Moving a Wine Collection

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General Moving

When it comes time to move, you will want to ensure that all your valuables safely make it to your new home.  For wine connoisseurs, this includes your sizable collection of vintage whites, reds, and roses.  And while you don’t want any of your belongings to be damaged in transit, having a case, or even a bottle of expensive wine damaged will be an expensive loss.  So when it comes time to move, make sure you have everything in order to get your wine collection to your new home safely.

It will be important for you to determine the total value of your collection, in the unlikely event there is a problem with your shipment and you need to file a damage claim with your mover or insurance company.  For those with high value collections, you can contact an appraiser who will be able to assess the proper value of your collection prior to your move.  Your local wine distributor or fine wine shop should be able to help you find a local appraiser.  This will be important information to have on hand and share with the person moving your wine collection.  Some home insurance policies include wine collections in your coverage when you are relocating.  However, not all do, so it is best to verify with your insurance company what you are and are not covered for.  You do not want to be caught off guard, thinking your expensive bottles are protected when they aren’t.

If your move is across state lines, it will be important for you to do a little research to determine if there are certain restrictions that may be waiting for you in your new state.  Some state authorities regulate the type and amount of alcoholic beverages you are able to bring into the state for personal use.  You don’t want to be hit with a fine or told that you have to pick what to keep and what to discard.  Contacting the alcohol control authorities in your new state should be able to furnish you with any restrictions you might encounter so you can prepare according.

Packing is one of the most important and time consuming aspects of any move.  This rule applies to the packing of your wine as well.  You will want to take extreme caution when packaging your wine collection if you are doing it on your own.  You will want to invest in wooden wine crates or special Styrofoam packing airlines use.   You should also pack wine on its side, as you store it in your home.  This will minimize disturbance.  As with any move, especially one involving valuable objects, it is often best to employ professionals.  They will have experience in this area and come equipped with the necessary materials to safely prepare your collection for its relocation.  In addition to peace of mind, having your wine packed by whoever is transporting the bottles will release you of liability if any damage occurs.

You will also need to decide how to transport your collection.  Professional household goods movers are often equipped to handle this process and transport your collection in their standard trailer.  Some, however, may feel more comfortable entrusting their bottles to a temperature controlled van.  This will be a more expensive option, but depending on the size and value of your wine, it may suit you better.  Especially for longer moves, hiring a specialty wine shipper will ensure that your collection is shipped in a temperature controlled vehicle, protecting your vino.  For those who have small and manageable collections, you may prefer to transport the bottles yourself.  Handling the transport yourself and in your vehicle will allow you to control the process from start to finish, including the temperature of the vehicle during transit.

If you have your wine collection shipped, you should verify the inventory once you receive your shipment.  It is a good idea for you to inventory your bottles beforehand.  Once your collection is at your new home, it is advised that you check your inventory with the one provided by your shipper, and to make sure that these lists match and that all your bottles are accounted for.  If anything is damaged or missing, you will need to speak with your shipper about reimbursement.  Once your collection has arrived and been unpacked, it is a good idea to let the wine settle for a few days.  Even though your wine should be securely packed, it is likely that there was some shaking of the bottles over the course of the move.  To prevent the loss of flavor, let the bottles rest before opening them.  Now that you have arrived at your new home, you can settle into your new digs and continue adding to your cellar.

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