How to Get Your Wine Safely Back Home From Your Eurotrip

Posted July 22, 2015

Coco Bator


Daily wine deals emailed to your inbox.

You’re at the gate in the Bordeaux–Mérignac Airport: Boarding pass ready, carry-on in tow, about to settle down for a trans-Atlantic nap. But what did you do with that bottle of 2005 Chateau Haut Brisson La Reserve Saint Emilion? Or that exquisite 2012 Chateau Du Vallier 1er Cru Cotes De Bordeaux?

Not to worry—here’s how to give your wine the first class treatment it deserves!

Before you even start packing, check your airline’s regulations for alcohol in checked bags. Generally, if it’s under 24% ABV, you can bring as much as you’d like. That means you’re in the clear with wine—a 24% Bordeaux would sure put some hair on your chest! You may even want to bring an extra bag for your bounty, but be sure to keep an eye on weight, as those extra fees can be hefty.

Next up, you’ll need to pad generously, wrapping wine bottles in soft clothes or even bubble wrap for added cushion. Placing the bottles first in sealed plastic bags also prevents leakage (WineSkin bags make this even easier), unless you dig the red wine tie-dye look. Be sure to place the bottles in the middle of your suitcase, surrounded by other clothing to battle the notoriously rough baggage claim.

Which leads us to our next tip: At the airport, ask the agent to mark your suitcase as fragile. Nothing’s guaranteed, but this will *hopefully* prevent baggage handlers from playing monkey in the middle with your bag.

Lastly, be sure to check your destination’s customs protocol, as you’ll have to declare your bottles. Keep in mind that certain countries (and even states) charge a duty on more than a bottle or two of wine, but it’s a small price to pay when you’re rolling deep—with your wine bottle entourage, that is.

Once you arrive home with your wine safely packed, you can reinvent chateau tastings from the comfort of your couch. Because even if you can’t stay in France, you can bring the wine home with you.


Product Label.

Chateau Du Vallier 1er Cru...

91 Wine Enthusiast

Item: 85895

750 mL

Retail: $40.00

$13.01 per btl