fellow wino's

Aug 4th, 2004, 06:51 AM
Original Poster
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fellow wino's

My wife and I will be travelling to Tuscany etc. in September (from U.S). A friend suggested that the wines are so inexpensive and tasty that it is worth buying wines there and having them shipped back home. Any thoughts or input?
jeffery is offline  
Aug 4th, 2004, 07:15 AM
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wonderful idea, just make sure that your State allows liquor (that would have been untaxed into the state). Delaware, for example, does not. I have had friends who have had to have it "shipped" to Wash DC and then my friends pick it up there.
Ummmm... I think I may have heard a rumor though, that the overseas shipments are labeled "glassware" not "wine" or "liquor" and therefore are sent to home addresses.
Does this make any sense?
SuzieC is offline  
Aug 4th, 2004, 08:45 AM
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What state do you live in? Doesn't really matter....I know a place in Florence that ships wine and does so in way that it is shipped into the US hassle free. I shipped about 10 bottles to the US. Anyway, if you are interested, let me know and I'll give you name of the shop in florence that does this.
amy_zena is offline  
Aug 4th, 2004, 08:46 AM
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A good friend of mine did have a couple of cases shipped last September, [and I'm planning to buy some this coming October]. However, I think the major issue was not necessarily the price differential, but rather getting good small production wines you wouldn't necessarily find here [also drinking them after you return home sort of prolongs the pleasure of the trip]. The cost of the shipping definitely works against any cost advantage, especially if you have any breakage or "temperature damage" caused in shipping [he didn't, but it's not unknown to happen].
rexmor is offline  
Aug 4th, 2004, 08:59 AM
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We often bring wine home in our hand luggage, carefully wrapped in bubble wrap or soft clothing. Also, special carry-on luggage for wine is available at IWA (a wine accessory store):

We also have taken cardboard wine boxes (the kind with the styrofoam inserts). We take them empty and bring them home full! These come in 6 bottle or 12 bottle sizes. These can be checked as luggage without worry of any breakage.

I don't think I would go to the expense of shipping wine unless you are a major collector.
vinolover is offline  
Aug 4th, 2004, 09:04 AM
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Amy--Can you please post the name of the shop and location in Florence that ships the wine? Thanks!
JennaJ is offline  
Aug 4th, 2004, 09:21 AM
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As a fellow wineaux, I carry mine in one of those roller carry-ons that people normally put some clothes & toiletries in -- like the ones the flight attendants use. They fit nicely in the overhead bin, and you can get 12-14 bubble-wrapped bottles in it.

The only problem, some airlines have weight restrictions on carry-on. Be careful.

As another alternative, most wine shops have those shipping wine boxes that you can safely pack and put in with your checked luggage. If you and your wife have one piece of checked luggage, then there's two cases of wine, plus 6 bottles each in carry-on. You should be able to do that. That's my plan.
Budman is offline  
Aug 4th, 2004, 09:23 AM
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And where do your clothes go????
Jocelyn_P is offline  
Aug 4th, 2004, 09:36 AM
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And where do your clothes go? I get two pieces of checked luggage. One suitcase (large) for my clothes, and one box of wine. My wife gets the same. So, that's two suitcases and two cases of wine. Six bottles each for carry on -- total 3 cases of wine. The customs/duty on still wine is minimal.
Budman is offline  
Aug 4th, 2004, 09:39 AM
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It really depends on how much wine you really want to ship. You can fit a lot of wine in your luggage as somebody else stated. I have carried bottles of wine in both carry on and checked baggage. I think the most I did was 3 in carry on and 4 in checked luggage. 7 is quite a bit. When I shipped about 10 bottles, it cost about $100 and the wine was also $100. So $200 for 10 bottles of wine...I don't know if it is really worth it. If you can go to a place that sells the really cheap good wine (like where I buy my wine now for 1.75 euro a bottle), then maybe it is worth it. But the shop in florence that ships to the States is not that cheap and then to add shipping on to that. Anyway...it can be done if one wants. Here is the shop info:

Millesimi (Grandi Vini di Toscana)
Borgo Tegolaio, 33/R
50128 Florence
Tel: 055 26 54 675
amy_zena is offline  
Aug 4th, 2004, 10:27 AM
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The retail wine market here in Dallas is so competitive, it's not worth the effort.
That said, my son and daughter-in-law (they live in Lower Manhattan) have a flat in London so they buy high end Aussies (at about 1/3rd US) in the UK (on Brit salaries) and bring mostly great S Rhones back to the UK from FR.
Vote with your wallets and avoid being a "mule" imho.
mikemo is offline  
Aug 4th, 2004, 10:39 AM
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I agree with Mike. The savings are often negated by the shipping costs. If there is a special one you want then carry it back.
bobthenavigator is offline  
Aug 4th, 2004, 06:20 PM
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One suggestion if you plan to visit wineries there....make reservations. Some were booked and only allowed tours. Your hotels can probably assist you. Also....try the house wines in restaurants. You will be amazed at how good there are and how inexpensive they are!
mgfit is offline  
Aug 4th, 2004, 06:39 PM
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I understand you need a reservation to tour. Do you need one to taste?

I don't want to tour -- I want to taste. I'll be looking for the small mom & pop places.

I kinda agree that shipping wine back is not the way to go, considering the cost. I would plan to carry back some extraordinary small winery favorites.
Budman is offline  
Aug 5th, 2004, 06:44 PM
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I know we were turned away at one place for tasting too. We were able to taste at a few. If you read about any vineyards that you know you want to get into....check to see how they operate to be on the safe side. In my opinion....I never had any bad wine in Italy. In fact, I can honestly say I enjoyed every glass (well, maybe every "bottle"....we had a LOT of wine!!!)
mgfit is offline  
Aug 5th, 2004, 07:21 PM
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Budman: Regarding reservations to taste. It's a mixed bag in my experience. Some places, usually large, are set up to do tastings similar to what we do in California--but not many. A lot more are much more informal with little or no charge but much higher expectation that you will buy. The very small producers will be much more likely to receive you with a call ahead and therein lies the rub. You pretty much have to commit to a schedule and liklihood of purchase.
Carrying wine on the plane is fine but you still have to protect it once you buy it i.e. not leaving it in the car and cooking it! It's always a challenge but I'm ready to take it again this October. Good hunting and Cin Cin!!
macanimals is offline  
Aug 5th, 2004, 11:42 PM
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over Easter, we did what you want to do: a whole day in Chianti just to taste and buy wine--no touring.

We made no reservations, and just showed up at vineyards researched ahead of time. We weren't turned away at any vineyard (5 in total) and tastings were free (although it was clear we were there to buy). Macanimals' description is highly accurate.

where do you plan to visit? If it's tuscany (in particular chianti), I can give you some excellent vineyards with good prices.

Re shipping, I don't see how it can cost-effective to ship home.... even the prices from Tuscany to Germany were too outrageous. The one plus to shipping wine to the US is that you can access vineyards that do not even supply the US.
Riffic is offline  
Aug 6th, 2004, 04:16 AM
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Riffic, thanks. We'll be in the Chianti area. I appreciate any info you might have.

Right now, I am looking at two areas. The area around Montalcino for the Brunellos, and around Greve for the Super Tuscans. I was thinking of taking the drive on Rt 222.

I'm open to other areas -- never want to turn away a great wine.

Budman is offline  
Aug 6th, 2004, 04:32 AM
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I'll put in my two (three?) cents here, even if it is mentioned on the other threads I previously cited, above...

First, I agree that buying wine in Europe, and then leaving it for half a day (or much longer) in a hot car, before you bring it home, is a good way to end up unhappy with your purchase.

Second, while shipping seems quite cost-INeffective, bringing it home with you is a great way to acquire a dozen or two bottles; cost aside, (and I realize that this is subtle snob appeal), I love serving wines to friends that do NOT say "Imported by XYZ brothers, of QRS, New Jersey" - - I look for that on bottles of wine, and I love having wines that were imported by me.

and lastly, as I have said before - - give me a few hours in a good enoteca with a sympathetic proprietor, and a thousand different bottles of wine to choose from (preferably with a dozen open, for tasting by the glass when you walk in) - - over a day driving around to wineries any day. I like driving around in wine country for the intrinsic pleasures of the countryside; but for buying wine, I like having a knowledgeable local wine merchant steering me to one, two or three labels that I really like (and so what if I open, taste and purchase a few bottles along the way that don't end up as my favorites) - - and then bring home three, four or more bottles of any one individual label I find and like. I much prefer having bottles of wine that I can recall "discovering", that I know what they will taste like, to plan for specific meals, and get to savor all over again.
rex is offline  

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