Moving A Wine Collection
If you enjoy a nice glass of wine, you may have found yourself over the years becoming a collector of some of the finer wines. Perhaps it began with a really good bottle or two, and soon enough you find you have a pretty decent wine collection. Whether you’re a new collector or a connoisseur, having to move your wine needs to be done correctly. Some of these bottles may be rare vintage wines, worth thousands of dollars.
Check current laws if you are moving out of state, as not all states accept wine shipments from other states. However, for private collectors moving their wines with household items, allowances are often made. For further information, check out the links below:
- Free The Grapes
Small Wine Collections
Move it yourself: If your wine collection has little value, and is quite small, moving it in your car may be a good alternative. You will have full control of the temperature within the car.
If you do have good high value wines, and are thinking to move it yourself, be aware that changes in temperatures can spoil wine and any vibration can disturb sediment on mature reds. Try to keep temperatures steady to avoid any bottles from corking, around 55-75 degrees Fahrenheit.
Hire a moving company: If your wine collection is not of high value, and you are also moving your household items, using a moving company is a good option. When researching reputable moving companies, make sure to inquire if they have experience and their method of transporting wine.
Packing Your Wine Collection
Do It Yourself: If you are planning to pack your own wine collection, whether transporting it yourself, or hiring a moving company, special care will need to be taken in order to protect the wine.
- Obtain specialized wine packing boxes. These boxes come specifically designed with Styrofoam dividers to protect wine bottles. They are strong and durable. Styrofoam is bulkier than cardboard cases and occupies more space. Therefore, if using a moving company, it will also increase the cost. If you decide to use cardboard cases, add a piece of corrugated cardboard for extra strength and cushioning.
Using wooden boxes provides extra protection, although more expensive.
These specialty boxes can be purchased from wine stores or any local moving companies that are licensed to ship wine.
- Ensure the bottom of the box is secure by reinforcing it with plenty of tape.
- Ensure each bottle is tightly corked. For extra protection you can add wire cork cages that are used for sparkling wines, to secure the corks.
- If you are not using Styrofoam, wrap each bottle in either bubble wrap or paper. As you see it done in stores, begin at the corner and wrap it diagonally. Fill any empty spaces with packing peanuts or crumpled paper.
- Seal the box securely with packing tape and make sure to label the box “FRAGILE”
Hiring a moving company:
Many reputable moving companies are experienced in moving wine collections. If you have done your research, you will have hired a company that you trust to move your wine. The professional crew will be well equipped to pack your wine using high quality materials, and transport your wine in temperature-controlled trucks.
Different moving companies do pack their wine bottles differently. Some recommend packing on the side, while others recommend the wine be packed and shipped upright.
Wickmans Fine Wine Auction -
Australia’s leading wine auction community says:
"Upright or Flat?
Older wine where you have no storage history or any ports should always be shipped upright. Also if you have Riesling or other wine that is in tall bottles then you will find that the majority of flat pack boxes will not be suitable. If you have a collection of premium, good quality wine and you are certain of the purchase and storage history (provenance) and if you know it has been lying flat, undisturbed then you can confidently ship it laying flat. However, wine that has not been stored in cellar like conditions or in temperature control should be shipped standing upright as poorly stored bottles are more likely to leak if shipped lying flat."
High Value Wine Collection
Have your wine collection appraised: Before it’s packed up and moved, have a certified and reputable professional appraiser evaluate the current value of your wine. In the event of damage or loss to your wine collection, the appraisal you receive will enable you to collect full value should you need to file a claim with your insurance.
Where to find appraisers?
- Ask your local wine vendor for recommendations
- Contact custom wine stores
- Word of mouth among wine collectors
- Check the American Society of Appraisers website
Take inventory: Make an updated inventory of your wine collection and if possible, take photos of each bottle.
Hire a professional wine specialist: This is by far the better option for any wine collections of value. It may be more costly, but is worth knowing that knowledgeable, professional specialists are handling your fine collection of wines.
- They will remove and pack the bottles of wine with the necessary care and skill required.
- Wine needs to be transported in climate-controlled temperatures. Using a professional wine mover will ensure your collection of wines are in a climate controlled environment.
Being available to oversee the pick up of your wine collection is advised. This way you can monitor your collection being packed and loaded.
Before moving your wine bottles into the new home, make sure the proper temperature is set. Wines are very sensitive to temperature changes.
Wines need to rest! After the long move, wine can suffer from “travel shock”. Waiting at least 7 days before opening a bottle is advised. If you need one prior, it may be a good opportunity to get to the local wine store to check out their wine collection!