Cult Wines International

Shipping and Returns

Shipping Map

The following map provides the estimated time of delivery for our standard FedEx GROUND shipments.
2 day and overnight shipping is readily available during checkout.


Shipping & Restrictions:

All orders are shipped FedEx. Standard shipping is FedEx Ground, but FedEx 2 Day Air and FedEx Overnight shipping are available at checkout. All packages are shipped with “Adult Signature Required”. Someone at the delivery address over the age of 21 MUST be present to sign for & accept the package. Please note: Wine cannot be shipped to PO Boxes.

We typically ship all orders within 24 hours. However, delivery times must be taken into account when shipping. Shipping on Thursdays & Fridays may be delayed until Monday. This is to avoid wine sitting in a warehouse over the weekend. If you have specific shipping requests leave us a note in the order at checkout or feel free to contact us at any time.

We can ship to ALL states EXCEPT the following:

ALABAMA, DELAWARE, KENTUCKY, MISSISSIPPI, ILLINOIS, OKLAHOMA, PENNSYLVANIA, SOUTH DAKOTA AND UTAH

If you make a purchase on our website to a state we cannot ship to, your order will be cancelled.

Shipping in Summer Months:

For a small fee, we are more than happy to include cool-packs in your wine shipment during the summer months or when weather conditions are not suitable for wine shipment. You can add cool-packs at checkout.

If you expect the weather to exceed 85 degrees Fahrenheit during transit to you we recommend the use of cool packs and expedited 2 day shipping. 

Age Requirements:

The purchase of alcohol by persons under the age of 21 is prohibited by law. You must be at least 21 years old to purchase and receive wine. By placing an order with Cult Wines International, you are representing yourself to be at least 21 years of age. We reserve the right to verify proof of age before shipping. Someone over the age of 21 must be available to sign for the package upon delivery. 

Sales Tax:

We collect 7% sales tax in the state of Florida

International Shipping:

International wine shipments are available for many countries. Wines will be sent with an expedited international shipping method and usually will only take 3-5 days for delivery. However, international shipments can be subject to customs or weather delays. Additionally, some countries require import taxes to be paid before customs will release the package. The Buyer is fully responsible for the cost of any taxes or duties imposed on the package. It is important for you, as the Buyer, to know if your country legally allows the importation of wine and how much it will cost for the import fees. Some countries have very expensive customs taxes. Canada, for instance, can charge up to 102% of the wine’s value as import taxes at the border. You must include an accurate email address and phone number with international orders so that the customs broker may contact you to collect import fees.

Please note that if you refuse to pay the import duties (or the Broker cannot contact you) and the wines are sent back to us, we will not refund the shipping costs of the wine. Additionally, if the wines have been held in improper climate conditions during the customs delay, and the wines are sent back, no refunds will be given.

Countries which we can send wine to without issues are as follows:

Asia: Hong Kong, Japan, Macau, Philippines, Singapore & Thailand
Europe: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Denmark, England & United Kingdom, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Switzerland & The Netherlands
Others: Canada, South Africa, Australia & New Zealand

If you would like to ship to a country not listed: Cult Wines International will NOT be held liable for seizure of the package in customs. Refunds will not be given. If the package is returned to us, any shipping costs or return shipping costs will be deducted from any refunds given to the buyer.

If you are International Buyer, once you have paid for this item you are agreeing to these terms. If you have not yet paid or the item has not yet shipped, and you wish to cancel the transaction, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

Holds on Wine Shipment during Summer Months:

We will hold shipment of your order when requested, and keep your wine stored in our cellars until the weather is more suitable for wine shipment. To hold your order, simply email us your request, or tell us in the “Comment” section of the order during checkout. Please also include the date which you would like us to ship. We will hold your wine free of charge for up to 5 months from purchase.

Returns:

We will accept returns within 7 days of the delivery date to the Buyer. Wine must be returned to us unopened and in exactly the same condition it was received in order to receive a refund. Wine must be shipping back to us within 7 days of receipt. 

Shipping method for returns must be FedEx 2 day Air and the Buyer is responsible for the cost of return shipping. We will provide a return label via email and deduct the cost of shipping from the return (Unless you are legally allowed to ship wine back to us).

If wine is returned to us and has been opened, damaged or tampered with in any way, no refunds will be given.

Returns due to Buyer Unavailability:

Sometimes, wine gets returned to us because the Buyer was not available to sign for the package. FedEx will typically make 3 delivery attempts. After that, the package will go back and sit at the FedEx warehouse for 10-14 days. If no one picks up the wine, it will be sent back to us. If this happens WE WILL NOT REFUND YOUR MONEY. This is because of the high risk of heat spoilage. Please ensure someone over the age of 21 will be at the delivery address to sign for the package.

Returns due to Incorrect Delivery Address:

Sometimes, wine gets returned to us because the delivery address was incorrect or was inaccessible. If this happens WE WILL NOT REFUND THE COST OF SHIPPING and we will charge you a 25% restocking fee. Please ensure your delivery address is correct upon checkout.

Disclaimer:

Regardless of the date, climate or shipping method: Wine spoilage or leakage in transit is NOT covered. Heat creates the wine in the bottle to expand. Wine can seep thru the cork and create slight leakage if shipped during the summer months. Heat exposure for such a short period of time (during shipping) is typically harmless and are not acceptable reason for refunds. If you have purchased wine but are worried about heat spoilage or freezing temperatures, simply let us put the order on hold, and we will ship when you want. When purchasing shipping insurance, remember that shipments are only covered for theft, breakage during shipping or complete loss of the package.

Regarding Vintage Wines:

Cult Wines International cannot guarantee the condition of the cork or quality of the wine inside the bottles. Many of the vintage wines we purchase come from private collectors, hotels, restaurants and estate sales. We examine our wines carefully before purchase and never attempt to purchase wine with poor provenance. Wines which we feel have provenance issues will be discounted greatly and will be detailed in the description. We do our best by storing the wine in optimum conditions and accurately describing the condition of the bottles, but obviously this is as far as we can go when it comes to quality assurance. Wine is alive inside the bottle and changes over time. Cult Wines International cannot guarantee when the peak drinking window of a wine is. Older wines may be past their peak when you open them. Older vintage corks can shrink, and degrade. The cork may break or crumble when you remove it. This is normal for older wines. There is always a risk with older wines. It’s as simple as that. You may open one up and have one of the greatest experiences of your life. You may open a similar bottle and find it’s past its prime or oxidized. That is the inherent risk assumed by the buyer in the vintage wine world. 

Some buyers do not know how to drink older wines, and in turn end up having a bad experience for no reason other than lack of knowledge. If you purchase a bottle 20 year old or older, please check out these 7 tips for enjoyment:

1. Keep in mind that the lower the fill level is of the wine inside the bottle, the greater chance the wine has oxidized. This is not a rule but rather a calculated risk. A wine at base neck or greater has basically no risk of oxidization. A wine right at halfway mid-shoulder has a 35-40% chance of being oxidized. Below that, the risk keeps increasing further. Keep this in mind when purchasing. 

2. Older wines have natural sediment in them that accumulates with age. These are tannins which precipitate out of the wine over time. The color of the wine will slowly fade from purple to brick red or even orange as the tannins accumulate and lump together to form the sediment. This sediment can be bitter when consumed but is harmless to health. However, for the best drinking experience, it is a good idea to drink sediment-free wine. Allow all vintage wines to stand upright for several days and even sometimes a few weeks if the wine has very fine sediments (as in older Burgundy or Champagne). Once the wine is clear you can proceed to uncork and decant the wine. Keep in mind the final drinking place of the wine and keep the wine there until it settles. If you bring an old wine with you to a friend’s house or a restaurant with plans of drinking it that evening, you will disturb the sediments and make the wine impossible to properly decant.

3. Do not use a standard corkscrew as older wines have corks which will easily break during extraction. Purchase an ah-so or better yet a Durand. We have pulled out corks whole from 1945 bottles with a Durand. 

4. Properly decant the wine. Purchase a decanter if you don’t have one. We won’t go into too much detail about decanting. There are many great videos on YouTube which will show you how to properly decant vintage wine. However the idea of decanting is to gradually pour the wine into a different container while leaving (and without disturbing) the sediment in the original bottle. A small amount of wine will be left in the original bottle which is full of sediment and is typically discarded. The decanter can now be swirled, handed around and poured without risk of sediment issues.

5. Allow the wine to breathe. Older wines require less breathing time than younger wines, but still typically need about 25-30 minutes for best aromas and flavor. These wines have been cooped up in an enclosed container for many years and often can have a musty smell upon freshly opening. This will usually go away upon breathing. 

6. Do not expect old wines to taste like better versions of young wines. Older wines often taste completely different to their younger counterparts. They lose their fruity qualities and their secondary complexities increase. More earthy notes and minerality is to be expected. Most often the bouquet of wine improves over time, imparting a smooth, rich flavor without the bitterness of a younger wine. However its intensity decreases and the wine feels lighter and thinner in the mouth. To many people these qualities are highly desirable, however there are many people who prefer younger wines also. So simply don’t assume you’ll enjoy an old wine more than a younger one.

7. Not all wines get better with age. Bold, higher-end red wines, complex whites and dessert wines are the ones to benefit most greatly from age. Varietals which typically get better with age are as follows: 

Riesling: A good Riesling can improve, growing rounder in flavor, virtually forever. 

Cabernet Sauvignon: Bordeaux, California, and many other places produce Cabs with the bold richness needed to age well. However not all Cabs will develop delicious secondary and tertiary flavors. This is dependent on the structure, tannins, and richness of fruit needed to hold up to years of aging. Typically the higher-end Cabs are designed this way. Budget Cabs aren’t typically suitable for aging over 15-20 years. 

Chardonnay: This depends on acidity greatly. A rich, buttery Chardonnay won’t have the structure necessary to age well and will fall apart within 5-7 years. Higher acidity Chardonnays with rich mineral tastes can very well improve with aging. Namely higher-end French White Burgundies.

Sauternes: Some of the longest lived non-fortified wines in the world. The combination of sugar and alcohol give these wines an almost immortal lifespan and the complexities they can develop are endless.

Fortified wine: Similar to Sauternes but even higher in alcohol and an extremely low chance of oxidization. Port, Madeira and the like age wonderfully because their high quantities of sugar and alcohol act to slow down the aging process, meaning that they can open well after even hundreds of years. Typically you can open the bottle, pour a glass and go back to the bottle months later to have another sip with the wine being completely unharmed.

Pinot Noir: This is greatly variable depending on the level of Pinot. Budget Pinot tastes great and there’s no need to hang onto it longer than 5-7 years. However many experts hold that a well-aged Pinot is the holy grail of the wine world. High end French Burgundies like Romanee Conti are considered a travesty if opened too young as their flavors can evolve unlike anything else in the wine world.

Syrah: Most Syrahs age well, but only up to a limit–about 15 years. 

Merlot: Merlot is a very forgiving wine when it comes to age. Many bottles can taste great young, however they can still benefit from some time in the cellar. Higher end Merlot like Petrus is well known for aging gracefully and beautifully.

Zinfandel: Like Cabernet Sauvignon, many Zinfandels have the potential to age to greatness. 

Old Italian wines: Some varietals like Chiati do not benefit much from aging. Barolo is one of the world’s greatest age-worthy wines. Brunello and Super-Tuscans are also excellent wines for aging. Italian wines from the 50s and 60s age well because they were made by farmers with primitive equipment. Their wines ended up very high in tannins, making them perfect aging candidates.