7 Things to Consider When Moving Your Wine Collection Across the Country
Moving a household a long distance is always challenging. If you have a wine collection that you are taking with you, there can be additional challenges. Care must be considered when packing and moving your bottles.
1. Take pictures of your wine collection
First, inventory and photograph your collection. Group together bottles that are of similar size and weight. This helps you avoid overpacking and balance load in boxes. As you list your inventory, be sure to estimate the value of each bottle reasonably. You may need professional help for some of the bottles, especially if they are no longer sold at retail.
2. Avoid reusing retail boxes.
On average, a box of wine weighs in at approximately 35 pounds. If the box you are reusing has water damage or if the box is failing, there is potential for losing your wine. There are specialty boxes available that will help protect your wine from temperature changes and the stress of moving. When you are labeling the contents of the boxes, don’t write WINE on the outside of the box. “Breakable” and “Cooking Supplies” will draw less attention to the boxes.
3. Decide on DIY moving or hiring a moving company
Next, decide you will be moving your collection yourself or if you will be having a moving company do the move for you. If a moving company is handling the move, give them a copy of the inventory, so they are aware of the wines and their values. Check their insurance coverage.
You cannot expect to use UPS or Fed Ex for shipping. Most wine shipments are done through professional moving companies. Remember, wine is alcohol and considered a hazardous substance. Some interstate moving companies can handle wine for you.
4. Check for customs inspection of your destination
If you will be moving your wine collection yourself, check the statutes of your destination. Some states prohibit individuals from transporting a volume of alcohol into the state by someone other than a licensed broker. Avoid the possibility of having your wine confiscated at a state inspection point.
5. Pack all bottles carefully and properly
Older bottles of wine should be moved on their sides. Adequate packing material should be used to minimize bottles being jostled around or bumped into each other while being packed or moved.
6. Make sure your household items are insured
Check your household insurance policy, along with any other moving insurance you have. Documenting your wine collection before you start the move is important if damages occur.
7. Keep your wine in an environment with stable temperatures
Wine should be exposed to a temperature between 55 and 75 degrees. If you are moving wine in a car, think about where you will be placing it to avoid sunlight coming through the windows to heat it. Styrofoam packing material helps maintain a comfortable temperature.
Once you have arrived at your destination, carefully move them, and allow the wines to rest before opening them. This resting period is essential to avoid loss of quality and flavor in your wines.