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Wine Shipping Problem

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  • LDS Jan 5, 2007 04:11 AM
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When I visited Germany a few years ago I found a particular wine I liked and went on line and ordered 6 bottles. The problem is US Customs has it sitting in New Jersey and the only way I can get it is to go and pick it up, send someone to pick it up or they say I can use a "shipper". I live in the Pittsburgh area and only have about 10 days left of my 30 days to pick it up before they "discard" it. Any suggestions on who these shippers are that I can be in contact with to go there and get it and ship it to me? UPS will not do it.

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  1. It's against Pennsylvania (and some other states') law to purchase wine direct from out-of-state (and presumably out-of-country) producers. Opponents of this prohibition will point towards a "cartel" of distributors.

    http://www.freethegrapes.org/

    Maybe you can argue that you already purchased it and that you're just bringing it with you.

    1. The wine better be worth it...
      A place like Mailboxes, Etc. will often send a runner to pick-up a package which they will then ship to you. Find one near the Customs facility where the wine is being held through the internet. They may not be willing to do this if there is any paperwork with Customs involved.
      You may have a problem if, as the above poster says, wine cannot be shipped to Pennsylvania. I am pretty sure that PA is one of those states with the "no shipping" rules. If I remember, PA is the alcohol distributor for the state and doesn't want anyone else cutting into the profits.

      1. Unless you find a mailbox store that doesn't know the rules, at least the UPS stores (which used to be Mailboxes, Etc.)I know of won't touch wine shipments at all. I think you are likely out of luck on this. Pennsylvania is, definitely, one state that does not allow wine shipped into it direct to consumers.

        I will deny suggesting this, but...... if you can find someone to get it from customs, they could ship it to you as something else (spaghetti sauce, olive oil?) Not sure who would do that for you, but it's a thought.

        1. My advice is to call your local PA Wine and Spirits store and ask if they will allow it to be delivered to them, or if they have any suggestions on how you should go about getting it.

          PA does not allow shipping of wine/beer to a home address, however, if memory serves me correctly, you can order out of state wine and have it shipped to your local state run liquor store, where you can pick it up.

          As my dad always says, it never hurts to ask. Get on the horn to that liquor store and speak to a manager.

          1. Try contacting a local wine club, or someone who runs wine-tasting courses. They would probably be able to fill you in on your options. If that doesn't work, I'd start asking all of my friends and family if they knew someone in NJ who'd do you a favor (perhaps for one of the bottles?) Good luck, love to know how this turns out for you.

            1. Those shippers don't care what it is as long as it doesn't say "Wine Here" in big letters on the box. Find someone local to pick it up and ship it. It seems that the real rush is to get it out of the hands of customs. They don't care where it goes, either. Maybe a messenger service. All they have to do is pick it up, put on a new address, and ship it to you via any carrier.

              1. http://www.chowhound.com/topics/show/...

                2 Replies
                1. re: Melanie Wong

                  Off topic, but I noted that PA only allows out-of-state shippers to ship in wines that are not available for sale through the state stores. I know alcohol distribution is one of the most 'controlled' things in our otherwise 'free' society, but that really does sound like a monopoly. It's got to drive wineries nuts to see that, let alone large internet retailers.

                  1. re: Midlife

                    Yeah, after the recent Supreme Court decision regarding shipping directly to the consumer, PA also screwed the in-state wineries.

                2. Take a little road trip if you really value the wine.

                  If not, it's just 6 bottles.

                  Customs sucks.

                  1. As an aside that does not help your immediate problem, did you think to search around to see if any wine merchant in the US had this wine and would ship it into PA?

                    1. I've had wine shipped to me in PA, I know you're not supposed to, but a plain brown box and no one knew the difference. The out of state wine store had no problem doing it.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: Rick

                        I found that some stores have a problem and some don't. But as I mentioned above, if the box doesn't scream "Wine Here'" it'll get delivered.

                      2. JUST WANTED YOU ALL TO KNOW THAT I DID CALL THE NUMBER ON THE US BORDER PATROL/HOMELAND SECURITY PAPER I RECEIVED, (LIMITED HOURS AND MANY HOLIDAYS MADE IT DIFFICULT THROUGH THE CHRISTMAS HOLIDAY). I EXPLAINED THE SITUATION THEY GAVE ME A NUMBER OF A SHIPPER. I CALLED THE SHIPPER AND THEY DO A PICK UP ONECE A WEEK. I FAXED MY CUSTOMS PAPER TO HIM AND HE WILL PICK IT UP AND SHIP IT TO ME NEXT WEEK. THERE IS A $35. CHARGE AND SHIPPING FEES, BUT HEY IT SAVE ME A TRIP TO NEW JERSEY. JUST LIKE SOMEONE POSTED, SOMETIMES ALL YOU HAVE TO DO IT CALL AND ASK. THANKS FOR ALL THE HELP. I WILL KEEP YOU POSTED ON HOW THIS WORKS OUT AND IF/WHEN THE WINE ARRIVES AND I POP A CORK!! THANKS AGAIN.

                        1. If you can, you might post the name of this wine.