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Travel Tip: Everything You Need to Know About Wine Shipping Rules

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399px-French_beaujolais_red_wine_bottleBelieve it or not, sending home a bottle of wine from your travels could actually be a felony. No, that’s not a joke! Wine shipping laws are complicated and vary by state.

For example, a couple of years ago, New Jersey passed a law allowing out-of-state wineries to ship directly to residents. Sounds great, right? Well, that law is limited to wineries that make less than 250,000 gallons of wine. That excludes about 90 percent of wineries in the country!

Arizona residents can receive wine as long as they’ve visited the winery that calendar year and have paid for the shipment. Utah residents? You’re out of luck…shipping wine into the state is illegal. No matter where it’s going, it’s illegal for individuals to ship wine.

If it’s just a bottle or two, your checked bag is an option. Use a Styrofoam wine carrier or padded wine skin to protect the bottles. Just don’t try to sneak it in your carry-on, or that special bottle of Pinot will end up with the TSA instead.

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