Recently I reported on US customs duties and that we carried 23 bottles with us on the plane.
In the comments section, bravawine asked how we got that packed.
Here is how we do it: We make sure to travel lightly on clothing when we travel to wine country. My wife’s favorite thing in the world are tank tops, and they are awesomely light and can be brought to good use when packing wine. We now know that we can get about 12 bottles into one suitcase and still hit the 50 lbs. mark for luggage on economy tickets.
The key for me is that the bottles stay in a wine box, and that they have no way to move in the box. To that end, we wrap up each bottle in a tank top or t-shirt or any other piece of clothing that fits. German wine cases are usually 6 bottle cases, but you can also get 12 bottle cases at the wineries. Each bottle wrapped up, we put them in the box, make sure they do not move, and then tape the box shut tightly. Then, it is pretty much impossible that the bottles can move and thereby hit each other in the box. The box goes into the suitcase and is secured the straps inside the suitcase, or you put bigger items around it to secure it.
I have also done that with less bottles (2 or 3) which I pack into cardboard wine gift boxes, the same principle applies: wrap the wine in a thin layer of clothing, make sure the wine cannot move, tape the box shut and put it in the suitcase.
A friend of mine has been bringing us wine lately when he travels to Germany. His baggage allowance gives him two free pieces of luggage. A case of 12 bottles weighs between 45 and 50 lbs, so it is the perfect size. He, again, wraps the bottles in clothing and then puts them in a shipping box which he checks as a piece of luggage. We have not had a bottle broken yet.
It is really easy to travel with 8-9 bottles, because that way you can still store clothing in the suitcase. I am convinced that the key is that the bottles cannot move. That is why I do not just wrap them up in clothing and store them in the suitcase. Any clothing that could not be used for wrapping goes in the small carry on suitcase.
Hope that helps!
How do you go about that when you travel? Curious to see whether there are simpler methods…