Getting wine back from NZ to USA

Sep 15th, 2004, 07:08 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 4
Getting wine back from NZ to USA

Anyone have suggestions on how to get 24 bottles of wine back into the USA? Shipping seems to be very expensive - anyone check in as luggage?
lax_traveller is offline  
Sep 15th, 2004, 07:47 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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24? That's quite a bit! I didn't bring back that many, but I did bring back 11 from Australia. Are you solely responsible, or do you have a traveling partner who can share the load with you?

I put 5 in a backpack, carefully wrapped, then carried two wine carriers with 3 apiece. I declared everything at customs, and they let me through, no problem. Duty is something puny like 32 cents a liter, so they didn't bother to take 3 bucks from me.

I don't reckon checking it is a good idea though. I have never attempted that.
crazymina is offline  
Sep 15th, 2004, 08:01 PM
Join Date: Aug 2003
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Have you seen what can happen to checked luggage? That sounds like a brave move to me.

Not all that relevant, as this wasn't checked luggage, but when I worked in the airfreight industry I quickly learned that anything recognisable as a wine shipment (typically case samples) never made it out of the country. Invariably an alert storeman would drop it in such as way as to break one or two bottles only; enough to generate an insurance claim while leaving 10-11 bottles with nothing worse than stained labels to be "disposed of". The irony was that slapping "fragile" stickers all over the boxes drew attention to them, but of an unwelcome nature.
Neil_Oz is offline  
Sep 16th, 2004, 12:55 AM
Join Date: Feb 2004
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Hi Lax Traveller

I don't know about international but when my wife and I returned to Auckland with wine we had picked up in Marlborough the Air New Zealand checkin insisted that we did NOT check the wine in our bags. We carried it all on board. (Though we only had about 8 bottles between us.)

Red wine through your suitcase and more to the point of the airline, everyone elses suitcase would be a bad look on the carousel in LAX.

Try very hard at checkin to look like your carry on is light as a feather and see if you can get it on that way. Did this once with a marble vase we had picked up in Malaysia, damn near killed me with my fixed smile of "no this is not heavy".

Worse case scenario is that the airline insist you ship it as freight.

But whatever you do, don't put it in your checked luggage.

Kiwi_acct is offline  
Sep 16th, 2004, 07:21 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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We have always carried on with no problem, usually all you get is a big grin from the security people when they realize that there are 12 bottles of beer/wine/liquor in your carryon. Believe me, it can be done. We have even carried on cases (24) bottled beer as gifts for friends. As long as you are not planning on drinking it on the plane, no one will give you a hard time.
jonesie is offline  
Sep 16th, 2004, 10:57 AM
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 54
We came back from NZ last month with 10 bottles of wine. Of those, we checked all but two (those being the two bottles we paid more than $30 for). Just wrapped clothes around the bottles and made sure they couldn't move around too much in the suitcase. Had no problem with breakage, and did not bother trying to declare them in LAX, as it was complete chaos there.
zpenci is offline  
Sep 16th, 2004, 12:26 PM
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 1,092
lax traveller, you could think of asking the staff at the Australian winery, who is there distributor in the States. A huge amount of Australian wine is exported to USA and Europe. Its just knowing who the home country distributor is, then you can have your favourite Aussie wine, all the time.
Last time I was in London, getting a mini cab back to Heathrow Airport, the driver chatted to us about Australian wine. He had more Aussie wines in his rack, than I did at home. He had found a distributor, and was stocking some of his favourites.
Food for thought, or should that be wine for thought - Leigh.
tropo is offline  
Sep 16th, 2004, 12:28 PM
Join Date: Jun 2004
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I just realised that you want take NZ wines back to the States, I'm sure they have distribution points in USA, just like the Australian wine companies.
On our last trip to London, we came across a wine merchant, who had Aussie & NZ wines.
tropo is offline  
Sep 16th, 2004, 05:57 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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Hello Friendly Winos!

Wow...24 is alot of bottles, but depending on what you plan on carrying them in, it could be done. I've only taken back two, wrapped in dirty clothes, put into a backpack, and that was no problem.

Your email address seems to be from LA, so I'd suggest going to Beverages and More, or their website, and I know for a fact (you see, I've done RESEARCH on this and check out their list. They have quite a number of NZ wines. The other places to check locally before you go are those upscale type wine merchants. The ones you might want to bring back will be the smaller "boutique" wineries that we never get to sample here.

Hope this is helpful!

Certified Kiwi Specialist
wlzmatilida is offline  
Sep 19th, 2004, 06:36 PM
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 9
Lax Traveller,
I too am a wino. Two years ago, I brought back 6 bottles from Italy in my suitcase -- I am a 110lb, 5'2" woman and I carried it!
Last year, I went to Napa and Sonoma and bought a total of 30 bottles at boutique wineries, stuff that isn't available in the KC area. We shipped 2 cases (of course it's only about $45 per case to ship from Napa to KC). However, relevant to you maybe the fact that we checked a case. Most wineries in Napa/Sonoma will give you a shipping box. This is a box made to ship wine. This is the box we checked. I don't see how a baggage handler could do more damage than a careless box handler at a shipping company. Such boxes are made to withstand rough handling. We had no breakage in our checked box. Please let us know what you do. We will be in NZ in November for our honeymoon.
kcsherri is offline  
Oct 9th, 2004, 09:05 AM
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 334
We also often carry on up to 6 bottles in our carry on bags padded with clothing but for several cases we check our wine. We bring wine home from California all the time as checked luggage with no breakage or problems. But we always use proper wine boxes with styrofoam inserts. We bought them in the California wine country and now just bring them empty on our way to CA then fill them up and bring them home full.

You may be able to buy such boxes in NZ so you don't have to take them with you. Some wine supply stores sell wine luggage for this purpose (it's not as cheap as a cardboard box but it may be worth it to you). IWA Wine even sells wheeled wine case luggage that you can take on the plane.

You can see some options for these on:
vinolover is offline  
Oct 9th, 2004, 12:07 PM
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 424
Hi, lax_traveller,
We have just been out of NZ for a couple of weeks, and both going out and coming back our carry-on bags were weighed along with our suitcases. I had to redistribute some of the contents of my bag as it was well over the 7 kg allowed for cabin luggage. I think the days of loading all the heavy items in your carry-on luggage are over as this is the 3rd time in 12 months this luggage has been weighed. Good luck though.
dotty is offline  

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