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Old Dec 13, 06, 1:57 am   #1
 
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Flying with wine bottles

Hi!

I was planning to fly on CDG-BKK with some fine wine bottles to offer business partners there but just realised I'll probably won't be allowed to carry them onboard (flying F). I didn't actually plan to check in any luggage but might have to, any safe way to carry those bottles?
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Old Dec 13, 06, 2:17 am   #2
 
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I often carry bottles in checked-in luggage. I lock my checked-in luggage except on the rare occasions I go to the US. Perhaps I've been lucky, but in years of travelling I've yet to lose checked-in luggage. (Sometimes its been damaged or delayed, but never lost contents.) I've taken the view that the risk of breaking a bottle as you carry it around is greater than if its safely stowed.

I always carry plenty of bubblewrap and wrap bottles in that. I'll roll the bottle up in several layers and then put in a plastic bag, or use tape to stop it unwrapping. If they can't knock against each other or another hard surface, they'll unlikely to break. With enough layers, they can even be dropped from quite a height without breaking. If you're carrying anything else in your baggage of value that would be absolutely destroyed if wine got to it, then I'd seal them in a bag just in case.

Bubblewrap does add bulk though... when I pack bottles they pretty much double in size when I've finished with them.
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Old Dec 13, 06, 3:48 am   #3
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the 4 bottles i brought back from a cruise this year made it fine. whew!

they were in 1 bag, fairly large, and just wedged in by clothes.

went from boat > hotel > LIS > AMS > IAD
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Old Dec 13, 06, 4:54 am   #4
 
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Thanks for the tips!

I guess the next question might be more appropriate to a wine forum, but wondering if it's worth the hassle and what will happpen to the wine's quality. any advice on how to get high end Bordeaux back to fine taste after a flight than landing in high temperature country?

Cheers
luis
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Old Dec 13, 06, 5:13 am   #5
 
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Once a wine has suffered heat stress, it'll never recover fully, so avoiding it in the first place is the way to go.

You can get foam packing containers designed for wine, they act as a good insulator against temp changes and keep it safe too!! But they do add quite a bit of bulk to the packaging though...

Enjoy the wine!!

Cheers
TiggerK
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Old Dec 13, 06, 8:34 am   #6
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by luisparis View Post
Thanks for the tips!

I guess the next question might be more appropriate to a wine forum, but wondering if it's worth the hassle and what will happpen to the wine's quality. any advice on how to get high end Bordeaux back to fine taste after a flight than landing in high temperature country?

Cheers
luis
The plane wine cellar(hold) is quite cool. I don't know how long it takes for luggage to get from hold to turnstyle at BKK, but if a chance for the wine to bake on the runway, get wine foam packing crates. I am certain someone in paris has them. there are 6 packs and 12 packs. If in DC, I can give you some. the foam lined boxes should hold up for 2-4 hours. You do not want the wine to go over 80 degrees F.

If the wine has any age on it, it will take a week or two to settle back down.

If your idea of high end bordeaux is '03 petrus,

1. I would pack it very differently and,

2. do you need another friend.
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Old Dec 13, 06, 8:56 am   #7
 
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It was so much easier when you could bring liquids on board. Many trips I returned with two "6-pack" carriers of wine, and just carried them right on board and stowed them in the overhead. I wish this option was still available, it made things so much easier not having to worry about what will happen to your wine.
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Old Dec 13, 06, 9:23 am   #8
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Yes, the new regulations are a pain. I would routinely carry back 6 to 12 bottles of wine when returning from "wine countries." Given the hassle now involved -- and the risk of breakage -- I'll have to reassess my practice. From a cost-standpoint, it probably is no longer worth the trouble, but it's always fun to break open a bottle of wine you bought at some obscure vineyard or small shop. Like others, I have occassionally packed wine in my checked luggage and have never lost a bottle. Indeed, I've had more trouble with the wine in my carry-on. My experience is that the bottles made in Europe are stronger than the bottles from South America.

One option would be to buy wine at the duty free shop at your foreign airport. That would be a lot less fun, however.
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Old Dec 13, 06, 9:26 am   #9
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I always use two socks over each bottle, putting plenty of clothes over and around them, and put them in my very sturdy Kirkland carry on. Of course now with the liquid stupidity ban, I've got to check it. I did a EZE-IAH-SJO last week, and all 4 bottles came through fine.
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Old Dec 13, 06, 9:49 am   #10
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slawecki View Post
The plane wine cellar(hold) is quite cool. I don't know how long it takes for luggage to get from hold to turnstyle at BKK, but if a chance for the wine to bake on the runway, get wine foam packing crates. I am certain someone in paris has them. there are 6 packs and 12 packs. If in DC, I can give you some. the foam lined boxes should hold up for 2-4 hours. You do not want the wine to go over 80 degrees F.

If the wine has any age on it, it will take a week or two to settle back down.

If your idea of high end bordeaux is '03 petrus,

1. I would pack it very differently and,

2. do you need another friend.
How does that work against the cold temperatures in the hold?
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Old Dec 13, 06, 3:11 pm   #11
 
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How does that work against the cold temperatures in the hold?
Thermal insulation works to maintain constant temp of the wine, which I presume would be 65-70F. would cool slowly, but,
I think in present day transAtlantic(also CDG-BKK) airplanes(heavies?), the temperature in the holds does not drop considerably. I know they are pressurized, and understand them to get the air as it is exhausted from the passenger cabin. Wine certainly does not like temp cycling(pumps wine out from around the cork), however, I doubt the hold goes below 50F, which is not too bad.

we did recently fly VCE-MUC in something wierd, and the luggage was thrown in the back of the plane, and a rubber netting device pulled up to hold the stuff in. It was Feb, and toiletries froze. would have been very hard on the Amorones that we were bringing home.

I also recall getting frozen things in luggage on trips in 707s and the like.
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Old Dec 13, 06, 4:21 pm   #12
 
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Just a quick note on bringing wine into BKK. There have been A LOT of reports of people being arrested, having their stuff confiscated, and being generally shaken down by BKK customs from exceeding the limits on cigarettes and/or alcohol, and not declaring them. I'm pretty sure the limit on wine is 1 liter. The duty on declared wine is VERY high (100% I think).

Now, reportedly they target people with Duty Free bags, so if it is in your checked luggage, you may not get targeted. Then again you might.

Look for stories on www.thaivisa.com .

Be careful
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Old Dec 13, 06, 4:47 pm   #13
 
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Thanks for all the replies... agree things were easier before the last set of flight regulations. Adding to the packing issues the fact customs/police in BKK have been handing out huge fines for excess duty free import lately, I'll skip all the stress and fly only with carry on luggage. Wine presents will wait a bit longer.

Bottles are Chateaux Brane Cantenac and Clerc Milon 2000 though, not quite Petrus, but should be fine to fight the cold upon flying back from SEA on New year's eve.

Cheers
Luis
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Old Dec 13, 06, 5:08 pm   #14
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Just today I got a box measuring 15 x 13 x 5 for shipping three bottles of wine (styrafoam liner). It's three bottles in a row. Uline has something very similar here

http://www.uline.com/ProductDetail.asp?model=S-6715

I travel with them all the time since carry ons don't work anymore, the foam holds the temp extremes from being an issue, and if UPS can handle them cross country, a couple stops at baggage racks isn't going to hurt them.
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Old Dec 13, 06, 10:10 pm   #15
 
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I flew back into BKK last week with 6 bottles in my checked luggage. They were inside one of the cardboard wine cases you get in supermarkets with some kitchen roll wrapped around them to wedge them into place. By the time I got home (about 1.5hrs after touchdown), they were still cool to touch (compared to the 30deg c ambient temperature) but not cold. I've no idea how they are because I've not opened them yet but it felt like the hold temperature kept them OK.

I have seen the stories about customs being stricter on duty free limits but in my experience (about 10 flights into new BKK), they don't seem to be any stricter than previously. Of course, I'm never over the duty free limit...

If you want to do any test runs into BKK with fine wine, I'll be your friend to receive them
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