ask dr. vinny

Hello there! I'm Dr. Vinifera, or "Vinny" for short. Ask me your toughest wine questions, from the technical aspects of winemaking to the fine points of etiquette. I hope you find my answers educational and even amusing. Looking for a particular answer? Check my archive and my FAQs.


Dear Dr. Vinny,

I read there was a new TSA policy on items allowed through the checkpoint. Does this mean that after April 25th wine lovers can finally now bring wine openers through the security checkpoint in their carry-on?

—Lisette G., Washington, D.C.

Dear Lisette,

Corkscrews themselves were never actually on the prohibited list, but many corkscrews have an attached blade, and of course blades were prohibited.

You’re right that beginning April 25, the TSA will allow blades, including those attached to corkscrews, in your carry-on luggage, as long as the blade isn’t longer than 6 centimeters (2.36 inches) or wider than half an inch. The blade also can’t be fixed—it has to retract. That means most waiter-style corkscrews will now be allowed.

That said, I should remind you that ultimately, the decision about what you can and can’t bring aboard is up to the TSA agents screening you, and these are new rules which might take some time to implement. If you’re going to travel with a wine opener, my advice is to travel with one that wouldn’t break your heart if it were confiscated.

—Dr. Vinny


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