Extra precautions are necessary when packing a wine lover’s collection
Valued collections of any kind can be some of the trickiest items to pack when moving near or far, and a wine lover’s collection is no exception. In fact, because wine can be temperamental and very expensive, extra care must be taken to ensure it will arrive to your new home safely.
Create an inventory
If you have a very extensive wine collection, start with an inventory of the bottles you currently have. You may wish to keep this detailed list in a paper notebook or in an app on your phone or tablet, but be sure that it’s in a place that is readily accessible to you during all points of your move.
When you’re a collector, letting go of any part of your collection is never a fun prospect. With wine, however, it just may be! Wine bottles are heavy, and if you use a moving company that charges by weight, your fees can add up quickly. Reduce costs by donating, gifting, or drinking some of the wonderful bottles of wine in your collection.
Since international moving is likely to be far from friends or family, now might be a great time to host a farewell wine tasting party. Look to your local wine shop for a reference to a good sommelier that you could hire to help you with pairings, and maybe even contract for the evening to teach your friends and family a thing or two about wine as part of the fun.
Appraise your collection
Hire a professional appraiser to look over your collection with you, and give an estimation of its value. Contact local wine distributors or specialty shops in your area that may be able to point you in the right direction.
Insure your bottles
After appraisal, fully document the findings, and keep this, plus pictures of the entire collection, with your written inventory. If your collection is particularly valuable, it is a smart idea to insure it before travel as well.
Always pack wine on its side
Using special divided-cell boxes, secure each individual bottle in packing wrap before boxing the wine as you would store it in your home, on its side. You can procure wine packing boxes from liquor stores, purchase them online, or request that your shipping company provide them. Reinforce the ends of boxes with an extra layer of cardboard, and use plenty of tape to hold it all together.
Keep it with you if possible
A smaller and more manageable collection may be able to travel with you. This may allow you to control the wine’s environment 100% of the time, ensuring that proper temperature is maintained throughout the move.
If you send your collection with your moving company, be sure to alert them to the fact that it is wine and, though you may think it obvious, communicate to them both verbally and in writing that it is temperature sensitive and must be kept from both extreme heat and cold. Ideally, wine will be kept at a constant 55° F. Even if it cannot be exact, a temperature-controlled container is essential for transport when it comes to the well being of your wine collection.
Rest the bottles
Even when the utmost care is taken, bottle shock can occur. Once the trip is complete, allow your valued bottles to rest for a full seven days before opening. This resting period will help prevent loss of flavor, and that, at the end of the day (watching the sunset, glass in hand, with a sumptuous hors d’oeuvres plated nearby), is the most important thing.
Einat Mazafi is the owner of NY International Shipping, an International Shipping and moving company based in New York. She is also a specialist in providing the best relocation solutions to clients worldwide.