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Best way to bring wine back to the U.S?

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Best way to bring wine back to the U.S?

My husband and I are heading to France next week for three weeks exploring wine regions - Champagne, Alsace, Beaujolais, Burgundy and Provence. We expect to buy two cases (I imagine we will get more....) of wine.

Recommendations and suggestions for the most cost effective and secure way to bring back wine from France? We think we may need to upgrade from wrapping bottles in clothes...and may buy more than could fit in a suitecase....

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10 replies to this topic
New York City, New...
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1. Re: Best way to bring wine back to the U.S?

We toured burgundy including the wine caves in Beaune. They were very well organized in shipping for us. Cost was relatively low and we didn’t have to worry about it. They even held it back during a heatwave in ny.

r c
Portland, Oregon
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2. Re: Best way to bring wine back to the U.S?

welcome,

i would do the shipping route.

good luck

Paris, France
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3. Re: Best way to bring wine back to the U.S?

The really smart way is to shop at your local Costco. Costco is the world´s largest wine retailer and there will never be shipping concerns or unnecessary extra costs.

Portland, Maine
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4. Re: Best way to bring wine back to the U.S?

We always bring back wine from France in our luggage; as much as 10 bottles. But for 2 cases, you probably would be better off shipping, although very few wineries will assist you with that. Only larger operations. As for Costco, it may be fine for mass produced wine, but not for the kinds of wines you'll want to bring back from France.

Paris, France
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5. Re: Best way to bring wine back to the U.S?

<<As for Costco, it may be fine for mass produced wine, but not for the kinds of wines you'll want to bring back from France.>>

You´re making assumptions based upon an unjustifiable premise. Costco does offer an array of widely available selections but they also have many niche market offerings which are difficult to otherwise obtain.

Most of the wine I purchase in France, and that is a rather sizable amount, I source at Costco Paris.

Portland, Maine
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6. Re: Best way to bring wine back to the U.S?

<<Most of the wine I purchase in France, and that is a rather sizable amount, I source at Costco Paris.>>

Well, if your "local" Costco is in Paris, that's very different than if it's in the US. Not that I would buy wines at a Costco in France in any event, but if I lived in Paris I might. Although there are so many good wine shops in Paris.

Paris, France
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7. Re: Best way to bring wine back to the U.S?

<<Well, if your "local" Costco is in Paris, that's very different than if it's in the US.>>

Not at all. Costco near our house in the US has a fantastic offering of wines, even those from small French producers. Those who follow wines much closer than do I know what deliveries their local Costco is expecting and take advantage early on. The only thing missing is the high price, though many Costco bottles can approach $200 to $250 each depending upon store availability.

There is very little of what is available anywhere in France that cannot be obtained through distributors in the US and without the high cost of small quantity transportation.

Portland, Maine
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8. Re: Best way to bring wine back to the U.S?

I certainly can't dispute your personal experience with your local Costco, but I disagree with this:

<<There is very little of what is available anywhere in France that cannot be obtained through distributors in the US and without the high cost of small quantity transportation.>>

I've visited dozens of producers in France whose wines are not distributed in the US. For example, out of all the producers I visited on our recent trip to Burgundy, the Savoie and Isere, only a few sold any wines in the US. And even then distribution is limited. For example, one of the producers said their wines are only available at one wine shop in NY. Yes, distribution of wine in the US from France (and elsewhere in Europe) is amazing compared to 30 years ago. But a lot of it is limited to NYC, San Francisco, and a few other large markets. So when I visit France I bring back unique (not high-priced) wines that I couldn't get here.

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9. Re: Best way to bring wine back to the U.S?

Thank you all for your replies. To get us back on the topic of shipping, and not Costco, any other helpful tips on brining back wine to the US? Maybe other than finding a shipping company?

Palo Alto...
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10. Re: Best way to bring wine back to the U.S?

Raquel, I have shipped wine from France a number of times though I have not done it since 2015. I can't tell from your avatar where you are from, but you should check to make sure that wine can be shipped directly to consumers in your state. I had a very bad experience with an independent wine shipper that has since unsurprisingly gone out of business but have always had great success with shipments sent directly from the winery or from an established caveau that offers shipping. Over the years, we have successfully shipped wine from Château de Corton-André, Caveau de Puligny-Montrachet, Caveau du Figuier (all in Burgundy) and another place in Dijon near the market whose name I have forgotten. We have also shipped wines a few times from Le Grand Cave in Saint Emilion. We have used some other places and it all worked well but the ones listed have stayed in my head as being particularly good. To my mind, the most cost-effective way to bring wine back is to stick a few bottles in your luggage but if you think you will have cases, I suggest purchasing from places that offer shipping. You will simply fill out a form that includes all the customs information and declarations and (most of the ones I mention above prepared the form for us using our invoices) sign the form, pay the fee, and depending on when you are traveling, you will receive the wine a month or more later. The places we dealt with did not ship during the summer so we were paying hundreds of euros for wine in July and leaving it behind expecting to receive it in October but it all worked out fine. I have heard of luggage that you can use to bring 12 bottles of wine on your flight as cabin luggage but I have not tried that yet. I bought one for $110 for my husband who is the wine expert and aficionado in our family but we will not be using it until August. The last time we shipped wine, it cost a little more than 150€ to ship a case.

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