Any wine collection is not only a considerable investment, but one that more than likely took a great amount of time and planning to put together. Naturally, every possible precaution needs to be considered before the move takes place to allow for the collection’s safe and secure arrival. There are of course professional moving and storage companies that are fully versed in packing and transporting your wine collection, along with providing expert advice every step of the way. The suggestions listed below will offer a few details to better prepare the moving process for your collection, and hopefully without spilling a drop.
Getting a Professional Appraisal
Just like any expensive possession or commodity, an valuable wine collection must be appraised by a qualified professional even before the moving process commences. Depending on where you live, the costs for these types of services and degree of expertise will vary. Professional appraisers usually charge by the hour or a straight fee for their services depending on certain criteria, so it is best to do a bit of research. Discuss these options or recommendations with a local wine merchant familiar with the market and vintage values. Be sure to both document the full inventory and photograph your entire collection for insurance purposes..
When you meet with the representative from the moving company for your in-house estimate, be sure to inform them of the fact you will be moving your wine collection. This is because unique arrangements will be necessary to ensure your wines will reach their new location in the best and least disturbed condition. Also, you will need to compile a detailed inventory that itemizes both the cost and contents to ensure the wines receive the highest liability coverage while being transported.
Ask your moving company representative to fully explain all their levels of insurance coverage plans available to you. In almost all circumstances, getting replacement cost coverage against loss or damage during transport is available from most major moving companies. Regardless what coverage plan you choose, make sure you provide copies of your wine inventory appraisal to your moving company representative during the in-house estimate. Also, make inquiries at any municipal or state Alcohol Beverage Control authority to see if there are any specific restrictions or regulations regarding the amount of alcohol allowed into your particular jurisdiction for personal or private consumption.
Packing Tips for Wine Collections
Given that the primary containment material of your wine collection is undoubtedly glass, maximum care is advised in preparing your collection for the move. Most professional moving companies are familiar with these specific requirements and have specifically designed moving and storage boxes to efficiently and effectively pack any type of fragile items such as wine bottles and decanters. If you are considering the task of packing your collection yourself, these special boxes should be available from any local moving company or packing and crating service, including those intended to transport wine or alcohol products. You can also make use of any free corrugated cardboard boxes available from your neighborhood liquor store that come with divider inserts.
Remember that corked wines require being placed horizontally or up-side down in their boxes to allow the cork to stay moist, and it is certainly wise to keep from packing any open bottles. Even the best of precautions may not prevent ‘bottle shock’ due to being agitated during transport, so make sure you permit your collection to ‘rest’ upon reaching its new home. The rule of thumb is to give your wines a minimum of 7 days rest for each day of transport time.
Moving a Wine Collection
Wine experts and connoisseurs maintain that the older a particular wine is, the more ‘delicate’ will the flavor be. Therefore, any type of temperature extremes, or even dramatic changes it its ambient climate can have an effect on a wine’s taste and degree of clarity. The optimal temperature for both moving and storing most wines is 55 degrees. Many of the major professional moving companies will have climate-controlled storage facilities and transport vehicles designed to move items like wine collections or other climate-sensitive products to ensure these collection are maintained at the most desirable temperature while in transit.
Because of the climate-sensitivity issue, naturally the optimal period to transport any wine collection is during the early spring or late fall months for obvious reasons. If your moving process has to occur during the summer or winter months, consider transporting your wines with a commercial airline. You can arrange for expedited pickup and delivery to and from the nearest airport to limit any time of exposure to dramatic temperature changes. You can also consider storing the collection in a climate-controlled storage facility until a more wine-favorable time of year rolls around.