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Bringing Wine Home

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San Francisco...
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Bringing Wine Home

We're getting ready for our trip and there's a good chance we may want to bring some wine home. We have flown with wine before and have shippers, but we are wondering if it may make more sense to purchase a wine shipper in Beaune (or if that's even possible) and then if we buy bottles we can pack the shipper and check it on the plane.

Is there a place to purchase shippers?

It's a bit of a hassle to lug the box around, but it seems like shipping home from to the US may be complicated.

We would most likely buy bottles from a few different producers so I doubt one would ship a mixed case for us.

Trying to figure out our best options.

thanks for any advice.

Paris, France
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1. Re: Bringing Wine Home

There are a lot of places from where you can ship wine. If you have an importers license and follow the required formalities, you might actually receive the shipment. Otherwise your best option is to find a local importer and purchase the wine in San Francisco.

Le Bugue, France
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2. Re: Bringing Wine Home

I gotta be frank - shipping wine home is a big, complicated, expensive bore unless there is a single wine you absolutely must have that isn't normally available to you. It's a pain to schlep, it's expensive to ship, and there are state restrictions that make it complicated.

My advice is to find a local importer and buy locally. Taking it home is a huge PITA. I think taking wine back to the USA is some sort of pipe-dream of inexperienced Americans who don't really know what's involved. It's always a far saner approach to just enjoy the wines when you're in France, and then go home and see what you can find that's the same or similar. If you're looking for "points" for having bottles of wine you actually brought back from Europe, well.I'd give it up, because a) it's not that impressive unless you're talking 1965 vintages (which you can get on Craigslist) and any lout can bring in the same bottle of wine. You just can't get to "special" by bringing back wine from Europe -loads of people try it.

But on a practical level it's a complete pain in the a%%.

If you're already connected with "shippers," by all means contact them.I have no idea what they might have to do with Craigslist, but it sounds shady.

Vancouver, Canada
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3. Re: Bringing Wine Home

For what it is worth, while not in Beaune, it was in St. Emillion. We found a negociant who shipped a case of wine for us to NYC for our children. A very good selection. Yes, can be pricey but still cheaper and better than buying retail in the US. It was some 300€ to send the case door to door without a problem. Subsequent cases go down in price dramatically (I think i remember another 40€ for the next case and less thereafter).

San Francisco...
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4. Re: Bringing Wine Home

Thanks for the information. I'm not an importer. I was thinking that shipping seems like a real pain, thank you for confirming that for me.

We were actually thinking of either bringing our shipper from home or else buying one in Beaune and then bringing it as checked luggage home on the plane. A shipper case would be free for us to bring as luggage, though we may have to pay tax upon arriving in the US at customs, which I understand.

Anyway, i was just something we were considering.

I'm not looking for points or to impress anyone at all, just thought it may be nice to have some of the bottles we enjoyed in france back at home as a nice memory. The reason I would most likely bring them with us vs. ship is because i don't think the bottle we would buy would really be worth the cost of shipping.

i can always talk to our local wine store and see if they can order bottles, but then we have to buy an entire case which i don't always want to do.

Seems like people have carried bottles home, but since we are traveling with soft sided bags on the way out that fit into carry on, I am not into the idea of packing wine into them though they can be checked on the way home. Even with bubble wrap, it seems like a risky endeavor.

Tampa, Florida
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5. Re: Bringing Wine Home

Shipping depends entirely on your local rules and regulations, which vary wildly from place to place. You'll have to do your own legwork on that one -- sometimes you can find a wine shop who will act as the importer for you (for a fee, of course, which they earn because their neck is on the line for the paperwork).

You can always check it in your hold luggage, but you can reach the weight limit very easily with extra bags, and it doesn't take many bag charges (at $100+ per extra bag) to make it cost-prohibitive.

San Francisco...
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6. Re: Bringing Wine Home

if we bring it home, we will bring it as checked luggage. not ship it, we would just use shippers to pack the wine safely. Between the 2 of us we get up to 4 bags at 70lbs, so i am not worried about the weight or the fees. There won't be any aside from US customs.

I am trying to figure out if I can buy a shipper in/around Beaune so that if we decide to buy wine we would be able to properly pack it and then have it as checked baggage.

Does anyone know if purchasing a shipper is possible? I just didn't want to assume it was. I guess i can just figure out when we get there as I don't think i feel like flying with an empty shipper from the US since we are carrying on luggage on the way out.

Palo Alto...
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7. Re: Bringing Wine Home

I just sent you a PM before I saw this last post. I did not see any wine shipping boxes for sale in Burgundy last summer but I was not really looking for them. The people I know who have used those boxes to bring wine from France to the USA actually brought the unassembled boxes from the US in their luggage.

Bellflower...
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8. Re: Bringing Wine Home

Bonjour, Amyem,

A few years ago, we were in line at CDG and noticed a couple carrying wine boxes. I asked if they had some kind of special certificate that would allow their carrying wine on board. The answer was no. Later, we saw them again a few minutes before we were to board. They had the choice of finding their luggage and packing, but decided it wasn't worth it so they left the wine behind. We had packed our bottles in several plastic bags and had wrapped clothes around them as buffers.

I believe the bottom line is that wine is a liquid and not different from any other liquid that has to meet certain requirements (3 oz in a quart-sized bag).

MrsJAS

San Francisco...
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9. Re: Bringing Wine Home

JHH, thanks for the commentary on availability of wine shipping boxes..we have 2 in our garage but i was hoping i could pick up a newer one locally in beaune or even paris. thanks for the information. not being able to find one in Beaune is something to consider. I will check out your message.

MrsJAS, bonjour and merci! We wouldn't be carrying on the bottles, we would package them in shippers that would go under the plane as luggage. Too bad that couple lost their wine in the airport! I would try using bubble wrap or our clothes for the return trip, but i'm afraid our softsided packs wouldn't offer much protection.

thanks all.

Bellflower...
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10. Re: Bringing Wine Home

Bonjour again, Amyem,

I read your post too quickly.

We didn't bring a lot of wine home: a Vouvray, a regular Calvados and a Calvados creme. Sharing them with our friends was worth the "trouble."

MrsJAS