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Snooth User: dmcker

How to transport wine internationally?

Original post by dmcker, Mar 12, 2009.

Hey there all, am new to this forum. Have enjoyed the range of topics I've browsed, especially the most recent thread I was viewing with such solutions to disposal of nasty wines as into the vinegar cask, refilling/recorking/recapping and gifting, and making a tempranillo shake by using its bottle like a cocktail mixer. Definitely some creative people in this group! ;-)

Anyway, I have a question that's troubling me at the moment. I've lived in Japan for several years, and, pre-9/11, used to whenever possible carry on a case or more of locally purchased wine on frequent commercial flights back from California or France or just about anywhere else with good wine. Obviously not a solution these days. I'm aware of some vendor shipping options for new wine purchases, and have also seen a duraluminum case that Dean and Deluca markets for carrying up to 9 bottles of wine, which they claim is fine for check-in.

Does anyone have any pertinent experience or knowledge that would be helpful? I have a few cases stored in California that I want to gradually move over here. Then there's the '59 Chateau La Mission Haut Brion that I want to gift from here to someone born that year over in Moscow.... Oh, and I've already heard the suggestion to charter a jet, but at $10,000 a flight hour... ;-(

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Reply by GregT, Jul 28, 2012.

I can't believe this thread got revived. 

D - I assume you found a solution?

Anyhow, the people who make the WineCruzer are the people who make Pelican cases. The Wine Cruzer is the Pelican 1440.  It's $150 - $200.  The difference between that and the Wine Cruzer is that the WC only comes in black and it has a foam insert that will cost you another $150.  The case was originally designed for construction sites, for job site files.  It's lockable and pretty indestructible, like all of their cases. They're designed for carrying guns, video cameras, etc., i.e. things that are either fragile or that need to be locked up in a secure container.

So buy the 1440 or any other Pelican case really, and buy yourself a roll of bubble wrap.  It's 1/2 the price of the Wine Cruzer and you can fit in a few more bottles.  I've travelled around the world with that case specifically to carry wine.

Alternatively, get a regular cardboard shipper with the styro insert and just re-use it.  That works too. I've done both many times.  And if you do either of those things, you pay the extra luggage fee but it's cheaper than shipping via some carrier.  If you're really savvy, you can pack light, put your stuff into the Pelican and you only have one package.  Then, on the return flight, you either do a carry-on or you have the extra but at least you don't have to pay the extra luggage in both directions.

Reply by JonDerry, Jul 28, 2012.

Very surprising indeed, especially considering D's been gone for a while.

OT is an advocate of the wine check, and looks like a good option by all accounts to ship a full case, though would have to go with you each way unless purchased/borrowed at the destination.

Reply by Erik Petersen, Feb 17, 2014.

The wine check is great.  Used it a ton internationally and guaranteed to be under 50lbs full

Reply by jescobio, Mar 2, 2014.

Just bought the wine check bag. That is a brilliant idea.  

Reply by pbudny, Jul 3, 2015.

The Wine Check is also sold in Europe through a company called Lazenne (based out of France).

Reply by dmcker, Jul 4, 2015.

Thanks for the pointer to the European vendor.

I still think post-9/11 private jets provide the best way to transport wine privately--only (rough rule of thumb) $10k/hr of flight time costs!  ;-(

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