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Dear Dr. Vinny,
How harmful is checking wine into the hold of an airplane?
—T. Brown, Ebmatingen, Switzerland
Checking wine is more dangerous than carrying it onboard. The extremes in air pressure and temperature in the hold can damage your wine. Of course, it's most dangerous of all to travel to a destination where there's no good wine to drink, so the risk may be worth it.
If you are going to check your wine, make sure to pack the wine in a well-insulated container. (This is about the only time I'd recommend the use of those environmentally unfriendly Styrofoam wine carriers.)
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