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Shipping Wine: A How-To Guide

Moving your wine collection to a new home can be a tricky affair. But with the right tools and skills, you can manage it without any harm to your collection. Whatever the size of your collection, shipping wine doesn’t have to be stressful or super difficult if you follow these tips:

  • Seek an appraisal. You’ll want to know what your wine collection is worth before moving. That way, if it’s damaged in the move, you can seek reimbursement. If you don’t know where to get an appraisal, ask for a recommendation from your local fine wine distributor or shop.

  • Buy the right supplies. If you’re tight on funds, you can pack your wine bottles in paper or bubble wrap, put them in regular boxes, and fill in any gaps with extra paper. However, wine boxes – made specifically for this purpose – are the ideal solution to your packing problem. They will make shipping wine go much more smoothly.

  • Drink up. Only pack wine bottles that are not open, as open bottles can leak. Finish off whatever open bottles you have before the move.

  • Check corks. Make sure each wine bottle’s cork is tight enough that it should stay put during transport. If you’re concerned, purchase a set of cork cages for extra protection.

  • Reinforce box bottoms. If you’re worried the boxes you’ve chosen are not sturdy enough, add in 2-3 layers of extra cardboard at the bottom before packing. Then secure the boxes with extra tape.

  • Don’t store bottles upright. Corks need moisture, which is why they’re always stored on their sides in your wine cellar or cooler. When shipping wine, set corked bottles on their sides or downward.

  • Label boxes as fragile. The last thing you want is your perfectly packed boxes getting smashed because movers didn’t realize they shouldn’t set items on top of them. Also be sure to indicate which side should be up.

  • Think about the temperature. Wine does best at 55 degrees Fahrenheit, so transport it in a vehicle (if your collection is small) or a climate-controlled van (if large).

  • Check with the alcohol beverage control authorities in your destination state. Ask if you can transport in wine, and if so, whether there are any restrictions or special rules to follow.

Shipping wine doesn’t have to be difficult when you follow these simple tips. If you’re still apprehensive, contact Allied Van Lines – our experience packers and movers are happy to assist you in ensuring the safety and protection of your treasured wine collection.