Tips for Successful Wine Shipping

Now that spring is finally starting to arrive, it’s the perfect time to ship wine!  Vinfolio’s standard of shipping is to use a weather check to make sure your wine ships when the temperatures are ideal. This system is linked directly to AccuWeather.com and checks to make sure that the points of origin and destination have temperatures that fall between 20°F – 75°F, and will automatically put a hold on your shipment if the weather is outside of those temperature parameters, attempting delivery the following week until the wine successfully ships. Depending on where you are shipping to and what speed you choose, you can also opt to waive the weather check and ship anyway.

Here are a few pointers for the most seamless delivery possible:

  • Always use the quickest speed possible.  This might mean a higher shipping cost, but weigh the costs of shipping against the risk to your wine should you choose to send it across the country using a slower speed.  More time in transit means longer exposure to a non-climate-controlled environment, especially if the package is delayed or sits at a shipping warehouse over the weekend. You’ve probably invested a fair amount of money into your wine – don’t skimp on shipping!
  • Ship to a business address, or to a building that has a doorman that can accept your delivery.  We recommend shipping to an address that is equipped to receive shipments during standard business hours.  This ensures that shipments will not remain overnight in vans or warehouse facilities without temperature controls.
  • Ensure the presence of a receiver of legal age.  Since a wine shipment contains alcohol, carriers are required by law to obtain an adult (over 21 years of age) signature upon receipt.
  • Or, opt to ship to a FedEx Office.  If you know you that no one will be able to receive your package, you can choose to ship to any FedEx location and have it held for pickup. Simply enter the FedEx address as your ship-to address, with your name, and add “Hold For Pickup” to the Recipient Name (i.e. John Smith – Hold for Pickup). If your shipment is already in progress and you’ve missed the attempted delivery, you can also call us and have us reroute the shipment to the nearest FedEx office for pickup as well.  Find your nearest FedEx office here.
  • Monitor your tracking number.  FedEx and Golden State Overnight often update their tracking information in real time, so if there is a problem with your delivery, you should be notified fairly quickly.  You can also sign up for FedEx alerts right on FedEx.com so you will be sure to get notification right away via email or SMS.
  • Be aware of any changes in weather or other issues that could delay delivery.  A sudden storm may throw a wrench into your delivery timing, which unfortunately, is uncontrollable.  The shutting down of streets for festivals such as Mardi Gras, the NYC Marathon, or a Presidential visit can also affect your delivery, so try to plan around them if possible.  If you are shipping wine to arrive for an important event, such as a tasting, party, or dinner, schedule perhaps a day or two to allow ample time for your wine to arrive and settle prior to drinking.

Things you should know about your shipment:

  • Vinfolio ships using styrofoam shippers.  This packing material does provide a fair amount of insulation against both heat and cold, so unless your shipment is sitting in extreme temperatures for hours, the internal temperature of the wine should not change too drastically.  Shipments sent in pulp packaging do not provide this same insulation.
  •  Shipments are insured for up to $100 per shipment.  This does not mean we can’t insure it for more, but you have to request the additional insurance.  Broken, damaged, or lost shipments are rare – but they can happen. Additional insurance fees are minimal, approximately $.90 per $100 of value. Email us at service@vinfolio.com for more details.
  • We won’t ship your wine inside its wood case:   It is never a great idea to ship your wine inside of a case that is not meant for shipping, so when your wine comes with a wooden case, we ship the bottles and the case separately to prevent breakage.  The exception to this is for banded cases of Domaine de la Romanée-Conti, for which we have ordered custom fit shipping boxes that are meant to accommodate a bound DRC box.
  • Consider Temperature Control Shipping.   During the summer, FedEx offers Temperature-Controlled shipping that many of our clients use, a service that uses refrigerated ground transport to move your wine across country at a cost that is slightly higher than FedEx Ground service. To learn more, click here.

Questions regarding our shipping capabilities?  Contact us and we will be happy to help!  Also, stay tuned for our post on Summer Shipping options as the weather warms up across the country.  We’ve got you covered.

At Vinfolio, we help our clients buy, sell, store, and manage their most
treasured bottles of wine. But in our spare time, we’re just a group of
passionate and slightly obsessed oenophiles–we love sharing a great
glass of vintage Champagne, followed by a Burgundy, and then a
Bordeaux, to get things started. We’re always obsessing over the latest (and oldest) vintages, and we want to share that knowledge and passion with our readers.