Preserving the Taste & Aroma: 3 Tips for Moving Your Wine Collection

With so much money being spent on wine collections across the country, it's no wonder most homeowners are wary of moving it. Due to the delicate and fragile nature of the wine bottles and the wine itself, a lot of care must be put into preparing the wine for transportation to cause as little stress as possible to the bottles.

There's no need to worry as much about your quality wines. Here are 3 tips to keep in mind.

Store the Bottles on Their Side

When packing the wine bottles in a secure cardboard, wood or Styrofoam box, make sure you place each bottle in on its side. This is crucial, as the temperature and relative humidity of the environment where the wine is stored in will fluctuate tremendously during the move. By storing the bottles on their side, the wine will keep the cork moist—even if the environment is relatively dry. The cork can easily expand and contract based on environmental conditions. In fact, the cork may even expand, which means that the cork will be an even more efficient seal.

If the cork is an efficient seal, very little air will enter the bottle. This is important because wine has a fickle relationship with oxygen. Over exposure to oxygen will damage the wine, as the oxygen reacts with some of the more volatile compounds within the wine. The cork's job is to prevent this from happening.

Opt for Climate-controlled Vehicles

Wine is very vulnerable to changes and fluctuations in the temperature and relative humidity of the surrounding environment. To prevent a loss of quality and flavor in the wine, opt for climate controlled vehicles to ensure that the temperature and relative humidity remains constant. Wine is best stored at temperatures between 50 and 59 degrees Fahrenheit. Anything below 25 degrees Fahrenheit may cause the wine to freeze and the force the cork out of the bottle. On the other hand, anything above 86 degrees Fahrenheit may cause some of the more volatile compounds to degrade.

If wine is stored in an environment that is too dry for prolonged periods of time, the cork may end up drying out. If the cork dries out, it will not be an efficient seal for the wine. If the humidity is too high, mold may begin to form within the bottle. This will damage the wine and causing it to become unpalatable. The wine will be unsalvageable, and will need to be disposed of if that happens. The ideal relative humidity for storing wine is between 60 and 70 percent.

Account for Bottle Shock

Even if you did pack all wine bottles meticulously for transportation, bottle shock is almost inevitable. When the bottles are being moved, the wine will shake within the bottle. To account for bottle shock, most professionals recommend allowing the wine to rest for a minimum of 7 days before opening them. If the bottles are opened too early, the wine may experience a loss of flavor or a decrease in quality. In short, you'll end up spoiling a good bottle of wine.

Learning how to store wine properly for a move is extremely important in preserving the wine's taste and aroma. On top of preserving the integrity of the wine, you need to pack the bottles with care to prevent them from getting damaged or cracked. It is inevitable for the bottles to shake and bump into one another during the moving process. You can always contact local moving companies to help with packing and unloading containers of your favorite wines. For more tips or assistance, talk to your movers.