Picnic pal: Vino2Go sippy cup for wine

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All great inventions are founded in some form of genius. Whether it was the creation of Velcro many years ago or the telephone before that, someone, somewhere, came up with a great idea that no one else had.

Today we are surrounded by phones and just about everything seems to have Velcro on it, likely keeping someone’s shoes on their feet or a jacket closed. While they might have started out as curiosities, their undeniable usefulness eventually turned them into ubiquitous items in our lives, the sort of things we can’t imagine living without.

Some great ideas take an existing invention and make it even better. Some don’t. Take, for example, a Dyson vacuum cleaner. The world had no shortage of devices designed to suck dust out of our carpets, loose change from our couches and all those impossible-to-replace pieces of your eight-year-old’s Lego Millenium Falcon that he neglected to pick up off the floor despite being nagged about it four times.

And then we have Vino2Go, a travel mug cup for wine that arrived on my doorstep recently. I said I would give it a try and post an honest review about it, so that’s what we have here. I gave it the full Dispatches From a Grape Nut treatment for your benefit, which means we all can rest assured I’m unlikely to be sent anything to review ever again.

Anyway, when it comes to the Vino2Go, think travel mug for coffee except clear so you can see the contents – that is what we have here. In fact, very little separates it from its coffee-bearing cousin, except the interior is shaped like a wine glass so that, when you pour your vinous fluid into this vessel, it looks like the top of a wine glass  has been suspended in a container.

So far, so good, right? Just like a coffee cup, it has snug lid with a flap to prevent fluid leaking out – just in case it tips over, either on your picnic blanket or anywhere else you might be drinking (hopefully not your car’s cup holder, however).

I can only imagine this ‘handy’ device came into existence to solve that age-old problem: spillage when using any other type of glass or cup when you’re busy getting sozzled at a sun-drenched picnic. Proper wine glasses? Not only can they tip over easily if you have anything but a flat surface, but they can break, too, which is never any fun if you have a tendency to prance barefoot through the grass.

Plastic or styrofoam cups? Again, they can tip, but they also have a predilection for tasting like plastic. While I don’t expect the average person would sip  a glass of Le Montrachet from a plastic cup, but one person’s unattainable wine is a Russian oligarch’s picnic plonk – so you never know.

Made of BPA-free acrylic, this spill-resistant cup is unlikely to add nasty flavours to your tipple, but don’t take that as a guarantee that your wine will taste splendid, either. I tested this one out with Les Dents de Lion Viognier 2011 from Laithwaite’s and, well, it tasted much better out of my Riedel glasses. Not that this should come as a surprise. If you’re going to drink out of one of these you’re probably better off selecting something more rough and ready from your wine merchant’s lower shelves.

And then there are the detracting points.

First, you’re still drinking out of a plastic cup, one with a wide rim at that, which means it’s unlikely to maximise the flavour profile of whatever you’re sipping. Second, you’re drinking wine from something that looks like a children’s cup, which means those glances you’re getting have nothing to do with people thinking you have something cool and everything to do with them wondering what on earth you’re doing.

Finally, this thing costs £14.99. I know it defeats the purpose to say you can buy a half-decent Riedel glass for that money, but I’m going to say it anyway: you can buy a half-decent Riedel glass for that money. In fact, you can buy more than one if you find a good deal.

But hey, if you have £14.99 to spend and absolutely must drink your wine out of something that will prevent spills at a picnic while also keeping your drink of warming up too much, who am I to tell you what you can and can’t do?

Just remember not to confuse it with your coffee mug when you’re driving to work.

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