Whether it’s a concert, a matinee, or in the cab on the way, the art of the smuggle is a necessary skill, and one I learned during a stay at one of the world’s most serious spas. Canyon Ranch in Massachusetts bans alcohol in the dining room, which seems to me an almost cruel policy for what was meant to be a relaxing weekend. Isn’t wine the secret to why all those centenarians on the Italian island of Sardinia live so long?
To rectify matters, I spirited into the spa several bottles of wine, which are allowed only in guest rooms. Using a small funnel, I then transferred the wine into a rinsed-out Tetra Pak for juice or coconut water. This cardboard vessel was perfect for smuggling wine at dinner, not only for its opacity but also for its incredible ability to hold two-thirds of a standard wine bottle. Its aluminum shell helped keep the wine chilled, and the “grape berry” label was the perfect cover in case any of the red wine spilled out.
Tetra Paks are effective for their size and eco-friendliness, but feel free to perform your covert wine operations with shampoo bottles, or for a classic ruse, a tinted plastic soda bottle. You can buy these, as I do, online and in bulk, in case my guests want to enjoy their last precious drops of wine on the way out of my place.
Check out the video of my covert wine smuggling activities here, and tweet @MarkOldman your favorite bootlegging vessels.
Learn hundreds more wine secrets and strategies in my new book, How to Drink Like a Billionaire: Mastering Wine with Joie de Vivre (Regan Arts/Phaidon).