Booze Cruise to France for Wine for your Wedding
Is it worth it?
After a holiday to the South of France with my bestie we became hooked on French wine.
We have always been wine lovers, no denying that, and we would sample pretty much anything put in front of us.
But …. After a week in the cote d’azure, we were converted.
My disclaimer comes about now.
I am no wine connoisseur, just your average 33 year old who has consumed her fair share of wine in her lifetime.
So, where did we go?
The Calais Wine Superstore https://www.calaiswine.co.uk/
Because it was recommended to me and it was only a 10 minute drive to the store once in France.
It was easy to book on the website. We opted for the Eurotunnel option and to select our wine when we arrived. In other words, we wanted to hit that tasting room hard.
I went on the Eurotunnel website and looked at the times of departure and provided my options to the Calais wine superstore. They were prompt at coming back to me with my booked times.
Once booked, I received an email with some very simple instructions. I’m not going to bore you with sucking eggs, just do as the emails says.
As I knew we would send over £250 they superstore paid the Eurotunnel fee. Bonus!
Don’t worry too much about choosing your times.
We arrived at Folkestone earlier than our allocated time and they checked us in on the earlier train.
Returning to the UK they were delayed, so even though we arrived at the crossing earlier than our allotted train time – we were still placed on a train half an hour later than our original allotted time.
Arriving at Folkestone
Our allotted time was 11.50 am and we decided to set off at 5.30 am as it was our first time, and we wanted to account for any traffic.
We travelled from South Yorkshire so google maps said 4 hours travel time. Google never lies. Google was our best friend on this journey.
Don’t forget to account for a McDonalds breakfast. Standard.
It actually took us 5 hours to get there, including a stop for breakfast. But note to anyone travelling down the A1 – McDonalds are scarce.
Once we arrived, you drive up to any barrier with a green arrow overhead and type in your reference number, which is on an email that the superstore will send you.
So don’t forget to print it off!! And don’t forget your passports!!
Once through the barriers you get a ticket with an allocated letter. This letter you place around your rear view mirror.
There are large screens that inform you when to board. A bit like when you’re at the cinema looking at movie times.
Follow the signs, and if all else fails – follow the other cars, which is what we did.
You get placed in rows with other cars and then you wait until the attendants direct you to drive to the train.
It’s a tighter squeeze than I thought driving the car on to the train, so much so I nearly took my wing mirror off.
Once stationary, you turn off the engine, pull on the hand break and place the gear stick in first. Presto!
Sit back, relax, have a snooze or watch the couple necking on in the car behind.
There are toilets if you need. But thats pretty much it.
30 minutes later you’re in France.
Arriving at Calais
Getting off the train and through the border controls was quick and easy.
As was typing the “Calais Wine Superstore” in to google maps on my phone (free data obvs).
Emma drove in France and I must admit she was like a duck to water however, she had driven in Europe before.
She is adamant after doing it once you get the hang of it. Saying this, when we arrived back in England she drove around the first roundabout the wrong way …. And so did two other cars!
The store was no more than 10 minutes from the Eurotunnel.
The Calais Wine Superstore
In simple terms, just a large space full of wine in boxes.
We hit the sample room first. I didn’t rate the sample room so much, but then again we tried a wine and bought 24 bottles each of the stuff – which I wouldn’t have bought had I not sampled it. So, i’ll give it a 3/5.
At the back of the room you will find the lowest priced wine, usually £1.99 per bottle. I have tried some of this and bought some of this – it is not to be knocked, some taste lovely.
We grabbed a trolley and pretty quickly filled it.
Paid and loaded the car. Boom – done and heading back to the Eurotunnel.
Buy Online V’s Buy In Store
You have the option of buying your wine on the website and collecting it from the store, this would make the journey quicker and easier. You can also pay in sterling this way.
If you know what you want to order, great! This would be a good option for you.
The benefit of getting wine when you are there is you can sample some different wines and watch other guests select wine.
This one fella literally stacked as many cases as he could on to his trolley of one particular wine.
Obviously we had to buy 5 cases of the same wine to see what all the fuss was about.
It turned out the gentleman used to be a seller of wine and assured us it was a good plonk, and man alive was he right. Do you remember when Jesus turned water in to wine?? It must have been this wine.
If you take cash you can pay in sterling however, if you pay on card in store it has to be in euros.
Return Journey Home
We pretty much knew what to expect now and apart from the delay, mentioned above, the return journey was plain sailing.
Well… other than our deep conversation about how lorries made it through the Eurotunnel without getting wet. It had been a long day.
Was it Worth it?
We bought just short of 200 bottles of wine with plenty of space in the car to get more.
The average cost per bottle of wine was £2.50 (as we got a mixture of different bottles).
We spent approximately £45 on diesel for the journey.
If your time is precious, then it may not be worth it. From door to door it took us 15.5 hours.
But, if you have plenty of holiday days to take, fancy a road trip with your bestie, have a desire to sample nice wine and want to slash some of your wedding costs – then I would say it is worth it.
Would I do it again? i’ll see you there in January when my current stash runs out.
Completely empty your car. Including the emergency can of deicer – this could be space for one more bottle of wine.
Set off super early when the roads are clear.
I would pre order my wine on the website next time, I struggled to find specific wine I was looking for.
Locate the McDonalds you will be attending for breakfast before you set off.
Wear comfortable clothing – you are in the car for 90% of the time.
Print off all emails & pack your passport.
Don’t drink too much – too many toilet stops is just antagonistic.
Oh look … they named a wine after us 😉
If you have recommendations for other similar journeys let us know, we will research and try them out.
If you have any hints or tips, whack them in the comments box below we love to hear from you all.
Or if you want to share your experience with us. Please do!