Travelling with Wine – Guest Blog by Paul Budny from Lazenne
Why bringing back wine from your holiday is a great idea
When travelling with wine, savvy wine lovers know that they can transport up to 120 standard wine bottles, between any two EU member countries without paying any duties, pending the booze is not for resale. This, of course includes individuals bringing back wine to the UK. Hopefully, with all the Brexit turmoil and associated speculation this rather useful law will remain in place.
For travellers visiting wine producing countries such as France, Italy, Spain, and Portugal it makes sense to take advantage of this generous duty-free limit if only because wine purchased from within the UK carries a much larger price tag. This is in part because for every alcohol bottle purchased locally at large portion goes to the taxman. Britain and Ireland are known for some of the highest alcohol duty rates in Europe, alongside Scandinavian countries.
Aside from the economics, there is a certain magic of buying wine directly from the winery, after wine tasting and selecting exactly the wines you enjoyed most. Europe’s wine regions are littered with amazing family-owned, artisanal wineries that simply do not produce enough wine to export outside of their region, let alone to other countries. Often, your only option is to buy these bottles directly at the cellar door.
What about shipping wine?
Some wineries and wine stores can ship your wine home, but that pesky excise tax will need to be added along with additional alcohol import costs. E.U duty-free limits do not apply to shipping. Shipping wine and alcohol by non-licensed individuals into the UK is illegal.
Ok, let’s bring back some wine!
If you’re driving back from your wine holiday you can stock up on wine in your car. Many however don’t realize that you can also bring it back with you on the airplane as long as you follow these simple rules below:
The rules for flying with wine and alcohol
- Wine bottles need to be placed in your hold baggage. This is because cabin baggage security restrictions do not allow liquid containers of more than 100 ml.
- Travellers can’t transport bottles with more than 70% alcohol content, and can only take 10 litres of alcohol between 24% and 70%. There is no limit on liquids with alcohol content below 24%, and wine fits into this bracket.
- You do of course have to ensure that you meet the airline’s baggage weight limits and purchase the appropriate baggage allotment. For reference it is good to remember a typical wine bottle weighs between 1.2 and 1.7 kg. See these tips to take alcohol in checked luggage on low cost carriers in Europe.
- Always use protection!
Protecting your wine for flights
If wrapping your bottles in clothes seems too risky, there are a number of bottle protection products that will give you peace of
mind. For transporting a few bottles you can pick up a bottle sleeve, such as the reusable Bottelo, available from Lazenne. It’s made out of tough, durable and flexible plastic, cushioned with a layer of air-filled bubbles (similar to bubble wrap). It has a secure sealing system to prevent the spillage of liquid, should the bottle break. When packing place these near the centre of your suitcase and you’re travelling in style and with piece of mind.
Seasoned wine lovers will appreciate a dedicated wine luggage like Lazenne’s 12-bottle or 6-bottle airplane wine carrier. This specially designed wine suitcase can be checked like any other baggage and can take all that baggage handlers throw at it, protecting your precious wine. It works with a range of bottle types from standard, up to most sparkling wines. Its minimalist design means that when fully loaded it weighs 18-20 kg, meeting most airline luggage weight limits.
Guest Post by Paul Budny from