Whether you like to enjoy a glass of Grenache or a sip of Sauvignon Blanc, moving your wine collection requires careful consideration. It’s more than simply packing your bottles into a box and handing them off to the movers.
The advance planning you will need to get your vino into your new pad depends on the size of your collection and the distance of your move. Requirements can vary from creating an insulated space in your vehicle for a small collection of bottles to hiring a special temperature-controlled moving truck for the entire wine cellar if you’re a wine aficionado.
Every situation is different, but here are some general tips to consider:
Pack Wine Appropriately
Provide adequate cushioning against breakage. Position bottles on their sides or even upside-down to keep the corks moist. Label boxes clearly with such warnings as “Wine,” “Fragile,” and “This Side Up.” Never pack bottles that have been opened.
Avoid Extreme Temperatures
As a general rule, the older the wine the more sensitive it is to temperature fluctuations. The optimal temperature for most wines is about 55 degrees Fahrenheit. The best times of year for moving wine are spring and fall, when summer heat and winter freezes are not a concern.
Avoid Bottle Shock
“Bottle shock” refers to the loss of flavor that can occur when a bottle is opened too soon after being shaken or jostled in transit. There’s a simple ratio to follow: Allow your wine to rest in its new home for at least seven days for each day it was in transit.
Check With Local Authorities
If you are transporting wine across state lines, be wary. Some states, and some individual counties within states, have laws regarding how much alcohol can be brought in or transported for personal use.
Large collections should be appraised and insured with both written and photographic documentation of the contents. Qualified wine appraisers can be found through local wine clubs and merchants.