Buying Wine in UK/EU for Idiots

Tasting notes, varietals, grapes - anything related to wine
Post Reply
User avatar
Posts: 2460
Joined: December 1st, 2013, 1:07 pm
Been thanked: 9 times

Buying Wine in UK/EU for Idiots

#1 Post 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.
Noah Raizman
Washington, DC

Dan Kravitz
Posts: 3229
Joined: May 10th, 2010, 3:47 pm
Location: Harpswell, Maine
Has thanked: 199 times
Been thanked: 185 times

Re: Buying Wine in UK/EU for Idiots

#2 Post 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
swillmaster - ITB

User avatar
Eric Ifune
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 4248
Joined: June 19th, 2009, 7:43 pm
Has thanked: 3 times
Been thanked: 67 times

Re: Buying Wine in UK/EU for Idiots

#3 Post by Eric Ifune »

The good auctions houses will use a third party shipper. Pretty expensive however.

Alex Valdes
Monopole Crü
Monopole Crü
Posts: 822
Joined: June 22nd, 2020, 12:47 pm
Location: CT
Has thanked: 368 times
Been thanked: 125 times

Re: Buying Wine in UK/EU for Idiots

#4 Post 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.

User avatar
John Morris
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 19928
Joined: June 21st, 2009, 2:09 pm
Location: Gotham
Has thanked: 317 times
Been thanked: 492 times

Re: Buying Wine in UK/EU for Idiots

#5 Post 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.)
"I'll pay you five gallons of petrol and a valentine nailed to the forehead of the last lawyer you loved." -- Tom Waits to David Lynch

"But they told me there would be a hand basket."

User avatar
Arv R
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 5484
Joined: January 11th, 2015, 3:53 pm
Has thanked: 682 times
Been thanked: 265 times

Re: Buying Wine in UK/EU for Idiots

#6 Post 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!

GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 2630
Joined: June 7th, 2009, 4:48 am
Location: Tampa, Florida
Has thanked: 98 times
Been thanked: 84 times

Re: Buying Wine in UK/EU for Idiots

#7 Post 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.

Post Reply

Return to “Wine Talk”