The choice of wines over has definitely improved over the past 20 years but in my experience it’s very easy to buy utter tosh over there unfortunately. Even with the exchange rate hunting down decent bottles is far more trouble than it’s worth. There’s just so much low quality rubbish out there designed for people that just want to see the words Chateau XYZ on a bottle.
Whiskey on the other hand is easy to find but the cost is astronomical. Way back on around 2008, my in laws gave me 10,000 yen to buy a bottle of something nice as is the custom. I managed to add a few thousand yen extra and bought 2 bottles of Yamazaki 18 year old single malts to enjoy over the next year.
Imagine my surprise when I found out they’re now going for £850 each at Master of Malt doh! Oh well, the good stuff is for drinking I guess!
I’m gonna have to be extra, extra nice to the mother in law if there’s any chance of her buying me a bottle this year…and even then I’m probably being a bit optimistic
I do find good stuff over there usually, and my next trip (which also happens this xmas holidays ), I’ll definitely be bringing back some bottles.
The Yamazaki distillery is always worth a visit if you are anywhere near Kyoto. They may not have much for sale in their shop, apart from umeshu plum wine and some Yamazaki blend, they do have at the bar the greats such as the Yamazaki 25 and Hibiki 30 for a relative pittance a shot. It might be worth flying to Japan just for that😉
Wine bottles are actually very strong in terms of resisting a steady force, but are most likely to break if they get a whack fom a hard object, which could be another bottle.
Using that logic, I’ve always just made sure that all bottles have a good layer of clothing to absorb shock, between them and any hard object - mainly between the bottles and the outside of the suitcase, and between the bottles themselves. You don’t need to actually wrap the bottles at all, but just be aware of possible points of contact.
No breakages so far
I’ve been transporting wine on airlines for many years.
As usual, Steve has said it; wedging the bottles in your case padded with clothes is the simplest and cheapest. Wine bottles are very robust.
I don’t rate the Wineskin at all, those that have used them in their suitcases would, I believe, got the same result without. I tested the Wineskin when it first came out by dropping it with a bottle inside and the bottle broke.
The Airsac is brilliant for protection and all the ones I have used have been from wine shipped to me. Note the website linked to doesn’t sell single wine Airsacs but packs of 50, plus they don’t have any air in them so you need to buy a pump, you’re looking at £23.25 plus delivery.
If you’ve got a polystyrene 6 pack that offers great protection and - if you can check in 2 bags - you can squeeze one into a small soft wheely weekend bag.
If you check-in a polystyrene six-pack in a cardboard box, you’ll have to take it to a separate fragile check-in, which is a faff, even worse it’ll be delivered other end in a separate fragile area which is again a faff, and it will likely attract customs staff who will want you to open it.
A polystyrene 6 pack will allow you to bring back some Japanese wines
Absolutely totally agree - those wineskins are nothing more that single thickness bubblewrap and no use whatsoever compared to ‘air turbulence over Mongolia’ or the somewhat similar Heathrow baggage handler.
The key takeaways are
Take a very few bottles which justify the many thousands of air miles - this is not the time to skimp. And pack them properly - inflatable is the only way !