Photo of the Day (10.01.10)

We’re nearly two weeks into autumn here in the Northern Hemisphere, but I had put off officially saying farewell to summer. I mean, it had been mild here in New York. But, this week brought rain, wind, cooler evenings and all the trappings of autumn. Kids are fully entrenched in the new school year, football season is hitting its stride and, yes, the foliage is getting ready to be peeped. Heck, it’s now October. Summer, my friends, is over.

This picture by Flickr user snowjumpr seems like a fitting goodbye. However, let us not mourn Summer’s loss. As the sun sets on the season of vacations, beach weekends and picnics, let’s enjoy the comfortable temperatures, pick some fresh apples and find our fat pants that make Thanksgiving oh so comfortable. Autumn has plenty of perks, not the least of which is the food. It’s pie season, folks!

Have a picture that shows you chasing summer? Or, even better, just some great travel photos? Submit your images to Gadling’s Flickr group and we might use one for a future Photo of the Day.

Five Travel products for the wine lover

Traveling with (or for) wine is not as simple as it used to be. I’m by no means a wine expert, but before 9/11, even I traveled with a pocket corkscrew and foil cutting knife. For a brief period, the TSA banned any and all corkscrews. Nowadays the rules have been relaxed a little – corkscrews are once again permitted, as long as they don’t have a blade.

Of course, wine is a different matter altogether, and unless you are able to pour your bottle into small containers, and store them in a Ziploc bag, you are going to have to check those bottles in your luggage.

In this lineup, I’ve listed five wine related products that can help travelers transport, open, enjoy and learn about their wine.

Packable plastic wine glasses

If you have ever been unlucky enough to have to drink a $100 bottle of wine from a plastic bathroom cup, you’ll learn to appreciate portable plastic wine glasses.

Sure, they may not be as charming as a good set of crystal glasses, but they sure beat the alternative. These glasses are BPA free (which is all the rage nowadays).

Price: $14.85 (for a set of two, with travel pouch)


TSA approved corkscrew

I’ll admit right away that “TSA Approved” isn’t really something granted to a corkscrew. But the Oxo Good Grips corkscrew is one of the better rated corkscrews that doesn’t violate any of the rules laid out by airport security.

That said – when traveling with a corkscrew, it does make sense to keep the product in an outside pocket, because sooner or later, one of the screeners is going to confuse it for a lethal weapon.

This corkscrew is simple to use, and comes with a built in bladeless foil cutter.

Price: $24.99

Where: and most Oxo retailers

BottleWise Duo wine travel bags

Wine travel bags don’t get more sophisticated than this – the Bottlewise Duo holds two bottles of wine (or other bottles).

Bottles are double-protected, from breakage and leakage. Because lets be honest – the only thing worse than losing your wine, is losing it all over your clothes and toiletries.

Price: from $48.95 (for the black version)


Tide Stain remover pen

Bet you didn’t see this one coming in a lineup of wine accessories?

Anyone who has enjoyed (a little too much) wine on the road will know what a hassle it can be when you spill. Even the smallest drop can ruin a shirt, and possibly screw up your entire wardrobe if you traveled very light.

The Tide To Go mini stain remover pen is brilliant. Unlike a lot of other fabric product promises, this thing really works. I’ve used it on red wine stains on a white shirt, and after applying, and letting it dry, the stain was nowhere to be seen.

Price: about $4.50 at your local store, or $33.06 for a pack of twelve through

Mobile Phone wine applications

When it comes to wine, there are three kinds of people – those that know their wine, those that pretend they know their wine, and those that don’t know and don’t care. I’m in the middle. I like to pretend I know what I’m talking about, and I’ll swirl my glass making it appear like I know what I’m smelling.

For those of you like me, you may want to look into some of the fantastic applications that are available for your mobile phone. One I can highly recommend is “Hello Vino” (for the iPhone/iPod Touch). This free application lets you search for wine pairings based on meal, occasion, taste/style and country/region.

Its database covers thousands of wines, and shows the year, label, star rating, winery, region and flavor description.

Never again will you be at a loss for words when you are asked to describe a wine!

Price: free

Where: iPhone/iPod Touch App store