Protect your wine investment when you move so you can enjoy your bottles later. Helpful tips and your frequently asked questions answered.Protect your wine investment when you move so you can enjoy your bottles later. Helpful tips and your frequently asked questions answered.Moving Tips

Proper Way to Move Wine to A New Home

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Around the world, people have enjoyed different types of wine for thousands of years. Each region has its own specialty and particular taste that locals love. Throughout the centuries, winemakers have found new ways to create interesting and delightful flavors. Naturally, skilled wineries have developed a robust reputation for their high-quality vintages, which developed an eager following of tasters and collectors. If you are an avid collector of wine and are not shy about spending money on the best bottle, you want to make sure that your wine is always kept in the best conditions. But when it's time to move, how do you keep your wine safe when it's out of the wine fridge?

Knowing the proper way to move wine bottles to your new residence is key to protecting your investment and making sure that you can enjoy your favorite wines at your new place. So how do you move your wine to a new location while protecting its flavor and integrity? This guide will answer the most frequently asked questions about moving wine.

How do I safely pack my wine bottles for transport?

To pack wine bottles for transport, follow these steps:

  • Use wine-specific, divided wine boxes or strong, corrugated cardboard boxes.
  • Wrap each bottle in bubble wrap or a wineskin to prevent breakage.
  • Place bottles upright to minimize the risk of cork damage.
  • Fill any gaps with packing materials to secure the bottles.
  • Label the boxes as "Fragile" and "This Side Up."

What conditions do wine need during storage?

When you store wine at home, it's advised that you keep it in the temperature range between 45 and 65 degrees Fahrenheit, although 55 degrees is considered the “perfect” temperature. However, if your storage solution falls within this range for most of the year, you should be fine. This is why the best place to store wine is typically in a cellar or in a dedicated wine fridge that is set to 55 degrees.

Refrigerators are not ideal places for wine since they averaged 32 to 40 degrees Fahrenheit, which is too cold for keeping your wine's flavor fresh and delicious. When your wine is stored in this temperature range, it will mature at the desired pace and develop rich and wonderful flavors. The right conditions truly make a difference when it comes to the saying, “aging like fine wine!”

Do I need to hire movers with experience with wine?

Yes, it's advised that you hire movers that have experience with wine. If you go with any run-of-the-mill mover that posted an ad on social media, you don't know what you're going to get. If you have high-end items that need special care, you must invest in quality services. After all, you get what you pay for.

Do your research about your local movers to find out who has first-hand experience with packing and transporting wines in their optimal conditions. The longer the distance you have to relocate, the more complicated your transit situation will be. These professionals should have the right packing materials to make sure your wine bottles do not break and stay insulated throughout the move. They should also assure you that your wine will arrive safely and demonstrate their best practices for packing wine.

Do I need to insure my wine before moving?

Yes, it's important to ensure wine before your move if it's extremely valuable and unique. For example, you wouldn't need to insure an $8 bottle of wine from the supermarket, but if you have a limited edition bottle from a famous wine region, and you're waiting another 20 years to open it up, then you need to ensure your wine collection.

Talk with your movers to set up the right type of insurance policies that will cover your belongings during transit. To protect yourself against any unknowns, take pictures of everything as well. It doesn't hurt to have a list of the type of wine you have, where they're from, and how much they're worth. In this way, if anything is damaged during the move, you can be adequately compensated.

Does my wine need special packaging?

Yes, you're winding special packaging. In fact, the right packaging can make all the difference. Although it is possible to make a DIY wine box with cardboard compartments, it's more convenient to get wine boxes that already come with cardboard or Styrofoam inserts. These are cut to the exact dimensions of the typical bottle of wine and are designed to stop them from shifting and breaking during the move.

If you have any doubt about the quality of your boxes or your packing materials, just go to the experts and ask them for special wine packaging. If you plan to store your wine in a storage rental unit, you can also ask any customer care representative for their best recommendations regarding wine storage.

Can I use a storage rental for my wine?

Yes, it’s possible to keep your wine in a storage rental unit — especially when you use a service that offers secure wine storage. If you just need a few days, your wine can also temporarily be okay in a normal climate-controlled storage unit. Depending on the season you're moving in, you may also get lucky and obtain a storage unit when the outdoor temperatures average 45 to 55 degrees.

Overall, it’s best to choose a wine storage locker so you can have total peace of mind about the room’s lighting, humidity levels, and temperature at once. Worried about outages? Don’t sweat it. We have backup generators to make sure our wine lockers always stay at the desired 55 degrees that wine needs to mature. If you're interested in selecting a storage rental locker specifically made for wine, contact us today.

What kind of boxes or containers are best for moving wine?

The best boxes for moving wine are wine-specific boxes designed to hold wine bottles securely. These often come with dividers to prevent bottles from knocking together. Alternatively, you can create a custom wine-packing solution with strong, corrugated cardboard boxes with dividers.

Is it okay to transport wine in my car, or should I use a moving company?

You can transport wine in your car if you take the necessary precautions, such as packing the bottles securely and ensuring they won't be exposed to extreme temperatures or excessive vibrations during the journey. However, it's often advisable to use a specialized moving company experienced in handling wine for large wine collections or long-distance moves.

Should I store wine in a temperature-controlled vehicle during the move?

Yes, if you're transporting a valuable wine collection, it's a good idea to use a temperature-controlled vehicle or at least monitor the temperature in your car. During the move, wine is sensitive to temperature fluctuations, so it must be kept within the ideal storage range of 55-65°F (13-18°C) to maintain its quality.

What's the best way to protect wine from temperature fluctuations?

To protect wine from temperature fluctuations, consider the following:

  • Use a temperature-controlled vehicle for transport.
  • Pack the wine in insulated wine shippers or wineskins.
  • Avoid leaving wine bottles in a hot or cold car for extended periods.
  • Insulate wine boxes with additional padding and blankets if necessary.
  • Plan your move during moderate weather conditions when possible.

Can I move wine bottles in an upright position, or do they need to lie flat?

You can move wine bottles in an upright position. In fact, for short moves, it's often better to transport them upright to minimize the risk of cork damage. For long-distance moves, you can lie the bottles flat temporarily, but remember to let them rest upright for a day or two once you reach your destination to allow any disturbed sediments to settle.

Do I need to notify my moving company about transporting wine?

It's advisable to notify your moving company if transporting a significant wine collection. Some moving companies have specific guidelines for handling valuable or fragile items like wine, so informing them in advance can help ensure proper care during the move.

Are there any legal restrictions or regulations on moving wine across state lines?

Yes, there are legal restrictions and regulations on moving wine across state lines. Different states have varying laws regarding the transportation of alcohol, including wine. It's crucial to research and comply with the alcohol shipping laws in your departure and destination states. This may involve obtaining permits or using licensed carriers for the move.

How can I keep wine safe during a long-distance move?

To keep wine safe during a long-distance move:

  • Use wine-specific packing materials like wine boxes or wine shippers.
  • Wrap bottles individually with bubble wrap or wineskins.
  • Secure the bottles to prevent shifting during transit.
  • Choose a reputable moving company experienced in wine transportation.
  • Maintain proper temperature and humidity conditions during the move.

Are there specific temperature and humidity levels I should maintain during the move?

Yes, you should maintain a temperature between 55-65°F (13-18°C) and a relative humidity level of around 70% to keep the wine in optimal condition during the move. If possible, use a temperature-controlled vehicle and monitor the environment to prevent extreme temperature fluctuations or prolonged exposure to heat or cold. Specialized wine shippers can also help maintain these conditions.

Can I transport wine during extreme weather conditions, like in the summer or winter?

It's generally not advisable to transport wine during extreme weather conditions. Both excessive heat and cold can harm the wine. High temperatures can cause the wine to expand and push out the cork, potentially leading to leaks and oxidation. Freezing temperatures can also damage wine. If you must move wine during extreme weather, use a temperature-controlled vehicle or professional wine shipping services to maintain the ideal conditions.

Do I need insurance for my wine collection during the move?

It's a good idea to consider insurance for your wine collection during a move, especially if it's valuable. Standard moving insurance may not fully cover the cost of wine in case of damage. Contact your moving company or insurance provider to discuss your options. Some specialty wine insurance providers offer coverage for wine during transportation and storage.

Should I label each wine box with its contents and destination in my new home?

Yes, it's highly recommended to label each wine box with its contents and the destination in your new home. This labeling will help you and your movers carefully handle the wine boxes and ensure they end up in the right place, preventing accidental mishandling or mix-ups.

Is it safe to transport wine in a moving container or storage unit?

Transporting wine in a moving container or storage unit can be safe if you take the necessary precautions. Use wine-specific packing materials and maintain proper temperature and humidity conditions. If your collection is valuable or temperature-sensitive, consider climate-controlled storage units to protect your wine during the move.

What should I do if I'm moving my wine collection into temporary storage?

If you're moving your wine collection into temporary storage, follow these steps:

  • Use climate-controlled storage to maintain ideal wine conditions.
  • Keep an inventory of your wine collection.
  • Label boxes with contents and destination.
  • Choose sturdy wine-specific packing materials.
  • Consider wine insurance for added protection.
  • Visit the storage unit periodically to check on your collection and ensure proper conditions are maintained.

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