Bringing wine home from Italy?

Sep 7th, 2001, 08:59 AM
  #1  
Bebe
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Bringing wine home from Italy?

We will be traveling to Italy and I would really like to take home a few bottles of good Italian wine. Maybe some Brunello di Montalcino and the like. Question is: should we buy it in Tuscany near the source and then haul it around on the rest of the trip or could we just as easily buy it our last night in Milan. Would the same wines likely be available there for close to the same price? Any experiences out there?
 
Sep 7th, 2001, 09:08 AM
  #2  
elaine
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Bebe
It's up to you, it's a convenience issue. Personally, if I were going to the trouble of bringing home wine, I'd prefer to buy it at the source and bring it home more for the memories than anything else. If I were thinking of buying it in a liquor store or at the airport in Milan, to my mind, I might as well just buy it at home.
You might want to check the wine import laws for your particular state, if you live in the US. Aside from US Customs which limits how much, some states
(Georgia is just one) don't allow anyone to bring in wine from anywhere, not even from other US states. Of course if you're not going through Customs in your home state, you may feel that it's not going to be an issue.
 
Sep 7th, 2001, 09:14 AM
  #3  
Dale
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Bebe:
I have done both. Bought Brunello at Fattoria Barbi, a few km outside of Montalcino and lugged it around for a week or so. Also, I recommend, if you are leaving from Milano: by all means visit Pack, a few blocks from the Duomo. The most fantastic food and wine store you will ever experience. They have vini from all corners of Italia. Ciao.
 
Sep 7th, 2001, 09:49 AM
  #4  
Barbara
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Wherever you decide to buy it in Italy, do so, for sure. We elected not to buy either the Brunello or just the plain ole' Rosso, or the Nobile di Montepulciano, thinking blithely that we would get it in the states. Well, in our county in Maryland, where wine sales are regulated strictly by the county, I found no Nobile, and only one label of Brunello and only one of the Rosso -- the Brunello they had was $42 and the Rosso $25 -- and no Nobile to be found (and the prices of the same in a DC Italian restaurant started in the hundreds). I don't know what we were thinking when we concluded that the prices back home couldn't be all that much more than what we found in Tuscany. My travelling companions and I are experiencing real post-trip depression as a result, realizing we made a BIG mistake.
 
Sep 7th, 2001, 10:21 AM
  #5  
Paul
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My wife and I recently opened a bottle of Brunello we picked up on our honeymoon two years ago, in Montalcino. We had carried it from there, home to New York, through two moves . . . was the best bottle of wine we'd ever had, partly because it WAS good, but also because when we opened it we uncorked the memory of our visit. I'd say buy at the source if you can.
 
Sep 7th, 2001, 10:38 AM
  #6  
lisa
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We just got back from Montalcino. The selection of Brunello wines at all the little wine shops there is incredible -- entire walls full of nothing but Brunello. For selection alone, I'd buy it there. If you buy more than one bottle they will give you a little cardboard carrying case with a handle that holds up to 3 bottles and makes it easy to carry around.
 
Sep 7th, 2001, 10:59 AM
  #7  
Rex
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I'll offer a dissenting opinion - - with the caveat that I don't think that the posts above are WRONG - - but you can do wonderfully well in a GOOD - - and LARGE enoteca, where the merchant is enthusiastic to work with you and find wines that match your taste(s).

I don't want to talk you out of buying "at the source" - - but also to try buying in an enoteca where you can also sample wines you can't find at home - - though they may be produced a hundred miles (or even farther) away from where you happen to be. I have encountered many an enoteca that have 6-12 bottles open "for the day" - - for purchases by the glass, or sometyimes, by the "sip" (1-2 cl), at no cost. Likewise, I will tell the name of a wine I have recently enjoyed at dinner, and ask what might be similar. It is very common to let you open it there (of course, that means that you ARE buying it!) - - and drink a glass - - I have made a practice of trying three wines this way - - and keeping the remainder for picnic(s) or random-occurrence at times over the ensuing days. And then I buy two or three bottles of the one I liked best through this process.

Best wishes,

Rex
 
Sep 7th, 2001, 11:08 AM
  #8  
Carol
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Last time in Umbria, we faced a dilemma in our favorite olive oil store (family -run): favorite olive oil or favorite wine? Each is amazingly cheap on-site. Amazing also that they now ship via DHL. The rate was outrageous, but when we calculated the per bottle cost, it was equivalent to what we would pay for a good bottle of olive oil or wine in the States, and I'd much rather have my favorite for the same price. So we actually lugged some oil around, and had them ship the wine to arrive the day after we got back to the US.
 
Sep 7th, 2001, 11:53 AM
  #9  
Susan
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The wine you buy in Italy and bring home doesn't contain sulfites like it would if you purchased the same bottle for sale in the U.S. I think I can taste the difference, or it might be the "uncorked memories."
 
Sep 7th, 2001, 12:00 PM
  #10  
Paul
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I agree with Lisa - the wine shops in Montalcino had a fantastic selection. We went into one opposite the castle, and were able to taste 6 or 7 different Brunellos. They were very knowledgable, and were easily able to match the wines to our taste.

That said, you should also check to see what your local wine store carries, so that, if you go to the trouble of carrying back wine, you can at least bring back a bottle which you could not get normally at home.
 
Sep 7th, 2001, 07:42 PM
  #11  
Henry Schulte
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Part of the special moment is finding a wine that you like that you canít get at home (I have lots of these moments). When you open that special bottle it brings back the moment (and the desire to return). There are over one hundred producers of Brunello (your local store doesnít even come close) so Iím sure you can find that Ďspecialí one. Many of these are not available outside the local area.

Barbara: If that bottle of Brunello for $42 was a í97 buy it.
 
Sep 8th, 2001, 04:48 AM
  #12  
XXXX
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The wine you want to take home are available all over for some good wine prices try the autogrill rest stops gift shops On the autostrade they have good sales on wine buy two get one free I would buy some local and then at the airport duty free shops you will probaly find the same wine you just draged all over italy at the airport
 
Sep 10th, 2001, 07:59 AM
  #13  
Jo-Ann
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Bebe: My husband and I bought a case of wine, different labels and varities, last year in Greve-in-Chianti...the prices were amazing, compared to the states of course, so we couldn't pass this up. Unfortunately, carrying all of this split up into different bags was a big pain,but looking at those bottles in our wine rack does bring back wonderful memories. We will be back in Italy as of this weekend and do plan to bring some wine back, but not quite so much. Long story short, buy what you can there...when you drink it at home it is like being there again.
 
Sep 10th, 2001, 09:15 AM
  #14  
vino
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If that Brunello claimed to be a '97, don't buy it--I don't think the 97 has been released yet.
Or at least pay for it with euro currency.
Also, sulfites are not added to wine. They occur naturally.
 
Sep 11th, 2001, 01:10 AM
  #15  
Mike
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I couldn't agree more with Rex. I would add that I think you want to try to go somewhere where the advice on smaller properties is reliable.

As a rider for Barbara, try www.wine-searcher.com. You can find merchants from all over the world prepared to ship worldwide, as well as getting access to lots of US merchants.

If you are looking for tasting notes, you could do worse that www.bbr.com. Scarily, I think that Berry Bros might be as cheap a way for you to buy high end vinous memories of Tuscany as any US merchant!
 
Sep 12th, 2001, 08:00 AM
  #16  
cirpi
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The assertion that wines purchased in Italy do not contain sulfites is absurd. The level of sulfites in wines intended for consumption in Italy almost always is the same found in Italian wine in the US.
 
Sep 12th, 2001, 11:08 AM
  #17  
Brook
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Bebe:
Just got back from 2 weeks in Italy and I recommend buying whatever few wines there and bringing them home. There is that sense when you open the bottle at home that you are opening up those memories again. I can't wait until we drink our special wines! We bought 6 bottles of wine and one bottle of olive oil. A little bit of a pain, but worth it.
 
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