Shipping wine from Italy to the US
Updated: Dec 31, 2020
Planning a trip to Italy and going on a Tuscan Wine Tour? (with Grape Tours, obviously 😃)
One of the things that might cross your mind is how to get the lovely vino back home...and of course, there are several solutions all depending on how much wine you intend to bring back.
Just a few bottles? Stick them in your suitcase - right in the middle, tightly wrapped in dirty clothes. That's what we did on a recent trip back from South Africa and we made it back with quite a few lovely bottles (but not enough as they are now gone!)
If you are nervous about breaking the bottles, say a careless airport worker tosses your suitcases around, maybe it's a good investment to get a few Wineskins that are reusable (they are usually less than 5 euros). If the bottle breaks (God forbid!), the wine stays inside the Wineskin and doesn't ruin your clothes. Wineskins can be bought at some wineries and wineshops so you don't have to decide until you decide to buy those bottles.
Notice that each country may have a max allowance for alcohol as for example in the US where it is 2 bottles per person. But if you declare your wine you can bring in as much as you like. Last I heard was that Customs tax on a bottle was around 1 dollar. At the same time, I was told that nobody ever checks and that most people can smuggle in a few extra bottles no problem! (I'm not encouraging you to break the law, but now you know).
A few more bottles? You may end up loving the wine you taste so much that you'll end up shipping a larger amount. Shipping from Italy to for example to the US usually works out to around 10 euros per bottle in shipping cost if the shipping is of a dozen bottles. If you ship less, the per-bottle-price is higher. So you are looking at around 110-120 euros to ship a case which may seem a little steep, but that includes styrofoam shipping cases, Customs fees, and door to door delivery. So perhaps it's not so silly if one considers that wines are usually sold at a lower price at the wineries and you may be able to do your own import of wines that you've actually tasted, and that perhaps are not even available at home. See the typical shipping fees here.
If you dare not depart from the wine you purchased and travelling with wine is something you do, it may be a good idea to invest in a wine check-luggage as for example the one made by Lazenne. It's a one time cost and then you can use it again and again, bringing back home wine from wherever you go in a fairly easy way.
Did you know that we ship wine from Italy?! Check out our gorgeous selection here!