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:

To order in Canada go here:

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