PortoVino Tuscany Double Pour Vegan Leather Tote
There’s something to be said about having a beverage on hand everywhere you go. For the average purse or bag, this means throwing a full bottle in there. We’re all used to it, so it doesn’t seem like all that much of a hassle to pull the bottle out every time you’re thirsty. PortoVino begs to differ. Their wine purses – like the PortoVino Tuscany Double Pour Vegan Leather Tote – let you carry around wine (or any beverage you desire) in easy to access pouches so that when you’re thirty, you just have to pour.
Beautiful, vegan leather design
The Double Pour Tuscany comes in three colours – Chardonnay (beige/tan), Merlot (burgundy/deep pink) and black. The exterior is a beautiful, and convincing, vegan leather. We definitely couldn’t tell it was vegan (fake). The bag smells almost exactly like leather, though not quite as strong on the nose as you would find from say a saddle or true leather handbag. The design is quite attractive and the bag itself is a good size. We can see ourselves using this at outdoor parties, on camping trips, during hikes and walk. Even for walks through town, with a non-alcoholic beverage of course. The faux-leather roped straps are thick, strong and attached to the bag deeper in the lining then the top edge. We hope this means that it’ll be sturdier and last longer without ripping its stitches, but only time will tell.
The Porto Vino Tuscany tote is about the same size as your standard tote bag. Inside, it’s lined with soft polyester and the zippered compartment for your beverage is well insulated. This compartment for the pouches is very discreet; it took us a moment of hunting to find it at first. There’s an attractive flap on the outside to hide the spouts, making it look like an exterior pocket rather than wine-based contraband. One detail we really liked is the little strap inside to hook keys/anything with a strap you don’t want to lose in the bowels of the bag. There’s enough space for all your day-tripping needs: books, laptop or tablet, swimsuit and towel, wallet, and of course, drinking glasses. That space does decrease once you’ve filled up the wine pouches and put them in place, but that’s the way physics works, so it’s understandable.
750 ml wine pouches
Speaking of the wine pouches. The 750 ml wine pouches – big enough for a standard bottle of wine – are made of BPA-free plastic and come with a removable spigot. The Tuscany tote has a double pour feature, which means you can put two bags inside. PortoVino recommends replacing the pouch after each use and sell the bags in four-packs on their website for about $20. That being said, they do say you can reuse the pouch as long as you’ve cleaned it thoroughly first.
To clean it, wash with hot soapy water, rinse well with hot water until water runs clear and then air dry.
The pouches aren’t just for wine! You can fill the pouches with any beverage, hot, cold and even carbonated. If you do go the carbonated route, PortoVino adds a disclaimer that you need to start drinking the carbonated beverages within 30 minutes of filling “as carbonated beverages are under pressure”… we imagine this is to prevent the pouch from exploding.
Takes a bit of practice
We tested the tote out with water first, and we’re really glad we did. Filling the pouches takes some practice. We got a little (read, very) wet trying to get the bags sufficiently full and then even more wet when we were putting on the first spigot. By the second pouch, we’d figured it out though. So when you get yours, practice with water until you are comfortable filling the bags and only once you’re sure you have the knack of it, pour in the wine (or other beverage). This way you won’t end up with wine all over you.
The instructions included with the purse say to listen for “two clicks” when putting on the spigot. We didn’t really understand that so here’s our clarification. You push the spigot into the bag. When it’s clicked twice into place, that means it’s good to go. For us, that was when the spigot’s black plastic was still showing between the white/clear plastic of the pouch and the spigot itself. You can push it further – a third click locks the spigot in place, which means you won’t be able to reuse the wine pouch. So we tested it with the two-click system.
A worthwhile struggle
After filling the wine pouches, it took a bit of finagling to get them in the insulated compartment. But, once they were in, they felt very secure. Because we’re cautious people, we kept the spigots turned so they were pointing up when we weren’t using them. Maybe this was a smart thing to do, maybe not. Either way, it didn’t spill or explode in the bag. The nozzle itself also comes with a little cap that we put back on when it’s not in use for added drip-security. The cap is so small though that we can see ourselves losing it rather quickly.
Finally it was time to do a test pour. Here we struggled. Pulling the nozzle through the designated hole in the faux-leather was troublesome, largely because if we pulled too hard on the spigot we risked pulling it right out of the pouch! But once you get the hang of it, it’s not too challenging. The PortoVino Tuscany wine pouch pours really well and quickly with very little drippage after you’ve used it. We did need some help holding the bag upright to get a good pour, especially when the wine pouches were half or more empty, and there was nothing in the purse itself. But since this tote holds two bottles of wine, we imagine using the wine-dispensing part of the bag solo will likely never happen.
PortoVino Tuscany tote a #musthave
Speaking of drinking responsibly. PortoVino includes a disclaimer in their marketing materials as well as on their website that we think is pretty important. The bag is “not intended for use where consumption of alcohol is illegal or otherwise prohibited”. Even though the purse is discreet enough that you might be tempted to sneak some wine into the movie theatre, you definitely shouldn’t do that. You’ll be breaking the law and will get fined.
The final point that drew us to the PortoVino Tuscany tote is the fact that PortoVino partners with Feed My Starving Children to donate a meal for every purse purchased. Being a well made bag, fashionable purse and way to enjoy our favourite vino – while also giving back to the community, and especially children in need – definitely clinched the PortoVino’s place in our must have list.