Are you one of those people who collect wine bottles, age them and open them on important occasions? If yes, then a move might wreak havoc in your life because you are scared of your precious bottles succumbing to breakages during transit. A wine connoisseur like you most probably believes that people who break and destroy your bottles should rot in hell. However, whining about broken bottles is of no use especially if you did not pack them properly.

Believe it or not, you can actually take up the responsibility and prevent your bottles from sustaining damages. Wine bottles are complicated. Not only are they expensive, but they are also extremely fragile. Luckily for you, we are here to walk you through the process, so breathe… focus, because you got this! So let’s get into how to pack wine bottles for a move.

How to Pack Wine Bottles for a Move: A Step-by-Step Guide

Step 1: Checking up on your Wine Reserve

We don’t have to tell you this but wine bottles are expensive as well as heavy. If you weigh a dozen bottles together, you will see that they weigh about 40 pounds (that’s heavy). We can’t emphasize the fact that the more the bulk of your move, the more will it cost you. Wine bottles are fragile as well as heavy and this directly translates into a drastic price rise in your final bill.

Before you start packing, you have to go through your collection and determine whether you absolutely have to take certain bottles to your new house. We are not telling you to get rid of some really old and expensive bottles that have been aging for a long time. However, it wouldn’t hurt to do away with some newer and inexpensive bottles (the ones that can be bought again).

Not only will this reduce the bulk and eventually the cost of your move, but you won’t have to go through the tedious process of packing and taking care of them throughout your move. There are enough moving tasks that you need to worry about, so avoid adding more baggage to your stress.

What can you do with the wine bottles that you are willing to do away with? Well, you could consume them during a farewell party or some other event before you move away. Wine bottles also tend to be an excellent gift item. If you wish to give farewell gifts to your closest neighbors, friends, or family members, you could always put the extra wine bottle to use.

Step 2: Packing Supplies to the Rescue

If you are packing wine for moving, your first choice for a box to pack it should be the wine specialty shipping box. These boxes are designed to store wine bottles and other liquor bottles as well. Are you thinking about where to find them? Well, you can easily find these boxes online and have them delivered to your doorstep. You could also visit a local shipping office and pick some specialty boxes from there.

When you shop for them, you will find boxes of different sizes. There will be boxes that can hold 1, 6, or even 12 bottles at once. All these boxes have a sturdy make. The ones that can be used to store multiple bottles are generally divided into sections on the inside. These sections are created by Styrofoam dividers that ensure that the bottles are packed together tightly and do not collide with each other during the move.

One thing you should know about these boxes is that they are pretty expensive. Be prepared to blow out some big bucks on them. However, they tend to be reusable so you can always save them for later use. Now, what do you do if you are concerned about your budget? It’s not like all of us can afford to buy fancy boxes for a move, especially when your move is already costing you an arm and a leg.

In this case, you can always rummage through the storage areas in your house and find some cardboard cell boxes. They essentially function in the same manner because these boxes are also divided into sections by some cardboard dividers. The only difference between them and the specialty boxes is that they are a little bit less sturdy.

The best part about these boxes is that you can score some for free from a local liquor store. If you don’t find any in such a store, you can always purchase some boxes at a cheap cost from the shipping offices. A strong plastic container with a lid that locks is another substitute for the wine specialty shipping boxes. All you have to do is create divisions with cardboard and then you can store multiple bottles in them.

If you are using cardboard cell boxes, don’t forget to stock up packing paper, extra cardboard sheets, packing tape or duct tape bubble wrap, and some markers for labeling the boxes. When you procure boxes for moving, it is imperative to check whether the height of your bottles matches the height of the box. Don’t purchase boxes that have a height smaller than your bottles (that’s common sense, right?).

Step 3: Creating a Sturdier Bottom for the Box

As we already told you, wine bottles are heavy. The box that is being used to carry them needs to endure their weight. After all, you don’t want these bottles to fall through the box when it is picked up, right? How do you make the bottom stronger, you might wonder?

It’s quite easy, to be honest. Just flip the box over and tape it up real good. What we mean to say is that stick at least two layers of tape to the bottom of the box to ensure that the box won’t open from below when picked up. You are not supposed to use flimsy boxes but if the bottom of your box appears to be on the weaker side, add an extra layer of cardboard and tape over it.

Now, place some heavy stuff inside the box to check whether it can carry the weight. If it can, you are good to go! Before we go to the next step, make sure that you have added a small layer of padding at the bottom of the box. You could add some wrapping paper and bubble wrap which will protect the bottles from any sort of impact that comes from below.

Also read: Make Packing Easier

Step 4: Individual Packing of the Bottles

Even though you are putting the bottles into a sturdy box, that doesn’t mean that they don’t require individual packing. Wrapping ensures that each bottle gets an extra layer of protection and the bottles don’t break even if they bump into each other. Let us tell you how to wrap these bottles.

  • Before you start wrapping the bottles, it is absolutely essential to examine whether the caps are shut and the corks fit into the bottle tightly. This prevents damages due to leakages.
  • Firstly, place the wrapping paper on a flat surface. Then, place your wine bottle on its side on the wrapping paper.
  • Make sure that there is enough paper on either side of the bottle to wrap it up.
  • Wrap the bottle up in the wrapping paper. Ensure that the bottle is wrapped tightly. The neck of the bottle tends to get narrow. Mold your paper accordingly and wrap it around each part of the bottle.
  • Repeat the process until the bottle is covered in at least two layers of wrapping paper. The paper should cover the bottle from all sides.
  • Lastly, add a layer of bubble wrap around the wrapped bottle.
  • Secure the paper and bubble wrap with lots of tapes. Avoid having any loose ends coming out from around the bottle.

See Also: Packing Liquid for Moving

Step 5: Boxing it All Up

Once you have securely wrapped all your bottles, it’s time to put them into the box. As we mentioned before, make sure that you add a layer of padding at the bottom of the box to protect your bottles from damages. All you have to do now is place the bottles in the different compartments of the box.

Now, here is where you have to be careful. You have to pack your bottles in a way that even a single compartment in your box shouldn’t remain empty. If the bottles aren’t packed snugly into the box, they will move around and possibly break. At the same time, you have to ensure that you pack a maximum of 12 bottles in one box. If you put more bottles into a box, the box might not be able to take the weight and will end up breaking from the bottom.
Once you put in your bottles, it doesn’t necessarily mean that your box will get packed tightly. This is especially true for bottles that have a sleek design. After placing your bottles in, you have to fill up all the gaps that you can see around the bottles in the box. Add bits of packing paper, bubble wrap, and other unconventional objects from your house like sponges, dish towels, etc.

Once your box is tightly packed, pick it up and shake it a little bit. Listen for sounds and check whether your bottles are moving. If the bottles stay put and don’t move at all, give yourself a pat on the back because you have done a great job. If the bottles are moving a little bit, don’t worry about it! Some extra padding can quickly solve this issue.

See Also: Pack Glasses for Moving

Step 6: Making the Boxes Ready for a Move

Once you have filled up all your boxes with wine bottles, it is time to tape the top of the boxes firmly. Close the top flaps of the boxes and tape them at least twice or thrice. The last thing you have to do is label the boxes appropriately. Write the words ‘fragile’ and ‘keep it upright’ so that no one messes up with those boxes.

Once that is done, your boxes are ready to be loaded onto a moving truck. Follow the thumb rule of placing the wine boxes at the very bottom, on the bed of the moving truck. This nullifies the risk of the box falling off the top of the stack and sustaining damages. Similarly, never place the box near the loading door of the truck. Whenever you open that door, there is always a risk of the first few boxes falling off from the truck. That’s it! Now you can just go to your new place and wait for your bottles to arrive.

Read Also: Where to Buy Moving Boxes?

Things to Keep in Mind while Packing Wine Bottles

1. Double it Up:

If you want to be extra cautious, you can use two boxes for each set of wine bottles. Sounds confusing? Well, let us make it simpler for you to understand. Pack all your bottles into one box like you would usually do. Then place the entire box full of wine bottles into another empty box. Don’t forget to tape them shut firmly. This will give your bottles a double layer of protection.

2. Keep the Temperature in Check:

If you are a wine lover, you probably know that wine shouldn’t be exposed to temperature extremities, or else it gets spoilt. The ideal temperature to store wine is 55 degrees. This poses a problem, especially for a long-distance move. As a result of this, you should try to move your wine in climate-controlled trucks. However, this will cost you a little bit extra.

Better yet, if you have only a couple of boxes, don’t put them in the moving truck. You can place them in your car or in the cab of the truck because these places are generally air-conditioned. You can then adjust the temperature according to your preference.

3. Ways of Packing Different Wines:

It is very crucial to ensure that the corks of the bottles of red and white wines aren’t becoming dry. The corks have to remain wet or else the process of oxidation will spoil your wine. While it’s okay to pack your wines upright, you can lay the boxes over their sides at night to make sure that the corks remain moist. On the other hand, carbonated wines like champagne and other sparkling wines have to be placed upright at all times.

4. Be on the Right Side of the Law:

Don’t forget that the law of the country might have laid down certain rules regarding the transportation of alcohol. Read up on these rules before moving crates and crates of wine to the specific city, county or state you’re moving to.

5. Don’t be in Hurry to Open the Bottles:

It might seem only fair to crack open a bottle once you reach your new place to celebrate the completion of your move. However, wine bottles suffer from a shock due to the vibrations experienced by them during transit. If you don’t give your wine enough time to rest, it might result in a loss of flavor. In conclusion, it would be wise to not open a bottle and let your wine rest for at least a week.

6. Where do Opened Bottles Go?

Transporting opened bottles in trucks and cars is a big no-no because it is super risky to do so. Try to finish your uncorked wine bottles before the day of your move. You could even give them to someone you know, like your neighbors or friends. What you choose to do with the opened bottles is your decision but avoid carrying them with you during the move.

Final Thoughts

That’s all you have to know about packing wine bottles for your move. The key to protecting your wine bottles is using the right packing supplies and packing the bottles properly. So, make sure you give yourself enough time to pack the bottles if you want to avoid any mishaps. If you require help, you can ask your friends or even your movers who will happily help you out. We hope that you follow all the instructions and have a wine-derful move!

See Also: Tips for Packing Lamps and Lampshades for Moving

Frequently Asked Questions

Will moving companies move wine?

You should know that all movers don’t have the necessary permits to carry alcohol (that includes wine). A mover can transport alcohol only if it has been authorized by the PHMSA‘s Approvals and Permits Division. In conclusion, you might have to search for movers that have the necessary permissions to transport your wine.

How do you pack alcohol when moving?

Alcohol Bottles are similar to wine bottles. Wrap an adequate amount of wrapping paper and bubble wrap around each bottle and place them into compartmentalized boxes. Make sure that the boxes are firmly shut with loads of packing tape. If you follow the step-by-step instruction given above, you can easily pack alcohol bottles for your move.

Related: List of Cheap Moving Companies