For someone who recently baked a disgusting cake on the stove, I sure do get a lot of PR pitches from high-end food and beverage brands. These usually qualify for immediate deletion, because we here at The Takeout would rather spend our time debating the ethics of the fry-burrito paradox than spend $60 on some sort of newfangled decanter.
But last week, I received a PR pitch that I found so silly—especially given the nature of my usual reporting—that I decided to share it with you, readers. The pitch was promoting a $249 carry-on suitcase called the VinGardeValise Piccolo, and its sole purpose is to allow fancy travelers to transport wine bottles on their vacations. The email read:
“Whether you’re going away for a long weekend or coming back from a winery, you’ll love knowing that your favorite bottles of wine are along for the ride — and safe from breakage. The VinGardeValise by FlyWithWine is a line of tough suitcases that are gentle on glass, thanks to their dense foam inserts created to cradle wine bottles.”
Upon further investigation, I found a video ad promoting the suitcase. A posh British gentleman narrates the ad, which features the suitcase rotating slowly on a velvety red background before transitioning into a sequence of scenes that I found so laughable they’re almost satirical. In one, a group of wealthy middle-aged white people enjoy a spirited debate surrounded by their wine glasses. In another (see above), a snappily-dressed fellow cheerily hoists a glass of wine in front of a sign that reads: “Death Valley National Park, homeland of the Timbisha Shoshone.” The video concludes as a disembodied crew member flings the suitcase into the sea. “And...,” announces the British voiceover artist. “It floats!”
After rewatching the video approximately 30 times, I realized that the VinGardeValise Piccolo is the smallest suitcase on offer from the down-home folks at FlyWithWine dot com. The serious traveler would be better off splurging for the “Grande 12-bottle” variation, which will cost you $349.
So my question for you on this Monday afternoon: who, pray tell, is buying these things? Are The Takeout’s readers secretly dripping in upper-class sentiment? If so, aren’t you all the least bit worried that the bottles might break and soak your sweater sets, leading to utter humiliation at the polo club?
No shade whatsoever if you’ve purchased one yourself; still, I can’t think of a single scenario in which someone would need to zip overseas with 12 bottles of wine, or bring 12 bottles back home with them, especially since many fine wineries offer to ship any bottles you purchase right to your home so that you don’t have to lug them yourself. And let’s say they’re bringing the bottles to their destination as a gift for someone. If the traveler in question has the money to buy a $249+ wine suitcase, couldn’t they just pay to ship the bottles to that person? Please, wealthy folk, enlighten me.