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Thread: Buying wines at Montreal airport? Need info

  1. #1
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Oct 2003

    Buying wines at Montreal airport? Need info

    Hi all,

    I'll be flying in to Montreal via Dorval, and was wondering if it was possible to take advantage of the duty-free shops there ON ARRIVAL to buy wines and champagne (for consumption in Montreal).

    One web page says that you have to pass through customs to be able to buy duty-free stuff, but that is obviously targeted towards people leaving Montreal, not someone who's just arrived.

    So the question is, after one gets off the plane, can you buy stuff from the duty-free shops (are they accessible from the arrival area)? Furthermore, will they allow you to buy liquor if you are not leaving on flight immediately, but in 3 days?

    Where do the rest of you buy wines and the like when entertaining? I used to just buy them in Montreal, but it would be nice to save at the duty free...


  2. #2

    SAQ - ABC's of Wine

    Hi Portraiture,

    Sorry, this doesn't answer your question but just a note concerning wines. The SAQ (Societe des alcools du Quebec) has a nice, informative site. Prices for all budgets, promotions, large selection, and great wine guides (especially helpful for a wine-notice like me). You can pick and choose prior to your visit, and just pop in when you're here (instead of lugging them bottles with you). Take care.

    SAQ - ABC's of Wine

  3. #3
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    West Island

    Duty Free

    You must be LEAVING the country to buy duty free. You didn't say from which city that you will be arriving from...but you have to buy your liquor at THAT city's airport's duty free shop. The duty free at Dorval is after the security point for international flights (and will be delivered to your gate since both domestic and international flights depart from the same gate proximity, they are not sealed off and sterile), and transborder flights' shop is before US Customs and Immigration but after the first ADM officer checks your boarding pass. From all my travels, only Iceland allowed you to buy duty free upon landing but before you passed by their Customs Control officers, I haven't noticed anywhere else with such a set-up.

  4. #4
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    New York City, USA


    I usually have little trouble getting a great bottle of wine in Montreal. There's a nice little shop in the underground mall under the WYndham hotel that i usually use when I stay there. Another is just down the block from the Delta Montreal (475 Président-Kennedy Avenue. I always pick up a bottle of Jonnie Walker Blue Label at the duty free and on my last trip I was able to get a bottle of their Green Label ( Pure Malt)..which I have not seen in the States Yet. I save a lot on the Blue Label ( at least $50 USD) so it's worth carrying it home.

    Jim B
    The opposite of talking isn't listening. The opposite of talking is waiting.
    Fran Lebowitz

  5. #5
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Just wanted to reinforce the posts of dunderhead and simple,

    You can buy duty free goods at Canadian airports ONLY when you are LEAVING Canada. I am pretty sure there are absolutely no exceptions. For all you American visitors to Montreal, The SAQ (Societé des alcools du Québec) is the provincial alcohol licencing board that has a monopoly on the sale of alcohol and alcohol imports to the province. You can buy beer and cheap wine from "depanneurs", or "deps" as we call them (convenience stores) but if youre looking for a vintage from a particular chateau you are better off looking at one of the "SAQ Signature" stores.

    Basically the SAQ has differentiated itself by having different "types" of stores. Basically same company, 2 different labels and target markets. The "regular SAQs" have a selection of mainly generic labels for the different alcohols - vodka, rum, whiskey, etc., wine and liquers and the "SAQ Signature" stores stock more premium labels of the above. So far example you would go to an SAQ Signature store for a vintage Dom Perignon or for a JW green label. Check out their website, at

    Hope this helps!

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