When you’re visiting vineyards and wineries in other countries, you’re bound to want to bring a few bottles of your favorite wine home with you, which takes us in the obvious question of how to make it with us.
Traveling with wine can be a difficult task, particularly the awkward feat of flying with wine. What’s the best way to pack the wine without the bottles breaking? Is there any wine carrier or wine suitcase that I can use? Can I send wine home? What’s the best way to ship wine from overseas? Many questions will come and go in our minds, but some of them possibly don’t have the right answer.
The best method to transport wine will depend on a few factors, most importantly, how many bottles of wine you’d like to take home. For that reason, we’d like to share a few options to consider based on the quantity of wine you’re looking to bring with you without dying while trying, and the Dos and Don’ts.
Packing Wine in Checked Luggage
If you're planning on bringing home a few bottles of wine, it'll be easy enough to pack these in your checked luggage. Just remember to leave yourself some extra room on the way, and don't forget to pack the bottles safely and securely.
Wrapping the bottle in our jerseys would be a good option, but it's not as secure and safe as we wish to. Here are some helpful tips on how to do it:
Tip 1.- Use a bottle travel protector
It is a low-cost and safe method for packing wine in checked luggage. For us, a specialist wine bottle travel protector is an excellent investment.
Wine travel protectors or sleeves are a secure way to transport wine in your suitcase without running the risk of damage. These handy little wine travel protectors have inside bubbles and tight, sturdy outer plastic skin wrap to prevent breakage in transit, such as the WineWings. Either invest in one or two sturdy self-inflating wine sleeves, which can be deflated and reused repeatedly, or opt for a multi-pack of inflatable wine sleeves that come with a small pump.
Tip 2: Use a wine tote bag
A wine tote is a small, sturdy bag that usually fits one or two bottles of wine and seals securely at the top. A wine tote will provide protection when you travel with wine in checked luggage, but its handle also makes it practical for transporting wine around with you when you're out exploring the vineyards and wineries during your trip.
We like this wine tote. It's built by "Du Vino" because its design is unique to most on the market. Their sleek wine tote is taller and has an adjustable shoulder strap to have comfort while exploring and tasting. It insulates cold wine, is water-resistant, and can be washed in a washing machine, exciting, huh!
Tip 3: Use a wine bottle suitcase
Wine suitcases are unique suitcases designed for packing wine bottles for air travel. They are not always cheap but can be less expensive than local shipping, especially if you regularly travel to vineyards and wineries. Also, it beats not being able to take any wine home if you visit a smaller vineyard that doesn’t have a shipping service.
VinGardeValise does some enormous wine suitcases that carry up to 12 bottles of wine with six removable inserts. The best thing about this type of wine suitcase is that if you’re not packing the full 12 containers, you can remove one of the supplements and use extra space for other luggage items.
For something a little cheaper, you could also try individual wine bags for air travel, such as the Legacy wine travel bag. This lightweight bag comes with a heavy-duty polystyrene insert, which holds up to 12 bottles of wine. A benefit of this type of bag is that it can also be used to transport other containers like spirits, beers, and olive oils and even help you as a picnic bag.
Weight restrictions & custom regulations
Both of these types of wine luggage only hold up to 12 bottles of wine for the luggage weight restriction. When filled, these bags will weigh below the standard weight limit of 23kg/50lb for checking luggage into the hold of a plane, saving you money on overweight luggage fees.
Another important thing that you should consider when traveling with wine is custom laws. Each country has its requirements when going with wine, so we suggest you always check the individual country's rules regarding customs and duties before. If you live in the US and have an upcoming wine tour, we'd suggest taking a look at the USCustomsandBorderProtection. On this page, you'll find and updated information on how to bring your wine home.
How to ship your wine home: shipping companies & shipping laws
Using wine shipping companies is the safest way to ship your wine back home. If you want to use recognized brands like UPS, FedEx or DHL, do your research first because you'll often find that they won't ship your wine unless you have a license; but, It doesn't mean that they may not treat your wine with as much care as the people with the permission. Mostly, you're going to have to rely on the wineries you visit and hope they have an established international wine shipping service.
The second question that comes in our minds when trying to ship some wine is... How much is it going to cost? Mostly, we've found that international wine shipping services tend to be a little expensive. We'd recommend planning – contact the wineries – if you think you're going to ship a large quantity home.
Hey, it might be cheaper to fly back to the region with your wine suitcase, and would that be such a bad thing? One trip to Italy and one to South America – that's terrible, said no-one ever.
It's always important to check your country or state's regulations on wine shipping before relying on this method for getting your bottles home. For example, The United States Postal Service does not allow the wine to be shipped through its services, so you'll need to use a shipping service if you want to send it back to the US. There is an article made by UPS that can help you with relevant information about this matter in its knowledge center that can be helpful for you.
What not to do when bringing your wine back home
** Don't pack your wine in a backpack (Ever)
Without proper side protection, putting a bottle of wine in a backpack is about as secure as placing it in a plastic shopping bag. With all the clothing padding in the world, it takes one hard-shell, fully-packed case to land on your backpack, and you'll have a real mess to clean up.
** Don't take our wine in your carry on baggage (A big No, No)
As obvious as this seems, you have no idea how many people still try to take liquids over 100ml/3.5oz on planes in their carry on luggage.
The only thing this will achieve is getting your wine confiscated by airport security and never seeing it again. Place your wine in checked luggage, in a wine suitcase in the hold, or ship it home separately. Do not, I repeat, do not try and take it on board with you. Nope, not even if it's sealed and has a label over the seal or a foil over the cork with a wax coating on top. In some Duty-Free stores that are located after the checkpoint of the airport, you would be able to find some local wine, but it'll be sometimes more expensive than the one you can buy in wineries, the option is there but is not as reliable as we wish, because things happen sometimes.
** Don't check in a cardboard crate of wine
When you buy a case of wine from some vineyards or wineries, you may receive it in a cardboard crate. Even if the container is packed tightly with dividers in between each bottle, don't check this directly into the hold.
You wouldn't use a few pieces of stiff paper to separate your wine in your suitcase, would you? Without proper protection and padding, you run a genuine risk of your wine bottles smashed before making it home.
** Don't just throw the bottle into your suitcase (You'll regret it)
As tempting as it may be to shove a bottle of wine inside your bag and hope that the combination of clothes and the suitcase shell will shield it from breaking, this is certainly not the best method for packing wine in checked luggage.
We all know that airport baggage handlers don't treat suitcases with particular care. Therefore, using this method to pack wine leaves you with a chance that you will open your case at your destination and find a bag full of shattered glass, ruined clothes, and bathed electronics.
Flying with wine can be quite a challenge, but only if you don't think ahead or have the right luggage. One of the biggest mistakes people make is turning up at a vineyard and thinking they'll leave empty-handed. Even the most lightweight packers tend to come away with a bottle or two. The wine at the wineries is far superior to what you'll find at home. And what better way to transport you back to your trip when you get home than opening up a bottle of wine that you bought overseas? With these ways of flying with wine, you can do just that.
Let us know in the comments below if you have traveled and brought a bottle of wine back home. Please share with us your tips to give us all to remember the pleasant experience that we had sipping a glass of this fantastic wine!
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