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Boxes for checking wine?

Headed into summer and I'm running out of Spanish Vermouth!!! There, a decent bottle costs less than 5€, here... $20, if you can find any.

So I'm thinking of getting a box like this, styrofoam lined wine box, flying over empty and coming home full. Reviews on Amazon are generally positive- looks like I could even get 2-4 uses out of it.

Does anyone have experience "importing" wine like this?

Notes to answer anticipated questions:
-I'm already checking a bag, so already going to baggage claim.
-I have plenty of luggage allowance, and an average case is 32 lbs, so it won't be overweight.
-I know I'll have to pay duty upon entry- I understand it's about 50¢/liter.
-I have a long layover, so the delay at customs is not a problem.
-I start and end in Madrid, where I stay at my boyfriend's place, so I won't have to haul it around Spain. (And he lives around the corner from one of the city's best wine shops.)

Posted by
1853 posts

I’ve used a similar box in the 6 bottle size to take wines up to Alaska. Probably half a dozen trips. No issues with breakage or security. The cavities are slightly oversized so I used some newspaper to fill the gaps. Some bubble wrap would probably work better. I would suggest using a strong packing tape to secure the flaps. I used a black sharpie to write my contact info and flight info on the outside of the box. If you have some wide clear tape use it to prevent the writing from smearing if it gets wet.

Good luck and enjoy your vermouth.

Posted by
18750 posts

You are carrying quite a bit. I sometimes come home with a bottle and I use bubble wrap looking container. and stuff them in my luggage.

Where did you get the 50 cent / liter number?

Posted by
2267 posts

Rocket- thanks for those notes! I def pack tape and a sharpie!

Mister E- I've used bags like that, but now my primary bag is a larger duffle/travel pack (Osprey Porter 65), and I wouldn't want to put bottles in a frameless pack.

I'd read $1-2/liter, but the 50¢/liter came from a pfd somewhere on CPB's site. But it it's $2 that's fine—$9 for the whole box.

Posted by
327 posts

Why not just ship yourself a case? We've shipped wine from Italy and France.

Posted by
2267 posts

Why not just ship yourself a case?

I thought of this briefly butI won't be at or near wineries and I'd rather have a variety instead of a case of same. The wine shop doesn't ship—I've asked them.

Posted by
7711 posts

Regarding duty: Certainly declare, there is only a general box for food, plants, etc. at the kiosk, they will ask, tell them how many bottles. 100% of the time for me (n= ~20+ times) they will say thanks and move you on. I have not heard of anyone ever having to pay duty hauling wine back from Europe, the time and trouble to collect a few Dollars is just not worth it. Shipping, yes, you likely will.

Posted by
200 posts

We've brought wine back from Italy and France, usually in our checked bags. Have never paid duty, in fact luggage never checked. I would check with local wine shops and see if they ship.

Posted by
2267 posts

Paul- Thanks for sharing that personal experience!

I would check with local wine shops and see if they ship.

I have. They don't.

Posted by
225 posts

We have brought home wine from France and Spain. My husband ordered a wine suitcase that is a zippered case with the box as you linked inside. It was purchased at It can be checked with the airline and we have not had a problem with breakage since the cardboard and styrofoam insert is very solid. We have also used the bubble wrap sleeves to pack wine in our suitcase and used our clothing to pad. Better for carrying white wine than red wine! I have a RS folding tote bag that I use for excess clothing and souvenirs if we use the regular suitcase for wine. Having a wine shop ship is very expensive! We have flown Delta with the wine suitcase and no problems. Perfect that you do not have to pull it around Spain.