Moving Your Wine Collection

Moving Your Wine Collection

When moving or relocating, you should remember to take additional precautions for your most valuable and expensive possessions – whether it’s electronics or antique furniture. If you own a wine collection, the value could represent a sizable investment, and the same amount of care should be taken when transporting these as well. Below are steps to take for keeping your wine intact. , you must take every precaution before moving to ensure your collection arrives at its destination in perfect condition.

Get an Appraisal

It’s essential to know the value of your collection prior to moving. If something were to happen, you should be reimbursed for the full amount of damages. We recommend that you find a qualified wine appraiser to determine the best value of your collection. The best way to locate a wine appraiser is through a local wine merchant.

At the time of your estimate, you will need to let your coordinator know if you will be moving wine. Special arrangements will be necessary to ensure your collection will reach its destination and you will need to complete the High-Value Inventory form. This form assures that your collection is not limited to minimal liability and your mover will explain the protection plans from which you may choose. Replacement protection affords you the best possible coverage against loss or damage.


Most wine experts agree that as wines age, the more delicate its flavor becomes. As extreme changes in temperature may affect the taste and appearance of your wine, we suggest moving your collection in the early spring or late fall when climates are typically mild. If you’re transporting your collection during the summer months, when temperatures are high, then this could alter the wine’s physical and chemical stability, such as showing a cloudy or brownish appearance and leaking bottles. In winter, there is the possibility of the wine becoming slushy, which can alter the flavor.

If your move must take place in the summer or winter months, you may want to move your collection via a commercial airline, though this option is prohibitively expensive (about $20,000 for 50 cases).


When packing your wine, use corrugated cardboard boxes with dividers. Place corked wines on their sides or upside down in the packing container to keep the corks wet. Do not pack open bottles.

Even if you use extreme care in packing your wine, “bottle shock.” may occur. During moving, wine will shake within the bottle. If opened too soon, a loss of flavor may result. To prevent this, be sure to allow the bottles time to rest at your destination.


Before you move, you should check with the alcohol and beverage control authorities in your destination state. Some states have restrictions governing the amount of alcohol that can be brought in for personal use.

Your van operator will prepare an inventory of your shipment before loading. When you reach your destination, check your belongings and wine collection against the inventory list. Should there be any loss or damage, be sure to note it on the inventory form and contact your Lawrence Moving agent who will help you complete a claim for compensation.

For more helpful moving tips, click here