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shipping wine back

Houston, TX
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shipping wine back

I have done a search on the topic about shipping wine back, and the answers to the topic seems to be at least a year old. Are there any changes to airline restrictions or state laws since then?

Undoubtedly, we will be planning to purchase wine back, and we won't be buying a case at every winery we visit. (in this case, the winery will ship it back for us) We might buy 1 or 2 bottles at each winery, and by the end of the day, will possibly accumulate up to a case, if not more. Since we have 4 people traveling, (my husband & I), and another couple, we are planning to hand-carry it back to Houston. Are there any restrictions with Continental airlines as far as limiting the #of bottles of wine for hand-carrying, or... if they allow hand-carrying at all? If not, should we use UPS/Fedex... and what are the fees involved approx. for a case? We are also worried about breakage, that's why we want to be able to hand-carry back.(and not checking in as a luggage)Seems like hand-carrying is the most safe, and cost effective. Any suggestions?

New Orleans...
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1. Re: shipping wine back

I recently spoke to someone who just got back from Napa, and he actually had to ship his wine back via UPS, because Louisiana is not a state that allows wineries to ship cases of wine to individuals. So, you have to go to the UPS store and do it yourself. Apparently there is some sort of container/divider type thing made just for wine bottle packing that you can buy in Napa, and then use a lot of styrofoam peanuts, I suppose. It it's well packed, it should arrive intact. I have no idea how much it would cost though.

I don't know about airline restrictions within the U.S. - I would assume the only restriction would be as to weight. When you come from overseas you can only bring 2 bottles per person.

Napa, CA
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2. Re: shipping wine back

CK-

Yes, hand carrying is very safe and by far the cheapest way to bring wine back home. But you are limited on most airlines to 2-6 bottles per person. The rest you'll need to either pack into your luggage (a calculated breakage risk), or, you'll need to ship them back.

Cost differences have not changed: Buffalo Shipping Post (in Napa) costs almost 50% less than what you'll get charged at Kinkos FedEx or the UPS Store.

So many of the questions you've asked over the past few days are things your innkeeper can help you with ahead of time. Perhaps you're not accustomed to having your hotel/inn help you before you arrive. That's what we do here-- all of us. Napa hoteliers and innkeepers are world-reknowned for their expertise and ability to help guests plan their trips.

So please-- give where you are staying a call, and ask for their help-- they're here for you! :)

-The Innkeepers

Napa Old World Inn

New Orleans...
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3. Re: shipping wine back

We used Buffalo shipping in Napa to ship 3 mixed cases of wine

home to flori-duh.

New Orleans...
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4. Re: shipping wine back

Innkeepers - thanks for the info! Will innkeepers still be able to help even if we are shipping to a state that doesn't technically allow wineries to ship wine to individuals (like Louisiana)?

Houston, TX
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5. Re: shipping wine back

To the Innkeepers at Napa Old World Inn: Great tips! Thanks for all the advise!!

Egg Harbor Twp, NJ
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6. Re: shipping wine back

When we were in Napa back in Nov, my wife and I carried 14 bottles back with us on the plane to Philly (USAir). We each had 1 6 pack carrier. We then had another 2 pack carrier that we ended up putting into a backpack (We ended up making the mistake of going to 1 last winery after we had already filled both 6 packs!). TSA at the airport didn't bother us at all. They laughed and said "we will be careful with this. We guess we know where you 2 came from!" You are allowed 1 carry-on bag (6 pack) and 1 personal item (me - backpack (with 2 pack carrier), wife - purse) per person.

Good luck and have a good trip!

Napa, CA
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7. Re: shipping wine back

As an update:

Most airlines are allowing travelers to bring wine on board, but this could change at any moment. For the most up to date advice, call your airline right before you leave.

We missed supremecourt's question about innkeeper's shipping wine back:

Many inns have special licenses to serve wine, but we are not allowed (in most cases) to handle shipments of alcohol (it's illegal).

We are allowed to arrange for a bonded carrier to pick it up for you (expensive), and we can certainly steer you in the direction of nearby shipping places (which is what we do 99% of the time).

Buffalo Shipping Post (in Napa) still has prices that are about HALF of the UPS and FedEx stores, so many of our guests ship there. If you are going back to a state that does not yet allow wine to be shipped in, you may be able to have it shipped to a relative or friend in a nearby state (and go drive to pick it up), or call 55 degrees in St Helena and ask them if they have any ideas.

Note that in most states it's OK for you to drive over the border with small quantities of wine-- but YOU NEED TO CHECK IF THIS IS LEGAL IN YOUR STATE! (We don't want to be responsible for anyone spending time in the pokey for trafficking alcohol! :)

By far the easiest (and often safest) way to get wine back home is carrying it on the plane-- but since 9/11, regulations on this have changed frequently, so you need to call your airline to see what their current policy is.

Hoping this helps. :)

-The Innkeepers

Napa Old World Inn

8. Re: shipping wine back

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