSA scored your corkscrew OK I guess. Doing so virtually assures a drippy mess when subsequently pouring and to allow the wine to touch the exposed jagged tin/aluminum/shrink-wrap “petals” may have taste ramifications.
Pictured to the right is the TSA allowed corkscrew you can find many on-line via Google Shopping at this link.
Am I too snobby here? If so, please excuse my slavish adherence to this small bit of bottle-opening etiquette/protocol.
As for the infamous two pronged “Ah so” wine opener no specific word on it on the TSA site or Blog but readers have reported confiscations by stalwart TSA agents.
TSA Alcohol rules: link to them here
“Liquids, including alcohol purchased after clearing the security checkpoint are permitted aboard aircraft.
Carrying Alcohol In Your Checked Baggage
Please note, you can’t take alcoholic beverages with more than 70% alcohol content (140 proof), including 95% grain alcohol and 150 proof rum, in your checked luggage.
You may take up to five liters of alcohol with alcohol content between 24% and 70% per person as checked luggage if it’s packaged in a sealable bottle or flask.
Alcoholic beverages with less than 24% alcohol content are not subject to hazardous materials regulations.”
The rules for checked baggage are different than carry-on luggage and vary by airline.
Check with your airline for their packing requirement specifics. Generally any wine packed in commercial grade shipping packages/boxes are fine in your luggage or as a properly packed case of checked wine (additional baggage fees may apply – FedEx/UPS may be cheaper or have the winery ship it to your office/home). You can even have a waiter’s corkscrew with a foil cutting blade – just not in y9ur carry-on. For those of you like me, who carry-on almost exclusively, keep to the retractable foil cutter version corkscrew.
So cheers to you as you negotiate the airport security gauntlet and endure today’s air travel ordeals - at least the airlines are continuing to offer wine as a 1st class perk and pay-as-you-go offering in Coach.
I’ve mentioned the following in my recent tweets on Twitter( follow us at as @eaglesnestwine):
- The world’s airlines annually buy about 4.3 million gallons of wine – refuse to cut 1st class perk CNN: http://bit.ly/8Vzpo5
- CNN: Airlines still offer fliers fine wine as a high-class amenity – one they refuse to cut http://bit.ly/8Vzpo5.
Please visit us at http://eaglesnestwinery.com to learn more about our award winning boutique wines wines and as a bonus, The Eagles Nest – our luxury wine-themed vacation villa with a view high above our vineyards and the Ramona Valley American Vinticultural Area (AVA).
Eagles Nest is a Southern California’s wine lover’s premier getaway located 35 minutes northeast of Downtown San Diego.