getting wine home

Old Aug 2nd, 2002, 07:50 PM
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getting wine home

Speaking of things people would do differently, how *do* I bring/send back several bottles of wine to share with my husband? I just noticed that only one bottle is officially allowed through customs, and I certainly don’t want to get that expensive duty-free stuff, just the local wines I have enjoyed on my trip. I know it doesn’t always travel well, so would wait as long as we could after I got home. Any tips?
Old Aug 2nd, 2002, 08:00 PM
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Asked and answered here a thousand times... but happy to answer again. You carry it in your luggage - - as much as you can carry. US customs officials routinely could not care less.

Conversely, the ABC (Alcoholoic Beverage Commission) officials in your state (or the airport where you first land) COULD care. It might be worth your while to mention what state - - to see if anyone else can cite any bad experiences.

Here are some of the various threads on which I have posted replies about this in the past:

The latter cites this article - - still instructive, even if it is now eight years old.

But they have changed their URL naming system. Here is the newer correct version:,1275,236,00.html

Best wishes,

Old Aug 2nd, 2002, 08:45 PM
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Thanks so much for your references, Rex! Reading them made the October trip feel even closer. I’ve brought back wine and olive oil before (and even those Greek multi-holed building blocks that are washed up by the sea in strange shapes and make such good flower arrangers) to an extent that my muscles still remember, but I kind of avoided knowing whether it was all right or not. I was afraid that since 9/11 everything might have changed. It’s great to know that I can still look forward to recreating some of the aura at home.

I live in Vermont, but I’ll be flying into Boston. One would hope the scanners will be concentrating on other things there, but I’d be interested to know if anyone has had noteworthy experiences at Logan.
Old Aug 3rd, 2002, 06:33 AM
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You're welcome, Dorothy. It occurs to me that I did not address one aspect of your question.

<<only one bottle is officially allowed through customs>>

This is really not the case. U.S. customs has one liter allowances (for wine, and perhaps, separately distilled spirits - - I forget) which IS DUTY FREE. There are no U.S. customs limits for larger quantities if you pay the duty. Not a big expense.

But the point is that U.S. customs routinely (99% of the time? 99.99%?) show NO interest in even collecting the duty - - at least according to the handful of postings from people who have actually TRIED to report and pay the duty.
My info on this is not intended to get you to try to skirt the law. But practical experience (including my return trip from Europe on September 30, 2001) is that you can bring in any reasonable quantity of wine (whatever you can carry) - - in checked baggage or carry-on - - and not worry about taking great efforts to conceal or evade the duty collection.

I have no experience flying in or out of Boston - - nor do I recall where were those airports with the few (RARE?) legendary instances of state ABC confiscating bottles upon entry into any particular state.
Old Aug 3rd, 2002, 10:39 AM
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Old Aug 3rd, 2002, 10:48 AM
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The REAL problem with bringing wine back is the packing and weight. If you are sure you are going to it would behoove you to get a box with styrofoam inserts made for shipping wine. And be sure you get "valuable" wine--mostly you can buy it here as cheap as it is there. That said, I sure am sorry we didn't bring back some burgundy reds--can't touch them here!!
Old Aug 3rd, 2002, 11:34 AM
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No Guyz, the REAL problem is NOT drinking it before you get home...
Old Aug 3rd, 2002, 12:34 PM
AGM/Cape Cod
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Dorothy- My husband and I flew into Logan at the end of March with 8 bottles of still wine, 2 bottles of Champagne and 2 bottles of liqueurs. We declared all theses bottles and had no trouble at all. The customs agent just waved us through. Six of the bottles we bought at a wine shop in Paris and they packed it in a case tied with a handle. The case is designed to be checked with your baggage. It came through with flying colors.
Old Aug 3rd, 2002, 01:30 PM
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We've brought wine back from Europe many times, and ALWAYS been waved thru by cusstoms. Declare the value of "wine" on your customs form, NOT the number of bottles, and you've done nothing dishonest. We've found that a great way to ship it is in the original carton with its separations, and each bottle wrapped in newspaper. Make sure of course that the carton is sturdy. We've never lost a bottle! Good luck!
Old Aug 3rd, 2002, 02:18 PM
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we returned from Italy July 1st with 9 bottles in our carry on - all packed in the 2/3 bottle box from the vineyard/enoteca - and 3 bottles in our checked luggage - no problem whatsoever! Officials were more concerned with finding out if we had stayed on a working farm where we could have come in contact with hoof and mouth disease - the answer was no.
Old Aug 3rd, 2002, 07:00 PM
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