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 all the dirty clothes you'll have accumulated. That's what we did on a trip back from South Africa and we made it back with quite a few lovely bottles (sadly all gone by now!)
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 wine shops so you don't have to decide until you buy those bottles.
In Florence you can find Wineskins at Formaggioteca Terroir.
Notice that on the way back home there is a max allowance for alcohol, for the US it's 2 bottles of wine per person. But if you declare your wine you can bring in as much as you like. The 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 smuggle in a few extra bottles with 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 purchasing more than just a few bottles. Shipping from Italy to the US usually works out to around 10-12 euros per bottle in shipping cost when you ship a dozen. If you ship less, the per-bottle price is higher. So you are looking at around 120-150 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 the wines are usually sold at a lower price at the wineries and you'll get exactly what you tasted at the winery/wine shop (no middleman), wines that perhaps are not even available at home.
You can see an updated shipping fee price list here.
If you dare not depart from the wine you purchased and traveling with wine is something you do, it may be a good idea to invest in a wine check luggage 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.
(this post was about getting wine home to the US - notice that other countries may have different rules, for example Canada is very restrictive with the shipping rules)
Did you know that we ship wine from Italy?! Check out our gorgeous selection here!