If you’re going so far as to do research, chances are good that you value your wine. Maybe you have accumulated an extensive collection of fine wines, or you’re just starting to expand your collection. Whatever your status as a wine connoisseur, it is important to pack and move a wine collection properly. This will prevent your prized vintage bottles from being damaged during your move. There are a few options, so have a look at our tips for packing and moving a wine collection.

Inventory and appraise your collection

You’ve put some time and intention into curating the right bottles for your collection, so it’s important that if something unfortunate were to happen you’ll be fully reimbursed for the costs. Ask your favorite wine vendor for a trusted recommendation on an appraiser to determine the current value of your collection. Inventory each bottle and it’s worth. This will allow you to ensure the collection in the event you decide to send it with a moving company.

Note: If you decide to ship your wine with a moving company, fill out a “high-value inventory” for moving insurance. You may need to obtain 3rd party insurance since most standard insurance will not cover alcohol. Not all moving companies will transport your wine, so be sure to check if yours will!

Determine the best shipping method for your collection

First, let’s answer a few questions:

  • How far are you moving to? A local move makes transporting your wine collection much easier. A long-distance move, particularly across state lines, will require more logistical planning that is best handled by a moving company. If your move will take multiple days, your wine could be exposed to more temperature fluctuations. In that case, definitely look into having your collection transported in a refrigerated truck.
  • How valuable is your collection? High-value collections should be carefully transported by specialized wine shippers.
  • What will the weather be like on moving day? As you know, wine is extremely sensitive to big shifts in temperature. If you are moving in the heat of summer or in the winter, it is best to transport your wine in a climate-controlled truck or in your personal vehicle to avoid spoiling the flavors.
  • Are you crossing state or international borders? Some states require individuals to pay taxes on wine transported into the state, while other states have varying laws about the transportation of alcohol. Your professional movers will be able to inform you about what they can and cannot transport for you.

Tips for packing and moving a wine collection  Tips for packing and moving a wine collection

Transporting a small wine collection

If your collection is on the smaller side and you aren’t moving too far, it is fairly straightforward to transport it in a personal vehicle if you pack it well! Then you can easily monitor the safety and temperature of your collection and give it a priority when unloading into your new home.

If you are sending your small wine collection with your local moving company, label it well and ask them to unload it from the truck as soon as possible. This is especially important in weather extremes! Then, get the wine to a temperature stable location where it can rest — ideally for ten days. (If only we all could rest for ten days after moving!)

Scroll down to read our instructions for packing a wine collection properly!

Shipping a large wine collection

If your collection is extensive and you are unable to transport it in a personal vehicle, talk with your moving company! They may have a partnership with wine experts who can help pack your wine collection and prepare it for shipping on a moving truck. If they don’t have an active partnership, they can likely make a recommendation of shippers they know and trust.

How to pack a wine collection properly

The easiest way to transport your wine safely, whether in your own vehicle or otherwise, is in special wine shipping boxes or kits. These boxes have styrofoam dividers that protect each bottle fully. Seal the box well and label it “fragile” on each side!

Ideally, transport the bottles on their sides to keep the corks wet. If the journey is brief, this is less important — but don’t let the corks dry for too long! Once you unload your precious collection, get the bottles on their sides until you can put them in their display case or wine cellar.

Again, let the wine rest once you unpack and settle in. Ten days should give things plenty of time to settle, though longer is never a bad idea!

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