Are you a wine connoisseur? Building your collection of vino can be a fun and rewarding hobby. Moving that collection from one home to another, on the other hand…not so much. And it’s not just about preventing the glass bottles from breaking, either. Fine wines feature a unique chemistry and delicate character that can be tainted by factors such as temperature, movement and exposure to light. As such, they require special handling and storage when they’re being transported.

If you’ve amassed a treasured wine collection and are planning an upcoming relocation, here are a few tips from our expert movers to help protect your investment so you can happily raise a toast once you’re all moved in.  

Check local laws and regulations. Before you even begin the process of prepping your wine collection for the move, you’ll want to double check to make sure there aren’t any restrictions to be concerned about. For instance, some states or countries may have laws that regulate the amount of alcohol that you can transport while others may not allow you to relocate wine across their borders at all. Get your ducks in a row early so there are no unpleasant surprises down the road.

Evaluate your options. There are several ways to get your wine from point A to point B, and the one you choose will ultimately depend on a number of factors. For instance, if your collection is small or not that valuable, moving it yourself should be fine. For larger or more expensive collections, hiring a professional moving service that has experience in the safe transport of wine is recommended. Other factors, such as distance and the time of year you are moving may also play into this decision.

Have your collection appraised. This is an important step, especially if you plan on using a moving company, as this will provide documentation should you need to make a claim for any damages. Your local wine vendor should be able to recommend a reputable appraiser.

Inventory your wine properly. If you’re relying on a moving specialist, like Mesa, be sure to list your wine collection as a high value inventory. This is important because it will ensure that the movers keep a close and careful eye on your wine and, in the rare event that something goes wrong, that you’ll receive full value on your claim.

Pack with care. Prepare your wine for transport using appropriate padding to prevent damage from breakage or excessive movement. We recommend using specialized packaging that’s designed for transporting wine bottles. Bottles should be packed either upside down or sideways to keep the corks wet. (Alternatively, you can hire experienced movers to handle the packing process for you.)

Avoid fluctuations in temperature. To prevent compromise of taste and quality, wine should be kept at a temperature of around 55 degrees Fahrenheit. This is particularly important with older wines that feature delicate flavors. If your collection is small, you may be able to safely transport it via your personal vehicle, as the temperature within can be regulated. For larger collections, a climate-controlled moving vehicle is strongly recommended.

Allow your wine to rest. Once your collection has successfully reached its new destination and you’ve unpacked it, give it a few days before enjoying that first celebratory glass. When wine is jostled around during transport, it can result in a phenomenon known as “bottle shock.” This can impact the taste and quality of the wine. As a general practice, wine should be rested for a period of seven days for every day of travel. So, if your relocation took two days, you should wait at least 14 days before opening a bottle.

Moving a collection of wine can be challenging, but with a little prep-work and the right partner, you should be able to pull it off famously. Have an expensive collection of wine (or anything else, for that matter) that you need help moving? We’re on it! Get in touch with the Mesa team today!

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