Alex is the founder of 9Kilo Moving, which he started to help people easily find and choose the right moving company to make their move as stress-free and seamless as possible.
He has spent over 20 years working in the moving industry, so he knows every aspect of the business and uses his knowledge to write about the industry and give moving advice.
Bordeaux, Mondavi, Nebbiolo, Cabernet Sauvignon, Doceltto,
Barbera, Merlot and Riesling, we’re positive that you wouldn’t pick just one to
save on that trip back home. Whether you have a stellar wine collection in a
cellar or just a couple of well-aged wines in a cabinet, you surely won’t want
to abandon them when you move to a new home. However, you’re probably biting
your teeth at the thought of packing them safely when moving out.
Hence, we’ll be going over the exact course of action you can adopt in order to safely transport all the variety of wine bottles you own. Now, packing these glass bottles for a move, like we said, might seem like you’re about to deal with transporting eggs. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves and take it one step at a time, because there’s ways for them to reach their destination without compromising the profile your wine bottles currently hold.
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Keep reading on to learn more about how to pack wine bottles for a move and let the wine aficionado in you rest easy!
While moving to a new home, you would surely have a handful
of fragile items also made of glass to cradle with care alongwith the wine
bottles. Nonetheless, you have to remember that while packing your wine, it’s
not just about saving the fragile nature of the glass bottle that holds the
wine, but you’d also require to put some thought into saving the wine itself.
Just like your waiter follows the suggested serving
temperature before pouring the wine in your glass, you’d need to be sure that
your wine box is also being moved at a certain temperature. We suggest that the
wine bottles at least travel at a temperature in the range of 55-75 degrees
Fahrenheit. It’s best not to move out wine bottles during the summer months,
because if it sits in the truck for too long, the taste of the wine can be
compromised. The outcome of heated wine could feel like a wine spill even
though it isn’t one. But there’s no reason to get worked up even if you happen
to be switching homes during the summer months.
You can still consider moving the wine bottles, albeit in the company of a cooler. Making the use of styrofoam wine boxes for packaging is also a good choice in such cases. Styrofoam containers have pockets to place ice packs and this could possibly save the wine from cooking, changing color as well as taste when temperatures soar. Apart from avoiding wine travel when the temperature is nearing 80, your next course of action should be: The Preparation!
Before you start packing, you must work on a detailed wine
inventory. To do this, we’d recommend having an excel sheet where you’ve
created essential columns for the wine name, the quantity, alcohol percentage
and size of your prized bottles. If you’re not a fan of excel tables, you could
also download a wine inventory sheet from the internet and fill it out once
you’ve printed it.
When you begin to line your inventory, you get clarity on the bottles you own. The main takeaway from doing this exercise is that you can put a figure on the quantity and weight of all the wine bottles you’ll be moving. Just a single 750 ml wine bottle could weigh upto 24 ounces, so once you’ve organised your entire inventory, you would be able to calculate and categorize every single bottle by weight.
Do note that you cannot take opened wine bottles on this
move so it would be wise to finish it before the move. Well, not exactly the
day you’re moving out, but you get what we’re trying to point out, right?
There’s also a good chance that you’d like to part ways with a few bottles
because you don’t want to be carrying more than you can manage. In this case,
you can always hand it out to a friend or colleague.
In short, having a detailed inventory allows accurate
planning of supplies and you’ll get an estimate of how many wine bottles you’ll
be packing for the move. Most importantly, you have a figure on the weight and
number of bottles you have. This information will come in handy if you’re
moving across state lines. Depending on the state you’re moving to, it’s best
to check with alcohol beverage authorities if you’re legally allowed to move
into that state with the amount of alcohol you’ll be having with you. There are
certain regulations about transporting alcohol across state lines and it’s best
to confirm them before your move.
During this stage, we’d advise you to also create sets of
bottles depending on weight so you’re able to pre-plan the sets of bottles that
will go together in one box. This would make sure you’re not overloading any
box during the packing process. Your wine bottles could also be in different
shapes – such as Alsace bottles are tall and lean, a Burgundy has a much wider
bottom while Bordeaux is cylindrical in shape. You’d probably be having a mix
of these shapes, so once again it’s best to mention this as a remark while
lining up your inventory. That way, you can differentiate the heavyweight and
Just a friendly reminder, ensure you’re not lining up this inventory in the kitchen because trust us, heat and wine bottles could be mortal enemies.
Picking the right box is the first step of packing. Instead
of a cardboard shipping box, you would need a corrugated one because this box
works as a glove of assurance for your wine bottles. We’d recommend picking an
unused box and taping the bottom surface of it to certify it’s sturdy enough to
handle the weight. To avoid this, apply a generous amount of tape at the bottom
as though you’re marking the symbol of a plus sign on it. If you sense that the
box still feels flimsy, secure the edges as well for some extra security.
Locking the bottom with sufficient tape is an essential step to avoid having
all your wine bottles use the floor of the box as an escape chute.
Now, you can either choose to pack the wine bottles in a
corrugated cardboard box or use styrofoam containers. If you purchase a
styrofoam container, it cuts down the effort you need to put into packing.
Styrofoam containers are surely an upgrade from the standard packing method of
using a cardboard box and padding. But it is a costly option. A 12 Bottle
Styrofoam Wine Shipper with a cardboard shipping box could cost you
These containers have cavities in them to hold 1, 4, 6 or 12
bottles of wine. You will need to purchase the container according to your
requirement. This is a great alternative to keep your wine bottles steady,
covered and intact.
Cardboard Cell Dividers
These are also known as cardboard inserts and work best to
keep all your wine bottles in their own individual cells. It would cost you
approximately $16-$20 for a new set of cell dividers. It’s definitely less
heavy on the pocket compared to styrofoam containers. By this point, you would
already know the exact dimensions of the box you’re using too, so you can even
pick a fitting cardboard insert from the liquor store or wholesale discount
stores, and reuse it for packing purposes.
Wooden Wine Crates
You would probably have a wooden wine crate lying at home
when you made a purchase from a winery, otherwise it can get difficult to get
your hands on such a crate. These wooden crates would already have dividers
made of cardboard or wood to keep individual bottles secure. We’d just like to
mention here that wooden wine crates are specially customised by wineries and
are ideal for the bottles that originally came to you in that crate. The wooden
crate won’t always work in your favor for all your wine bottles, and so you can
always opt for devising your own corrugated box instead.
Once you’ve zeroed down on the box to be used, you would
need to let your wine bottles enter the room. While packing your wine bottles,
you must keep in mind that the neck of a wine bottle is the most fragile part
and would need some extra care in the packing process.
Before moving to the step-by-step guide below, make sure you
have the following supplies that you can easily access, while you work on
safely packing the bottles. Tape, packaging peanuts, thick bubble wrap, brown
or white packing paper, a permanent marker and labels. For tape, we recommend
using reinforced plastic tape or plastic pressure sensitive tape.
We suggest that you lay a stack of packing paper right next
to the box so you’re able to easily get hold of it once you’re in the flow of
packing. Consider this the ‘Mise en place point’ which is a french phrase that
translates to having everything in place and ready to go.
Step 01 – Secure The Box
Secure the floor of the box with packing tape. Use the plus
sign method to tape it down and then seal the edges as though you’re marking
the letter ‘H’ on it.
Step 02 – Create A Base
Layer the bottom of your box with a thick stack of newspaper
or crumpled wrapping paper. This would form the base of your box.
Step 03 – Wrap The Wine Bottles
When you start wrapping the wine bottles, all you’d require
to do is white or brown packing paper. Roll the bottles in a good layer or two
of packing paper. As you’re coming to the end of the roll of paper, stuff the
corners into an opening at the bottom. If the wine bottle has a flat bottom,
use a small piece of tape to close up the corners of the packing paper. By this
step, you shouldn’t be able to feel the exact shape of the bottle, that’s
confirmation that it is thoroughly covered.
Step 04 – Fill The Box
Start placing the wrapped wine bottles in the box. Make sure
you’re starting with the heavyweight bottles and the lightweight bottles are on
top. While placing your wine bottles, we suggest that you place them down
horizontally since it’s a long trip. When the bottle takes a sleeping posture,
it keeps the cork moist and ensures that there’s the least possible amount of
air seeping into the bottle.
Note: If you’re using styrofoam inserts or cardboard dividers, you can just place the bottles directly in their designated spaces once it’s wrapped.
Step 05 – Cushion The Inside Of The
Between each bottle, you must add some crumpled paper,
styrofoam peanuts or newspapers for additional padding. Leave some room for
more padding at the top of the box too.
Step 06 – Cushion The Top
Layer the top of your box with the same amount of padding
you used at the bottom. At this stage, use a thick sheet of bubble wrap. If
there’s no space for padding at the top of the box, it means that few bottles
should be taken out because it’s overloaded.
Step 07 – Test The Box
For packing the wine bottles, your main goal here is to
avoid the bottles hitting each other. To test if you’ve successfully packed
your box, just pick up the box to make sure you can’t hear any noise that
proves the glass bottles are clanking together. This is just to double-check
that the bottles have literally no space to swing around.
Step 08 – Label The Box
Lastly, seal the top of the box. You can simply use the
letter ‘H’ method while sealing it with packing tape. Once the opening of the
box is shut, always mark it as fragile so the movers are extra cautious of the
box. You can use a tape that screams fragile or use a permanent black marker
and write the word fragile wine bottles on all sides of the box. Both actually
serve the same purpose.
See also: Moving Safety Tips Everyone Should Know | Will Movers Move Alcohol?
We hope the informative tips provided in our guide helps you understand how to pack wine bottles for a move successfully and transfer them to your new home. Packing fragile items like wine bottles surely test your organizational skills and patience. So, you should definitely plan ahead to be able to pack appropriately.
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