When you decide to move your precious wine collection, there are several steps you will need to do to insure a safe move.
The first thing you should do is have your collection appraised by a qualified appraiser. This will help set the value of the collection for insurance purposes, either for a personal property rider on your homeowner’s insurance or for the moving company’s insurance policy.
Having your collection valued gives you an appropriate dollar amount associated with the entire collection in case that you need to make a claim for loss or damage during your move. Some appraisals put a value on each individual bottle. This is often necessary for rare or vintage wines.
You can find an appraiser by asking your local wine merchant for a suggestion. You can also find one through your insurance company or your realtor’s office. Some personal property appraisers are qualified to appraise wine collections. Also, auction houses may have wine appraisers on staff or know where to find them. You can also contact the American Society of Appraisers to find a certified wine appraiser in your area. Next, inventory your collection and photograph every bottle. This helps document rare or delicate vintages and gives you and your mover a clear indication of what is in the collection you are transporting. Often, the moving company will do its own packing inventory just like it does for all of the household items that it packs. Make sure that these two inventories are identical.
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Once your inventory is done, decide on the appropriate method to move your wine. Call a professional moving company or a wine transporter. Make arrangements for a climate-controlled vehicle if your collection warrants it, and book it early.
Notify your moving company (if you aren’t using a professional wine transporter) that you are moving wine and that it is a high-value item. This allows the moving company to determine the amount of its liability and the type of insurance for your move. You can also purchase different amount of coverage for your move. Packing the wine should be the next consideration. Professional movers of any kind should know how to pack wine. If you pack the wine yourself, try to find boxes used to transport wine on commercial airlines. Usually, these are made from corrugated cardboard or Styrofoam. Some wine stores sell these boxes as well. The California Glass Company in Oakland has a great wine box. Many professional movers use them. Avoid wooden boxes or any containers that do not cradle the wine safely.
Pack corked wine on its side as you would keep it on the racks in your wine cellar. Label each box FRAGILE-THIS SIDE UP to make sure that the wine stays on its side.
When your wine reaches its destination, carefully check it against your moving van inventory, your personal inventory, and your photographs. If there is anything missing or there is damage, note it on your moving company’s inventory and contact your mover immediately. They will help you complete a claim form for replacement or reimbursement.
By following these steps, you can be assured of the safe transport of your valuable wine collection.