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Buying Wine in UK/EU for Idiots

Posted: October 16th, 2021, 9:05 am
by NoahR
Friends -

I know -nothing- about buying wine in Europe, but interested in some auction stuff and have no idea what actual, eventual cost would be, “bond”, and shipping.

Do you have to pay duties for bonded wine when you ship? How much? How do you safely get wine from a bonded warehouse to the states and how much does it cost?

Any guidance for the perplexed would be appreciated.

Re: Buying Wine in UK/EU for Idiots

Posted: October 16th, 2021, 9:09 am
by Dan Kravitz
I used to do this, but it was decades ago.

Wine purchased in bond is not subject to UK taxes if exported.

I would think the auction houses could steer you towards reputable firms that handle customs and shipments.

Dan Kravitz

Re: Buying Wine in UK/EU for Idiots

Posted: October 16th, 2021, 10:47 am
by Eric Ifune
The good auctions houses will use a third party shipper. Pretty expensive however.

Re: Buying Wine in UK/EU for Idiots

Posted: October 16th, 2021, 10:51 am
by Alex Valdes
If you store your wine at Domaine (and I expect other places do something similar) they have partners in the UK and France to bring back your wines. They will lay out the total cost clearly for you.

Re: Buying Wine in UK/EU for Idiots

Posted: October 16th, 2021, 10:57 am
by John Morris
Noah - Imports that don't accompany you on the plane are subject to duty, but those are pretty low -- 10% as I recall. But they have be cleared through a customs broker and, I think, someone with an import license, so the transactions costs can add up.

I haven't done it in 20 years. In 2001, it was going to run about $70 a case on a nine-case lot. (In my case, the shipping company mislaid my wine for a year in their Dijon warehouse en route from London to New York. When it finally turned up, someone along the way forgot to bill me. Which was only fair. I looked at it as a year of free storage.)

Re: Buying Wine in UK/EU for Idiots

Posted: October 16th, 2021, 11:16 am
by Arv R
Like John, I last did about 20 years ago (during a strong dollar cycle) and had help from Geoff Troy at NYWW if I am remembering correctly. It was fairly straightforward, but as others have noted, not cheap. A colleague at my office was doing it more extensively for hard to find Italian wines, and made the introductions for me.

My suggestion would be to find sellers who can handle all this end to end for you, rather than trying to coordinate shipment/storage separately from the sales process. And presumably it only makes sense for things that are really hard to find otherwise. Decantalo (a Spanish comparable to K&L) was quoting around $200 to get a six pack from their location to US West Coast via door to door air freight; that usually brings me back to reality and gets me to close the browser window.

Good luck and I hope you find some rarities!

Re: Buying Wine in UK/EU for Idiots

Posted: October 16th, 2021, 11:27 am
by F.Daner
A case purchased in Montalcino in town and at a winery was $90 to send back. I was pretty happy with the cost. First one showed up with no issues.