Last Updated on February 20, 2023 by Kari-Ann Ryan

A wine collection is often an impressive part of entertaining. When moving, however, your wine collection is likely to be a pricey part of your move. Weighing up to 35 pounds, a 12-bottle case of wine substantially increases the weight of the shipping boxes—and, subsequently, the price to move them.

Plus, due to the enormous liability of transporting expensive perishables, like wine, some moving companies will not move such luxuries.

Moving companies that are prepared to move wine collections are properly equipped to handle transporting wine to your new abode. More sophisticated handling, such as utilizing a climate-controlled truck, can push those moving across the country back $3000 to $5000. If your collection is small enough, consider transporting the wine in your car.

In the event you are unable to pare down your wine collection before moving, preserve the precious cargo by packing them well. Safely packing fragile items with significant value takes care and preparation.

Here’s how to safely pack wine bottles:

1. Appraise the Wine

Even before you take a single step to gather boxes and packing materials, appraise and insure your wine collection. Develop an inventory of the wines you plan to shift. Document the wine name, vintage and year. Take photographs of the labels with the details prominently displayed.

2. Gather Sturdy Boxes

Wine bottles can be successfully packed in cell boxes — the divided boxes liquor stores use. In fact, take a trip to the local liquor store or specialty wine shop and ask them for a few. Alternatively, moving stores sell sturdy boxes that are fit for shifting wine bottles. Some stores sell sturdy plastic boxes featuring interlocking lids, which are perfect for housing several wine bottles during a move. Of course, Mid-West Moving & Storage also can provide the boxes and supplies you need.

The boxes’ sizing is important. Elect to use smaller boxes, so that lifting the heavy weight of the packed boxes is easier. Also ensure that the boxes you choose give the tallest wine bottles a snug fit. Once the bottles are wrapped in bubble wrap or paper, the bottles will be at least an inch thicker.

Even sturdy boxes require securing, which can be accomplished in two ways: 1) Tape the flaps of the boxes shut; even if they are taped, apply new tape to reinforce the existing seal (old tape can lose its grip). 2) Insert a layer of cardboard along the bottom of the box and test its strength; place the wine bottles along the bottom and ensure the box does not give way or fall apart.

3. Prepare the Bottles

Delicate wine bottles should be generously wrapped to ensure they remain protected. Examples of adequate wraps include bubble wrap, sheets of packing paper or Green Wrap rolls—all of which cushion the bottles during the move.

Roll the bottles in your choice of wrapping. Start by placing the wine bottles flat along the surface of a table, along the corner of the bubble wrap or packing paper. Simply roll the bottles, ensuring the bottles’ necks also receive treatment. Tape the wrapped bottles with tape to secure them.

Wrap all the bottles individually. Leave no bottle unwrapped. Opened wine bottles cannot be shipped without issue. Instead, give away the opened bottles to friends and family.

4. Position the Bottles

Correctly positioning the wine bottles in the boxes has a major impact on the quality of your wines when you eventually unpack them. Wine bottles resting on their sides help the corks remain moistened and expanded. A dry cork will shrink and allow air inside. On the other hand, a wine bottle kept upside down for lengthy periods will undergo a shift in the flavors of the liquids inside; although the cork stays wet, the wine sediments creeping toward the bottle’s neck will adversely affect the taste of the wine. If you are only moving locally and your items will not be in storage for long or at all, you can pack the bottles standing upright without any issue or change in flavor.

5. Pack the Bottles

Wine bottles are heavy, with each bottle weighing about four pounds. When placing the wrapped bottles into your chosen boxes, protect your back and the box by inserting no more than 12 bottles in each container. Keep in mind that the wine transport industry abides by the 12-bottles per box rule to ensure safe conveyance.

If you stumbled upon a cell box with dividers, place the wine bottles in each cell. Fill extra spaces with additional bubble wrap or packing paper. Keep the bottles on their sides by taping the box shut, turning the box onto its side and labeling the side “Top” and “Fragile”.

If you are using a container without cells, layer the wine bottles, ensuring each layer is cushioned with a towel or alternative extra padding. Again, position the wine bottles on their sides.

Once the box is full, gently shake the box. Should you hear clanging sounds upon shaking the container, add more filler, like clothes or towels, in between the bottles. Bottles shifting at this point is a sure indication they will rattle and possibly suffer damage during the move.

Find a Professional MoverLogo-Mid-West-Moving

Moving to a new locale can be a stressful experience. Take the hassle out of finding the right durable boxes, packing and loading by hiring a professional mover, like Mid-West Moving & Storage. Our team of experienced movers handle every aspect of the move, from selecting the appropriate moving boxes to creating an inventory and packing to unpacking.

If your needs are minimal, the Mid-West Moving & Storage movers can provide partial packing services. Alternately, full packing services are an option.

Each mover at Mid-West Moving & Storage is licensed, bonded and insured to provide customers with maximum peace of mind. Our moving specialists have experience moving high-value goods, like antiques, as well as fragile, heavy and oddly shaped possessions, with care and success. In addition to moving services, our storage amenities are a convenience. Our climate-controlled warehouse is ideal when you are only partially ready to move.

Serving Chicagoland since 1983, Mid-West Moving & Storage is prepared to seamlessly move your possessions across town or interstate. Our specialists are readily available to answer questions and offer a free estimate.

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To get a free estimate on your next move, contact Mid-West Moving & Storage at 847.593.7201 or fill out a contact form and we will get back to you shortly!

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"The movers did an incredible job! Our second experience with your company is just as wonderful as our first. Your driver is an incredible leader. The rest of the crew was impressive as well. They all worked tirelessly through out the whole time. This move was stressful with the all the school closings and work changes but they made the whole experience much better."
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