The Vino Vault is 4Thought Product’s original invention from 2011 that has at times been repurposed from a puzzle gift into an escape room puzzle. This product was the first in a line of products featuring a word-lock mechanism. Other products in this line include the Puzzle Pod Cryptex (a reshelled version of the Vino Vault) and the Puzzle Pod Junior (a much smaller version for cash or gift cards).
The Vino Vault can fit many 750ml wine bottles. The inventor has made a guide to figure out what bottles it can fit at https://vino-vault.com/maximum-bottle-size/
- Dimensions: 12.5 x 4.5 x 4.5 inches
- Material: Antique Chrome electroplated over ABS plastic
- Manufacturer recommended age:10 years and up
- Buy on Amazon: Buy on Amazon
- Buy directly from 4Thougthts Products : http://shop.vino-vault.com/ (20% off for April 2017 with promo code GIFTS)
Setting Up the Vino Vault
The Vino Vault comes preset with the 5-letter combination GRAPE. In order to set up the Vino Vault, you have to open it, take out the interlocking rings, adjust the interlocking rings such that your appropriate 5-letter combination is set, and then put back the interlocking rings. You can set and re-set the combination as many times as you would like, but only when you’ve unlocked the Vino Vault.
Opening the Vino Vault
To open up the Vino Vault, you have to adjust the five rings such that your word is spelled down the front of the vault. When you’ve successfully inputted the code, the locking mechanism will slide out and let the recipient access the bottle of wine.
The rotating disks slide freely and smoothly. However, there isn’t tactile feedback when you pass a letter, and the rings have the tendency of moving the adjacent ring when sliding. This makes opening it the first time slightly awkward, although it gets a lot better with a few practice runs. The best way we’ve found to operate the Vino Vault is to hold it up in the air, with one hand spinning a ring and the other holding the adjacent rings in place.
After you open the Vino Vault, you will get access to the bottle of wine! (or the bottle of wine holding your puzzle).
Since the base of the Vino Vault is the same as the base of the Puzzle Pod Cryptex, the shortcomings in my review of the Puzzle Pod Cryptex apply here too.
Operating the Vino Vault for the first time is a little awkward, as the rotating a disk may also cause the adjacent disk to rotate. This awkwardness is reduced by practice, although your recipient won’t get the luxury to practice before they try to open up the product!
Other shortcomings involve how the Vino Vault may come apart a bit easily after opening, and how the “triangle” that the recipient is supposed to align the letters with is not always very visible.
750ml wine bottles come in a variation of sizes, and you might get unlucky and find that your planned bottle doesn’t fit in the puzzle. You can always refer to the sizing guide at https://vino-vault.com/maximum-bottle-size/
Spin the Bottle Trivia Game
Specific variants of of the Vino Vault may include the Spin the Bottle trivia game as well, which includes 100 trivia cards, a spinner, and instructions. This is not in our sphere of products that we generally review, so we don’t really have detailed thoughts. However, the Spin the Bottle Trivia Game could be a fun complement for any party event that features the Vino Vault.
Like the other products by 4Thought Products, the Vino Vault can be used for a number of purposes and has appropriate usages for each case. For people looking to purchase the product, you can buy it on Amazon for $31.95 or purchase it directly from the company’s webstore at http://shop.vino-vault.com/ (20% off for April 2017 with promo code GIFTS, and includes the Spin the Bottle Game Set.
Here are the various purposes along with our recommendations:
- As a puzzle in a permanent escape room – The Vino Vault is a creative alternative to the common 5-letter word Masterlock combo lock if you’re considering using a wine bottle in an escape room. A corked wine bottle can contain a key that the player can open after they use a corkscrew found elsewhere in the room. Since the Vino Vault is made out of plastic however, it’s not exactly made for heavy-duty usage that comes from being placed in an escape room. I’d expect it to be scuffed up after some time.
- As an puzzle in an “at-home” escape room – This is a fun self-contained puzzle that can immediately cause intrigue for anyone who runs into this. As mentioned above, you can hide a key in a wine bottle placed in a Vino Vault. The player can only get the key with the appropriate 5-letter code and a corkscrew.
- As a gift to a puzzle-loving friend or coworker – This gift can be perfect in certain situations – especially those involving creative gift-giving to adults (maybe an office gift exchange)? At $31.95 the cost is not trivial, but this satisfies a great niche case for those who find themselves wanting to impress their coworkers or a recipient with wine-in-a-puzzle.
You can check out the Vino Vault on Amazon for $31.95 or you can purchase it directly from 4Thought Products (with the Spin the Bottle set) at http://shop.vino-vault.com/ (20% off for April 2017 with promo code GIFTS).
Full Disclosure: We were provided with a free sample of the product in exchange for a review. All Amazon links in this post are affiliate links. This means that we may get a small commission from any purchases made from the links.