How to Move Your Wine Collection

If you love wine, you already know how sensitive it can be. A three-dollar bottle of mixed red isn’t going to be damaged by transport, sure. The same isn’t true for your beloved Chateau Margaux 1787 or your 1949 Cheval-Blanc. Wine needs care. This applies when you store it, when it’s open, and especially when you move it.

To preserve the integrity of your beloved wine collection during your move, you need to make sure you’re using the right transport techniques. First, you’ll need to hire the right help to move it. Next, you’ll need to follow the tips, tricks and suggestions listed here:

How do I prepare to move a wine collection?

First, you’ll have some research to do. Alcohol is a controlled substance. You need to know the regulations involved in moving it from your current location to your future one. Depending on where you’re going, especially if it’s overseas, there could be special paperwork to file or regulations to follow.

You also need to have your collection appraised and catalogued. If it’s worth is especially high, there’s a chance you’ll need to fill out high-value item forms. Appraisal will also help you make sure your collection is properly insured both before and during the move. You should also take photographs of everything you’re moving before the move itself. This will help you in case you lose anything or need help re-organizing after the move.

How do I pack my wine for a move?

Packing your wine for a move isn’t too difficult, but it does require a certain attention to detail. Like with any fragile or high-value items, you want to wrap and secure your wine bottles thoroughly. You should also pack your wine in an isolated, protective box or area. The last thing you want are your bottles smashing into each other or anything else during your move. A few other important rules to keep in mind when packing wine include:

  • Pack red and white wines upside down or on their sides. This keeps their corks wet. If you leave wine bottles sitting upright and unopened for a long time, their corks could dry out. This can then lead the wine to spoil or start oxidizing.
  • Pack sparkling wines upright. This includes Champagne. Upright storage helps preserve a sparkling wine’s carbonation and prevents pressure building or flattening.
  • Don’t open the bottles you move in a truck for at least seven days. No matter how secure and safe you are, moving is still going to affect your wine. The shaking of the truck, even mitigated as much as possible, could still result in bottle shock. Bottle shock is an action-induced flavor loss in bottled wines. It will go away if you allow your wines to resettle for about a week after movement.

Will a moving company transport my wine for me?

Yes, but you’ll want special consideration. The biggest problem collectors face when moving wine is maintaining its integrity. This is the reason you can’t just toss a couple cases in your car and make the drive. Temperature changes can spoil wine. If bottles get too hot, the wine can start to cook off. If they get too cold, corks can pop out. Mature reds can be affected by the vibration from your car stirring up sediment. Don’t move your wine like it’s any old thing. Instead, find a company that can offer you the guarantees and insurance that you need for your collection.

Wine collecting is a serious hobby. Those who practice it want to make sure their bottles can and will stay safe, no matter what. Researching how to move your wine collection properly is a good first step. Talking to an expert moving company to learn more about the best way to go about it is even better.

Speaking of expert moving companies, Wheaton is always available and ready to take your calls. We’ll make sure your prized collection makes it from point A to point B safely.

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