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Exploding sparkling wine bottles and jets: myth or reality?

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Exploding sparkling wine bottles and jets: myth or reality?

gfr1111 | Sep 9, 2013 03:10 AM

I just returned from a two week vacation in Alsace and other places. While there, I visited a winery called "Bestheim," which is, in fact, the name of the winery, not the name of town in which it is based (which, unfortunately, I have forgotten). While there, the delightful French lady in charge of tasting, insisted that I try Bestheim's cremant.

In the course of our discussion of several cremants, I pointed out to the lady that it was no longer possible to put a bottle of sparkling wine in a carry-on bag ("No liquid over three ounces allowed!") So the wine would have to go in the checked luggage. I explained that I understood that the airlines depressurize luggage compartments partially during flights. I asked if the sparkling wine, bottled under three atmospheres of pressure, would explode when the differential between the bottle's pressure and the outside pressure became much greater.

Somewhat to my amazement, she agreed that the sparkling wine would explode in the luggage compartment. She advised against taking any sparkling wine home.

I am skeptical because I would think that there would be warnings about this all over the place, since airlines would not look kindly upon routinely transporting bombs (even little bitty baby ones) in their cargo holds. On the other hand, it makes a certain amount of sense.

So I thought that I would leave the question to the far more knowledgeable heads on this board: If I take sparkling wine back with me, will it explode in my suitcase in the cargo hold of some unsuspecting jet liner?

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