How Do I Move My Wine Collection?

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A wine collection is a valuable investment that many people view with pride. It is often the result of years of research and special attention as you gather and store wine to build your collection. When it comes time to move, taking special care helps make sure your wine arrives safely at your destination. There is always a possibility of damage involved when moving wine, but with careful planning and organization, you can move your collection with minimal risk. The following steps offer practical tips for moving your wine collection.

Get a Professional Appraisal

Start by having your collection appraised by a professional appraiser. Knowing the value of your wine collection is important for insurance purposes as well as determining how much is appropriate to spend on moving. If you have an extensive collection that includes particularly valuable wine, it is often worth spending more to provide additional protection during the move. Your local wine merchant is likely to have suggestions for a good appraiser in your area. The appraisal should reflect the value of the collection as a whole, as well as the individual value of any rare or vintage bottles of wine.

Create an Inventory

Make a complete inventory of your collection that includes a detailed list as well as a photograph of each bottle. If you work with a moving company, they often will create their own inventory list; double check to make sure that the two lists are the

Decide how to Move the Wine

Knowing your inventory and the value of your collection guides you in determining how best to move it to your new location. Some people like to move everything on their own, but seeking help from a moving company or professional wine transporter is a good idea. A wine transporter offers extra protection for your collection and is particularly appropriate for collections containing rare bottles.

Talk to Your Moving Company

If you decide to work with a moving company, notify them in advance that they will be moving a high-value wine collection. Make sure they have experience moving wine and are qualified for the job. Providing them with your appraisal information lets them determine liability and insurance options. They can offer suggestions for the best way to handle transporting your collection.

Consider Insurance Options

Purchasing moving insurance for the full value of your collection protects you against possible damage during the move. Your moving company will explain your insurance options, but choosing full value coverage is usually the most appropriate option.

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Think About Temperature

Wine is sensitive to fluctuations in temperature and should be transported at temperatures around 55 degrees. Early spring and late fall are the best time of year to move a wine collection because the weather is likely to be close to the ideal temperature. If you are moving at a different time of year, consider using a climate-controlled vehicle. This becomes more important as the chance for extreme temperatures increases; for example if you are moving during the middle of the summer or winter. Book the vehicle early to make sure it is available for your move.

Check the Legal Regulations

States have different rules governing the amount of alcohol brought in for personal use. Always contact the alcohol beverage control authorities in your new destination prior to the move. This is even more important when moving to a new country. Make sure you understand and follow the regulations and customs guidelines for alcohol to avoid any problems during transport.

Pack Your Wine Carefully

Moving companies know how to properly pack wine for transport, so letting them handle it is often a good idea. It is especially desirable to allow them to pack the wine if you are moving to a new country because they can certify that when passing through customs. Otherwise, you can choose to pack the wine yourself if you would rather. When packing wine, always use boxes designed for wine bottles. These boxes are often made of Styrofoam or corrugated cardboard and can usually be purchased from a moving company or a wine store. Corked wine should be packed on its side, the same way you store it in a wine rack. Label all your wine boxes FRAGILE – THIS SIDE UP. Never pack open bottles of wine with your wine collection as this can cause damage to your other belongings.

Check Your Wine at Your Destination

Once you arrive at your new destination, carefully check your wine collection against your inventory list and pictures. If you discover that anything is missing or damaged, take note of it on the moving company’s inventory and notify them immediately. They will assist you in filing a claim for reimbursement or replacement.

Let the Bottles Rest

After the move is complete and your bottles are safely stored in their new location, let them rest for a minimum of seven days. The wine shakes during transport and opening a bottle too soon could result in a loss of flavor; older wines are particularly vulnerable. Some collectors prefer a whole month of rest before opening bottles.

There is a lot to consider when moving a valuable wine collection, but organization lets you stay on top of the details. Careful preparation and handling help protect your wine for safe transport so you can enjoy it and continue to build your collection at your new location.

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