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How to Move Your Wine Collection Without Spoiling a Single Drop

Moving a wine collection presents unique challenges. Every wine enthusiast knows that any mishandling can spoil a bottle. This is why you need a moving plan and insurance protection. 

The good news is that moving your wine collection isn’t as complex as you would expect. In this article, we’re covering everything you need to know so you can safely relocate your collection – from packing your bottles to making sure not a single drop will be spoiled. 

Let’s get into it.

Have your wine collection appraised and insured.

You spend time and money curating a wine collection, which is why you need insurance. Although insurance won’t guarantee the safety of your bottles, it will at least give you financial protection. Depending on the value of your bottles, you might also consider getting a wine-only policy on top of standard moving insurance. 

Homeowner’s insurance may already cover your wine collection. But it’s more likely that it won’t.  Also, specific labels will have a higher value than the rest of your collection. In that case, you’ll consider adding insurance and wrapping the bottle securely. 

Protect bottles from light and heat exposure.

Light exposure causes sulfur-containing compounds to form in wine. These compounds change the chemistry of wine, and your prized bottle could lose its flavor and aroma. To avoid this problem, wrap bottles in suitable packaging and keep them away from sunlight. 

If you have corked wine, make sure the cork doesn’t dry out. When the cork dries out, it shrinks and allows air to enter the bottle, which triggers oxidation. Oxidation is the process that makes wine delicious, but it’s also the cause of flat-tasting wine. You can prevent this by laying bottles horizontally to keep the cork wet. 

Wrap and label your bottles.

There are a variety of ready-made boxes designed for wine bottles that you can purchase online or in stores. Wrap each bottle individually with cushioning material, preferably bubble wrap. In addition to using sturdy boxes, add bottle separators to prevent bottles from clinking and breaking. 

You should add descriptions to the box labels to help you identify the contents. And don’t forget to label each box with “Fragile” and “This Side Up” so your movers know how to handle each box.

Let the wine rest for a few days after the move.

Too much movement, or vibration from a moving vehicle, can cause “bottle sickness” or “bottle shock”. When this happens, the wine tastes flat and the aroma disappears. Fortunately, this is a temporary condition that is easy to fix. 

After moving, let the wine rest for a few days to a week before opening it. This rest period allows the wine to recover from any potential bottle shock and taste as good as before the move. Letting the wine rest is particularly critical if your bottles have traveled for several days. You won’t need to wait 7 days if you just moved to a nearby neighborhood.

Inventory the collection. 

You need to create an inventory of your wine collection to prove that the bottles were in your possession before and after the move. This documentation will help you in case of theft, loss, or damage during the move. Additionally, this list will help you keep track of your wine collection and ensure everything arrives at the new destination.

An inventory should include information such as the appraised value of each bottle, its location in the moving van, and a brief description of the bottle. You can also include identifying marks or numbers on the bottles to ensure their safe arrival.

A stress-free move starts with proper planning.

By having your collection appraised and insured, you can protect your investment and ensure financial compensation if anything goes wrong. You can also preserve the quality of your wine by protecting it from heat and excessive movement and letting the wine bottles rest before opening. 

Do you need help moving your wine collection? The Padded Wagon’s professional movers can help you move them safely. Contact us at 212-222-4880 to inquire about our services, and book your move.