How to Pack a Champagne Bottle

How to Pack a Champagne Bottle featured photo

If you’re planning to ship champagne or travel with champagne bottles in your luggage, here are some tips on how to pack a champagne bottle to ensure it arrives safely.

I think we all know by now that the bag handlers at the airport should not be counted on to handle fragile luggage with care. In my experience, the same goes for shipping services like UPS or DHL – there are just too many people, high speed conveyor belts, moves between cargo holds, and tight operations deadlines to give each package the respect it deserves.

To prevent your champagne bottle breaking in transit, the most important tips are:

– Assume the worst treatment for your luggage or package during transit

– Use a box or suitcase with a hard shell

– Use wine sleeves or wine shippers that are designed specifically for shipping wines

– If you’re not able to use wine shippers, make sure to use lots of padding (for example: bubble wrap, crinkle paper, or wrap in multiple layers of clothes, towels, or blankets).

Thankfully, champagne bottles are pretty sturdy because they need to hold up against the pressure inside. In all my years of travel, I’ve packed pretty carefully but never had a champagne bottle break in transit. Out of hundreds of other bottles of wine I’ve traveled with, I have only had one bottle of white wine from Portugal break, but it was made of thinner glass and I didn’t do such a careful job of packing it so I blame myself. So don’t worry – I say all this to give you confidence that it doesn’t have to be hard to pack alcohol without it breaking if you pay attention and pack with care.

Tips To prevent your champagne bottle breaking in transit

How to Pack a Champagne Bottle In Checked Luggage

If you plan to bring your bottle of bubbles with you on a flight, carrying on full size bottles of alcoholic beverages is not an option due to TSA’s rules about liquids, so you’ll need to pack it in your check-in luggage instead of your carry-on luggage.

My first and best recommendation for packing champagne in your checked baggage is to use a wine suitcase, it’s the safest and most convenient way to travel with wine bottles especially if you are packing more than a few bottles.

If you don’t have a wine suitcase or aren’t traveling with lots of bottles, I’ll cover my tips for how to pack champagne in regular luggage below.

How to Pack a Champagne Bottle In Checked Luggage

Use a Wine Suitcase for Packing Champagne

If you often travel with wine bottles, consider investing in a wine suitcase. These suitcases are specifically designed with protective padding that accommodates several bottles at once (usually up to 12 bottles) and can withstand rough handling during travel.

The better wine suitcases come with removable foam inserts that can be adjusted to fit different sized wines including champagne. This investment is perfect for wine lovers, as it can last you for many years of wine traveling and save the hassle and stress of figuring out how to fit bottles into your normal suitcase.

Use a Wine Suitcase for Packing Champagne

Tips for Packing Champagne in Regular Luggage

If you don’t have a wine suitcase and you aren’t traveling with lots of bottles, here are my top tips to carry bottles of champagne safely.

Tip 1: Use a Hard Shell Suitcase

Even if you try to use lots of padding, I can’t recommend carrying champagne in a soft bag like a duffel bag, unless you have a really sturdy and rigid wine shipping container protecting your bottle inside the bag. One trick I’ve learned if I run out of space is to buy a cheap duffel bag to carry my dirty clothes home so I can use my sturdier suitcase for carrying wine.

Tip 2: Use Wine Sleeves for Packing Champagne

Protective wine sleeves come in various sizes and offer excellent protection for your bottle. They’re made out of neoprene, a waterproof, and shock-absorbing material. The sleeves offer a snug fit for the bottle, preventing it from moving around during travel. Wine sleeves are easy to use, and some come with an attached carrying handle that makes it comfortable to travel with.

Check out different types of wine sleeves available online or at your local wine shop – or you can find my favorite wine sleeves here. Models like the WineSkins are great because they seal a protective bubble of air around your bottle, and can also help contain the mess in case of a minor spill or leak.

It’s worth double checking that the specific wine sleeve you choose is big enough to fit a champagne bottle, since champagne bottles are normally larger than standard wine bottles.

Tip 3: Use Bubble Wrap for Packing Champagne

Firstly, make sure to wrap the bottle in bubble wrap at least two times around it to avoid breaking. Afterward, place it in a leak-proof plastic bag. You can also tape over the top to prevent the cork from popping out during the flight. Finally, nestle it at the center of your luggage amongst your clothes for extra padding.

Tip 4: Use Clothing as Padding to Packing Wine

If you run out of packing supplies, you can always pack wine by using your clothing as extra padding around your wine bottle. Roll up a few t-shirts, sweatpants, or bath towels and place them around the bottle, making sure it can’t move around. This method works best if you’re carrying the bottle in your checked luggage.

Tip 5: Remember to Check Airline Weight Limits

Most airlines have weight limits on each individual checked bag, and sometimes also have an overall weight limit for your total checked baggage depending on your type of ticket. So if you’re planning to bring alcohol in heavy bottles check your weight limits first so you can optimize your checked bags to avoid unexpected extra fees.

Tip 6: Rules for Bringing Champagne Back From France

On a domestic flight you don’t need to worry, but if you buy champagne in France and want to bring it back home, it’s important to be aware of your country’s import rules. You can usually bring home one bottle of champagne duty free, but you might have to pay a small tax if you bring in multiple bottles. To learn more about how to bring Champagne back from France to the US or UK, check out this related article.

How to Pack a Champagne Bottle for Shipping

How to Pack a Champagne Bottle for Shipping

If you plan to ship bottles of champagne home or send a bottle as a gift, you’ll want to pack carefully to ensure that it will arrive home in good condition. The easiest way to do so is to use a shipping box for wine bottles which includes a foam insert to keep the bottle securely in place.

Advise the receiver to let the bottle rest for a day or two before opening it. This advice ensures that any sediment in the bottle has time to settle before opening.

Rigid styrofoam works great for shipping wines, but it’s not environmentally friendly. If you plan to reuse it many times it can still work, but I highly recommend choosing a recycled paper wine shipper like the one in the photo above instead of styrofoam if possible.

If you’re visiting a winery or wine shop, they are familiar with how to ship wines safely and will likely be able to help you out with packing materials and sometimes shipping as well.

One other important note if you are shipping within the USA: packing alcohol and shipping it via USPS mail is against U.S. postal rules, so make sure to use a shipping and logistics service such as FedEx, UPS, DHL, or similar.

Rigid styrofoam


There is no shortage of options available when it comes to packing your champagne bottle for traveling in your checked in luggage or for shipping safely. From protective wine sleeves to wine suitcases, and even carefully wrapping using your clothing, there’s a solution to fit your budget and travel style.

By following some basic packing rules, you can ensure that your precious bottle arrives safely and in perfect condition. Cheers to your next great adventure!