I’ve included a rough estimate for shipping a case of wine from California to New York for each method discussed below, in order to give you an idea of the comparative pricing of each.
Your basic options begin with ground shipping, which I would recommend only for shipments when the weather is between 32 and 70 degrees, or for those shipments that are so short as to effectively be next-day delivery to you.
- 1 case shipped ground coast to coast runs about $50 or $4 a bottle at volume.
For more expensive wines, I recommend three-day air for shipping. It’s not that your wine will be treated with any more care, though that may be true, but the key here is that if you arrange for your wine to ship on a Monday, three-day air will make sure you get your wine the same week it is shipped, eliminating the possibility of your wine ending up in an unheated or uncooled freight depot over a weekend.
- 1 case shipped three-day select coast to coast costs around $100 or $8.50 a bottle.
Second-day air is an even better option, making sure your wine gets to you quickly and safely. This level of shipping ensures your wine is expedited through the system, moving from ground transportation to air quickly, without the possibility of sitting too long in one place. This is a viable option for shipping wine in warmer weather, though I would still caution against shipping wine even with second-day air when temperatures are higher than the mid-70s.
- 1 case shipped second-day air coast to coast costs around $150 or $12.50 a bottle.
The most effective way to ensure that your wine is delivered in a safe manner is to have it overnighted to you. The truth of the matter is that I rarely opt for overnight shipping as the price of the shipping tends to eliminate any potential savings I may have realized by purchasing out of state. For older wines, and particularly valuable wines, I would still recommend overnight shipping, if nothing else so that should you have any issues with the wine you can essentially eliminate the shipping as the cause.
- 1 case shipped overnight coast to coast costs around $200 or $17 a bottle.