Bringing Wine Home from Piedmont

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    • #5687
      Michael Horne

      Hi guys — fellow wine fan @mpcbytheshore (Michael Centanni) is off to Piemonte to visit some wine producers this fall, and was asking for some recommendations on how to get his wine home from Piemonte.

      He’s traveling on a United flight into & out of Milan, so that makes it easy.  United Airlines is particularly friendly to wine lovers, allowing you to check a box of wine for a reasonable fee ($90 or so).  Here’s my response to him by email — just thought I’d share for when others make the same trek:

      Ciao Michael — good to talk with you, here are a few MBE addresses for you where you can pick up 12-bottle wine shipper boxes.  There’s one in Alba (see below) and quite a few within 50km of there. You can also do your own searching by using this link:

      MBE is the Italian name for “Mail Boxes Etc.” — the same chain that’s found here in the states.  Generally, they are very helpful and can offer shipping services for wine, though it can be pretty spendy.  I suggest checking them in as luggage when you return on your United flight.

      I recommend you read my post on how to bring wine back from Italy. It’s fun and easy reading:

      Here’s a list of the MBE offices within 50 km of Alba (from the website):

      La ricerca di  Alba (IT)  ha prodotto i seguenti risultati:

      MBE 0181

       2.07 km

       Corso Europa 73, Alba

      Tel: 0173/364678



      MBE 0306

       14.19 km

       Via Adua 4/A, Bra

      Tel: 0172/430199



      MBE 0644

       20.02 km

       Piazza Carlo Gancia 2, Canelli

      Tel: 0141/822675



      MBE 0207

       26.16 km

       Via Matteo Prandone 22/24, Asti

      Tel: 0141/351056



      MBE 0333

       29.36 km

      Corso Matteotti 14, Carmagnola

      Tel: 011/9715383



      MBE 0263

       29.68 km

      Via S. Giorgio 7, Fossano

      Tel: 0172/242599



      Travel well, have some great wine & truffles for me! Cheers.


      Michael Horne, CS
      Los Gatos, CA USA
    • #5694
      Michael Horne

      Hi guys — very cool, glad to see that all went well.  United is really easy going when it comes to shipping boxes of wine, and I’m glad that everything went fine at US Customs.

      I’m thinking of starting a master list of airlines that are “wine friendly” — I’ve heard some stories lately that Alitalia is giving some folks grief when they try to check their wine.

      I hope you enjoy your vino — what did you guys bring back? Pic?



      Michael Horne, CS
      Los Gatos, CA USA
    • #5693

      So to let you know how it worked out… The MBE in Alba is super easy to find!!! We found the one in Bra as well (its on the same street as Boccondivino – the Slow Food restuarant). The wine shipper, box and tape costs us 10 euro.

      Originally I didn’t think about a magic marker to write on the box but was able to find one in a shop in Bologna. Happened to walk by and saw highlighters – right next to permanent markers!

      We marked the box with our name and arrows indicating which end up. At MXP – we had no problem checking it. You definitely want to make sure you leave yourself extra time when doing this as you may have to pay for the extra bag depending on your United status and you have to accompany it over to the xray machine.

      Once back at Newark we waited patiently (and anxiously) for our precious box to come off the belt! Once it did we got though customs very easily…. although I wouldn’t be surprised if a customs agent or two stopped by for a glass of wine!

      Thanks Michael for the information! It was spot on and now we can enjoy our Piemontese wines that we just couldn’t get here in the US!

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