Bringing wine back from France

Oct 9th, 2004, 07:18 PM
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Bringing wine back from France

My husband informs me that a friend told him that it is more difficult now to bring wine back from France due to heightened security. I can't remember ever having trouble bringing a few bottles back even since 9/11. Anyone have any trouble? We usually just bring a 3 pak home. I am wondering if my husband's friend was trying to ship a case. My husband does not want to have his wine confiscated. lol Thanks.
Ronda is offline  
Oct 9th, 2004, 07:55 PM
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We brought back four bottles on Thursday night, Paris to D.C. No problem. Friends of ours brought back MANY more bottles than we did, no problem. I don't see why your wine would be confiscated as long as you keep to the allowable limit.
Oct 9th, 2004, 08:41 PM
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We usually bring a few bottles over the allowed number and have never been given trouble. Last time was April of this year. We just declared the cost on the forms and make sure that everything is readily available to be shown on request. They are usually more concerned about cans of pate, etc and they do want to take a peek at those.
lmf1212 is offline  
Oct 10th, 2004, 12:08 AM
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We always take 4 bottles each, some carry on, some packed, last time was August we had no difficulties.
moxie is offline  
Oct 10th, 2004, 12:18 AM
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I came home with six bottles of wine and champagne in July -and I had no problem. I even found an inspection form in my suitcase when I unpacked.
h2babe is offline  
Oct 11th, 2004, 02:49 PM
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We brought back 21 bottles when we returned in July, declared the value, and paid no additional tax. Be sure to pack bubble wrap and packing tape.
sparkykidden is offline  
Oct 11th, 2004, 02:54 PM
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I flew home from Paris to Dulles Friday and the couple in front of me had 8 bottles between them and just got waved on. Saw the same thing happen when I returned from an August trip this year. I don't think security issues have affected the importation of a few bottles of wine.
StCirq is offline  
Oct 11th, 2004, 03:41 PM
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We brought back 20 bottles from Italy -- 12 were packed by the winery in a styrofoam container, and I put it in with my checked baggage, the other 8 I carried with my carry-on (backpack and small roller).

No problems going thru customs. The large styrofoam container was in plain view on my luggage cart when I came thru customs, and the only question I was asked was whether I had any food products.
Budman is offline  
Oct 11th, 2004, 03:56 PM
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Thanks for the responses. Just as I thought.
Ronda is offline  
Oct 11th, 2004, 11:39 PM
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There is no longer a limit on the amount of alcohol you can bring back, without paying additonal taxes on you purchases, as long as it does not exceed $800 USD. The limit was raised a couple of years ago.

Saying such, if you happen to be in Paris, then be sure to stop by La Derniére Goutte in the 6th. In additon to selling you the wine, they will sell you a French Postal shipping carton which you can check in a luggage for your return flight.
Robert2533 is offline  
Oct 12th, 2004, 12:43 AM
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My middle sister said that Cristal champagne is only $50 a bottle in Paris. Is that true? If so, my youngest sister wants me to bring some back.
lacontessa is offline  
Oct 12th, 2004, 11:56 AM
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I've never had trouble bringing back wine from France or anywhere else. I did however have the owner of a vinyard in Italy tell me to wait at least 3 months after flying to drink the wine. I don't remeber the exact reason why and it could be an old wive's tale but I thought I'd pass it along.
cf5657 is offline  
Oct 12th, 2004, 12:10 PM
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cf5657, I'm sure it's to let the sediment settle. A lot of wineries in Europe don't go thru the filtering that we do here in the States. If it's been racked 2-3 times before bottling, most but not all of the sediment has been taken out.
Budman is offline  
Oct 12th, 2004, 12:35 PM
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Not true. We usually come back with anywhere between 18-24 bottles split between carry-on, checked bags, and La Derniere Goutte's cardboard cartons.

Only problem we had on our last trip (this spring)was that the bottles I had in my carry on made it too heavy for AirFrance's limit. So we had to do a hasty redistribution right there at the counter.

As for letting it sit--(some of this is romance related to the theory that wine is a living thing, but. . .) my husband is a wine merchant and he swears that any changes (atmospheric pressure, temperature fluctation even within acceptable limits, too much jostling about) can traumatize the wine. So he supports letting it settle a bit after you return from a trip. Of course, if you buy a wine that needs cellaring this won't be much of an issue.

This is not to say that there aren't wines that we open as soon as we get back, just so that we can try to recapture the vacation experience! But usually they are very straightforward wines; nothing very tempermental.
elle is offline  
Oct 12th, 2004, 12:56 PM
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Here's another name of a fine Parisian wine vendor. The sales woman went out of her way to arrange for me to get reimbursed on the duty tax.

Vintage & Co
letour is offline  
Oct 12th, 2004, 01:04 PM
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Elle or anyone else that knows, what is the cost of the packaging that you referred to from La Derniere Goutte for bringing back wine.
billruth is offline  
Oct 12th, 2004, 01:19 PM
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It was pretty cheap--a few euros (maybe five?). We've bought them twice now. If we were really smart, we'd just save them and take them with us (they do collapse nicely and can be re-used).

Also, La Derniere Goutte will take a regular old box and wrap it up with plastic, twine, and a handle. I think they do that for free (but you don't have as much padded protection as you do in the boxes that are meant to be checked; this is more for carry on).
elle is offline  
Oct 12th, 2004, 01:25 PM
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Thanks very much for this information. I am trying to bring back as much wine as I can.
billruth is offline  
Oct 12th, 2004, 03:01 PM
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Have any of you France travelers noticed them using the fake wine corks yet? I was wondering if it alters the taste or the quality.
peeky is offline  
Oct 12th, 2004, 03:36 PM
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Interestingly (to me at least), the French word "bouchon" makes no reference to the cork tree, so a bouchon (made of rubber) is still a bouchon, not a "fake bouchon". I'd say that a stopper, or (mouth) plug is a reasonable translation of the word bouchon.

And no, I don't think that a bouchon made of cork or synthetic materials will significantly alter the taste of the wine.

Best wishes,

rex is offline  

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