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captainfatnutz Sep 30th, 2004 01:24 PM

Question regarding the purchase of wine
My fiancee and I are plannigng to travel to Tuscany and Umbria next month on our honeymoon. One of our primary goals is to visit 3 or 4 wineries and possibly send some cases home. What is the easiest (or cheapest) way to have the wine shipped home? Is it more likely that we should visit wineries that have US brokers? And what will some of the taxes/shipping/fees be like?

Thank you.

elaine Sep 30th, 2004 01:42 PM

where is home? If you live in the USA, you need to find out what your state's regulations are about wine being shipped in from anywhere. Georgia, for example, doesn't allow any of it from anywhere.
Some shippers within the US disguise their cartons as fragile glassware and the shipments are fine, but packages coming through customs are subject to additional scrutiny. And even if your state allows it, there will be customs charges.

cmeyer54 Sep 30th, 2004 01:53 PM

Honestly, unless you find a wine that you can't live without, shipping will be prohibitively expensive - both the postage and the customs charges. You can bring (I think) 2 bottles per person home legally. Beyond that, its up to you to decide if more fits in the suitcase or not. If you find a great wine, see if they have a US distributor or not. We've found wonderful wines for about 10e in italy - by the time we'd ship and pay customs, it would be double at least and while good, they aren't worth 30e+ per bottle.

Judy Sep 30th, 2004 02:15 PM

We did not check our state regulations before we purchased wine in France in the spring. The dealer in St. Emilion assured us that he could ship 3 cases to Virginia without a problem...any more and we needed a broker.
The shipping was about $70/case. It cost us $325 more to ransom the wine from customs. They did require a broker, we accumulated storage fees while finding a broker and then needed an FDA # due to some anti-terrorist legislation.
We did enjoy the wine once we got it...were afraid to keep it any length of time due to the temperature it sat at in the warehouse for two weeks!
We're going to Burgundy in three weeks and we'll definitely be carrying our wine home.

cyberUK Sep 30th, 2004 02:31 PM

What I have done in the past is: pack a roll aboard sized suitcase with my clothing before I leave, and check it on the way over.
I carry aboard a nylon duffle filled with bubble wrap.
On the return flight, I put my clothing into the nylon duffle and check it. And carry aboard a suitcase filled with delicious wines from Piedmont and Tuscany wrapped in bubble wrap. If you are not into smuggling, you can pay a 10% duty on your purchases.
I can bring home about 24 bottles this way. I do the same thing when I travel to the wine regions in America as well.

It is not really about saving money, (although that is a benefit, surely)
It is about sharing a bottle with my wife and friends, months or years later,from a particular region. The sensory memories derived from this are great souveniers.

StephenG Sep 30th, 2004 02:32 PM

Elaine is sorta right but wrong on Georgia.
Regardless of whether or not the winery has distribution in the state, any winery may ship up to 5 cases to a Georgia resident who has ordered wine on the premises.
No taxes are due to the state of Georgia in this instance.

I have brought back several cases of wine at a time from both Italy and France and never had any problem or paid any duty.

BigRuss Sep 30th, 2004 02:36 PM

Shipping is prohibitively expensive and will be nearly $100 per 4-6 bottle case. You are better off carting some of it home yourself or finding a good local store or internet seller (,,,, etc.).

ira Oct 1st, 2004 04:59 AM

Hi Stephen,

Thanks for the info.

All of the dealers here in my corner of rural GA have told me that wineries couldn't ship direct to a consumer, but only to a retailer.

nnolen Oct 1st, 2004 09:03 AM

We paid about 50euro for 6 bottles of wine...and then paid an additional $90 to ship it home. Worth it to us, but possibly not to everyone.

elaine Oct 1st, 2004 11:04 AM

Hi Stephen and ira
I have family in GA and one of them is a 'winey' (derivative of 'foodie'?)
Anyway, when they travel to Napa and other such places, they order on the premises but have been told that they cannot receive direct shipments because they live in GA. Alternatives are arranged.
And I believe that I may be in violation myself when I go to visit them and bring a bottle of something with me.

ira Oct 1st, 2004 11:49 AM

Hi Elaine,

You are right.

I searched the Code until I found

(a) Notwithstanding any other provision of this title to the contrary, a shipper, without
complying with the provisions of Code Section 3-6-22, may be authorized to make direct
shipments of wine to consumers in this state upon obtaining a special order shipping license from the commissioner.

The requirements for obtaining a shipping license are much to bothersome for anyone to undertake.

(b) All wines, and the vehicles in which the wines are being transported, which are
transported into or out of or within this state without accompanying invoices or delivery
tickets are declared to be contraband and shall be seized by the commissioner or his agents.

elaine Oct 1st, 2004 12:40 PM

thanks for looking it up,ira.

State liquor regs aside, even if a crate is just labeled "glassware"
if it comes in from Italy it will be subject to customs duty. I was also once told that if a shipment comes by sea, it has to come into a port city of course, and then be shipped on from there. I live in a port city, but not everyone does. Air shipment is that much more expensive.

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