I like bringing wines home when I visit wine regions. I don’t bring them back because they’re less expensive; I bring them back because they’re usually not available at all or in very limited quantities. Then I share them with 12 fellow wine lovers as part of our club: Wine Lovers of Connecticut.
I just returned from 2 great tours to Italy: Tuscany and Emilia Romagna. Since I was
doing two tours, I decided to bring two empty shipping boxes which I buy from ebeaver.com. I check them in empty as luggage and as I acquire the wines, I start filling the containers. Only I didn’t anticipate tasting so many wines that I wanted to bring back to share. Luckily the winemaker at San Valentino in Romagna had an empty 6 bottle shipping container that he gave me so I was saved.
Of course schlepping 3 boxes with 30 wines (plus 2 more in our suitcases) was not easy, especially since we extended our stay by 9 days. This alone would discourage some wine lovers. But we did it and finally checked them through from Bologna to Boston on British Air without a glitch.
Even going through customs was a snap. This was the first time I’ve attempted to reenter the States with this number of bottles. For the first time ever, I was pulled aside while the customs officer tried to figure out how much duty I would need to pay. Everyone is allowed 2 bottles dutyfree, so for me and my wife, that’s 4 bottles. The other 28 bottles would cost just about $6.00 so the customs officer just waved me through. It’s just not worth the time and effort for them for $6.
So don’t let duty scare you away from bringing back a few trophy wines on your next winery visit.