Wine Talk

Snooth User: penguinoid

Shipping wine internationally

Posted by penguinoid, Nov 8, 2010.

This might be a crazy idea, but anyway...

I'm heading back to Australia for a bit soon, and want to take about 12 bottles of wine with me. I can't think of any reasonable way I could pack that in my checked luggage without ending up with red-coloured damp luggage and broken glass at the other end. Taking it as carry-on luggage is sadly no longer allowed.

So that seems to leave shipping as my only option. A friend suggested that Amtrak's[1] Winetrak service was pretty good but sadly they seem to have gone out of business. DHL was also mentioned as a possibility.

Ideally I'd like someone who ships wine regularly (so knows how to), provides insurance, and has prices which maybe approach something reasonable. 

A big ask, I know, but I'm hoping it might be possible. Any suggestions would be appreciated...

[1] the UK delivery company, not to be confused with the US rail service

Replies

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Reply by GregT, Nov 8, 2010.

Penguinoid - get a 12-bottle styro shipper. Put the wine in that and check it as luggage.  I've done it numerous times.

Alternatively, get a hard case.  Look at the Wine Cruzer

http://www.winecruzer.com/24pack-winecarrierwheel.html\

Cheaper than shipping!  And you've got the case.  If you want to save some money, look at Pelican cases.  They're the ones who make the Wine Cruzer after all - it was for camera lenses originally, or construction site files.

Anyhow, you get a Pelican case - they're warranteed even if a truck drives over them - and you use bubble wrap for your wine.  I've used it traveling to Europe a few times and it's perfect.  The difference between a Pelican case and their Wine Cruzer is the insert - it's custom made for the Wine Cruzer, but you also pay about $400 more for that.  Instead, go to any paper goods store, buy some bubble wrap, and wrap your bottles.  I also put a piece of styrofoam on the bottom of the case.  Works wonders..

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Reply by napagirl68, Nov 8, 2010.

GREAT advice GregT.  I am looking into your suggestions for my own travel needs.  I used to bubble wrap, then wrapped in clothing, but you can only do a few that way, especially if you pack like the typical woman does ;-)

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Reply by GregT, Nov 8, 2010.

Or like the typical guy who wants to take the smallest suitcase he can!

One last thing though - you should check with the airline before showing up with a box, and then check again.  A friend who recently went to Argentina was told that the airline wouldn't take boxes!

Never encountered that before, but who knows?

Another time I was told by BA that they wouldn't mind if I took wine in a box.  I showed up with the box and saw a sign stating taht they wouldn't take it.  Went to a clerk and they took it.  So 1) the rules change continually and 2)nobody knows what they are, even the people who know what they are!

Anyhow, the Pelican is guaranteed for rough handling - it's for construction sites, expensive camera lenses, etc.  If you wrap 10 bottles, they'll be nice and snug and their weight plus the weight of the case will come in just a hair under the weight limit - usually it's around 50 lbs or so.  Depends on the size of the bottles of course - I put a few extra in coming from Tokaj but a few less coming from Beaujolais.  In any event, the case is far far less than the shipping cost even if you pay the extra luggage fee.  And if you're only paying it one way, it's like $50 or so, compared to a few hundred to have the wine shipped.

Best!

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Reply by penguinoid, Nov 9, 2010.

The Pelican case sounds like a good idea, I'll have to look into that when I'm actually awake. Thanks for the suggestion.

I'm flying with Royal Brunei, essentially because they're sort of okay (decent planes, friendly staff on the plus side, two stop-overs en route on the negative side) and most importantly are cheap.

Excess baggage is £47/kilo, though, so I can't go too much over 20kg. I need to check how much the wine would weigh. It might be cheaper/easier to send some other bits of luggage that are less fragile by mail, if it all ends up being overweight. I'll have to check with the airline what their policy on boxes is too, and whether I can have more than one item of luggage (I think so).


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