Wine Travel

Govino Wine Glasses – My New Wine Travel Must

August 20, 2014
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One of the biggest challenges I’ve had while traveling is how to enjoy a glass of wine in my hotel room. Since much of our travel now revolves around visiting wineries around the world, Shawn and I often pick up a bottle at a winery so we can enjoy a glass in our room at the end of a long day of sightseeing. With most hotels offering the option of a fridge, this can be an easy way to save money on buying at the hotel bar or just allow you to enjoy the wine you want in the quantity you want, instead of whatever happens to be on the wine list.

Our biggest problem has always been glasses. I’ve read enough horror stories about hotel glasses and how they’re cleaned (or not) to want to avoid using those, and these days many places seem to just stock plastic cups anyway. I’m not above using a plastic cup to sip my wine, but it certainly takes away from the experience of a brilliant, nuanced (and sometimes expensive) bottle to be sipping from a cheap, plastic glass. It’s definitely not elegant and I can never get over the plastic aftertaste that mars the aroma and flavour of the wine.

We’ve tried bringing our own glasses, but that’s a challenge in and of itself – getting glassware to and from your destination, especially when there is lots of travel while there, is a pain. So we’ve just made do with whatever we could come across until now.

At the recent Wine Bloggers Conference in Santa Barbara there was a Govino glass in my conference bag. I’d never heard of Govino and I figured it was just some sort of cheap, plastic glass I would use once and toss. I ended up with two over the course of the conference and didn’t even use them until Shawn showed up to continue our tour of California and needed glasses for our daily water with fresh lemon.

And that’s when I noticed a few really important things about Govino – it doesn’t have a plastic-y aftertaste. It’s not glass by any means, but it affects the flavour and aroma of its contents much less than any other plastic product I’ve tried. And the cup is a great shape, easy to hold and fairly easy to swirl. Could this, I wondered, be a good option for wine in our hotel? The cups are billed as shatterproof, so we tossed them in our suitcases and took them to Paso Robles, then Monterey, where we decided to enjoy a glass of Hope Family Wines’ Troublemaker red blend in our room. And it was – good! No weird aftertaste, I could do a good swirl and sniff and, best of all, I didn’t feel like a college kid at a frat party drinking cheap plonk!

We washed the glasses after our wine and used them again and again on the trip – both for water and wine. Each time I was impressed – especially when I realized how durable the glasses are. We just put them in a Ziplock bag, packed them in next to our clothes and carried them in our suitcase. No wrapping them in towels, stuffing them full of paper or any other safeguards to make sure I didn’t open my bag to broken glass.

Now, let’s be realistic, these are never going to replace a real wine glass. But if you travel a lot and you like to drink wine in your hotel room, this is the best solution I’ve found so far to the ‘what do we drink this out of’ conundrum. They are reusable to a certain point (the company site recommends replacing them after they ‘lose their lustre’) and recyclable once you do toss them. We used ours every day for a week (mostly for water and lemon, but also for wine) and they are still in good shape. We hand washed them after each use and figure they may have a few more vacations left in them. We’ll see.

And while I did get these glasses for free, there was no expectation I would write about them. In fact, I didn’t anticipate I’d ever think about them again. But this is a product that really filled a need in my life and I thought my fellow wine lovers might find Govino useful too.

You can learn more about Govino here: http://www.govinowine.com/

To order in Canada go here: http://www.cuisivin.com/product-category/govino/

Govino is available at the following Canadian retailers:

– Art Gallery of Ontario -AGO Shop
– Chapters/Indigo – Online and Select Stores
– IQ Living
– Bergo Designs
– Cheese Boutique
– Rosehill Wine Cellars

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7 Comments

  • Reply Alleigh August 20, 2014 at 1:40 pm

    I first discovered GoVino glasses when a friend and I were doing a bicycle tasting tour in Napa. Since then, they frequently come with me to my building's roof deck for grilling or pool-side vino, and they've travelled with me numerous times. Like you said, they won't be a replacement for regular glasses, but they sure do make traveling and outdoor wine drinking a whole lot nicer.

  • Reply Alison August 21, 2014 at 6:38 am

    They're definitely great for alfresco or poolside use, but I hadn't even considered them for travel purposes. I wish I had left enough room in my suitcase to bring my own home with me (alas, I filled it with wine!) Cheers!

  • Reply Rebecca Gomez Farrell August 21, 2014 at 7:07 am

    I, too, have enjoyed my singular GoVino glass–I need a matching pair! We prefer them to the cheaper glasses wineries give away by the dozens just because they have a better shape for swirling.

  • Reply Anne Louise Bannon August 22, 2014 at 2:24 am

    Huh. Haven't tried ours yet. Since we took our vacation right before the conference, we did buy two heavy weight stemmed glasses from Buena Vista Inn, in San Francisco (one of which cracked after a day in my purse) and then bought two water glasses from Chez Panisse (had to do the pilgrimage to Foodie Mecca). Those water glasses are way heavy and up to a beating. Plus they're insanely cool. But will have to try the GoVino ones, too.

  • Reply Miki "This is the Life" Winer - The Vineyard Trail August 26, 2014 at 5:38 pm

    Glad I read your article. We also walked away with a matching pair, but haven't used them yet. Will certainly now give them a try. In fact, such a good idea for travel that I think I will just store them in the suitcase so that they are never a forgotten item on the next trip, wine trailing or not.

  • Reply LilKittie September 1, 2014 at 7:32 am

    Hmm, thank you for the advice. I'm packing for my trip to San Francisco at the moment and my hotel won't for sure provide me with real glasses, because I found some kind of uber cheap deal on Hotelscheap.org and I'm going to be happy if I get towels. Do you know how much a pair of glasses costs? I cannot find a price on the website posted. Thanks!

  • Reply KristaLamb September 1, 2014 at 11:42 am

    I saw them at a little specialty store in Carmel and it was around $20 for a pack of four. I can't recall the exact price, but it wasn't too much. There was a list of retail outlets on the site, so maybe there's something near you. Hope you enjoy your trip!

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