Books? Check. Clothes? No problem. Packing the bulkier soft goods is no big feat, but what are you supposed to do when it comes time to move your wine collection and assortment of crystal and champagne flutes? You’re well aware that the crystal glasses from your wedding, or that bottle of wine you’ve been saving for a special occasion, could be easily damaged by undue bumping around. So unless you’re having your movers pack everything, you’ll need to take special care to be sure your precious collection is moved properly to avoid breakage and to preserve the character of the wine. Here are our tips on how to prepare your collection for moving day.
1. Use Cell Boxes
These pre-made boxes are the easiest way to pack crystal glassware and champagne flutes into neatly organized separate pockets. The cardboard between each glass prevents them from bumping against one another, meaning less opportunity for damage. If you can’t find any specifically designed for wine glasses, you can make your own using styrofoam plates. Just be sure you arrange the glasses in such a way that they don’t shift too much during transit.
2. Use white tissue papers, not newspapers
The ink from newspapers can easily smear on your glasses, leaving you with a lot of clean up to do when you’d rather just unpack and enjoy a celebratory glass. Instead, re-use or buy a new stack of white tissue paper for the occasion. You don’t need to go crazy with each glass, just one sheet will be enough to protect them from scratches or dings!
3. If you’re using bubble wrap, use it over the tissue paper
Padding your glasses directly with bubble wrap creates a certain kind of grip between the plastic and crystal, which can mean broken stems or crushed glasses. Don’t ask us about the science — we just know what happens. Use a layer of tissue paper between the bubble wrap and glassware, and your goblets will be protected.
4. Pad the empty space
Even a few poorly located potholes can mean your boxes get bumped around more than you’d like. Be sure to pad any extra space with excess tissue paper, blankets, sweatshirts, or even socks to prevent your glasses from shifting in transit. There should be no space for excess shaking once you close up each box.
5. Label, and label well
Be sure that every side of your box is labeled as fragile, and if you’ve packed things with one side intended to be facing up, label that well, too. Your movers can’t be expected to check all sides of every box to be sure they’re moving things with the proper care and attention, and boxes of wine glasses tend to be light — so they can easily get tossed on top of a pile if not properly marked. Why should you use detailed and custom moving labels? We explain in this blog post.
6. Wine shipping containers are the best
Transporting wine bottles requires that you have a certain awareness of how each bottle needs to be treated. Most of the time they should be transported at a certain temperature, and without too much shaking — a feat that can be difficult to achieve in a traditional moving truck scenario. Wine shipping containers are truly the best way to safely move your collection without disturbing the quality of each wine, but in case you don’t have the opportunity to use them, cell boxes or even wine boxes from the liquor store can be an acceptable alternative. If you decide to use a luxury moving company, they will be able to assist you in packing your collection carefully and well.
7. Know how your wines like to be treated
If you’ve taken the care to curate a collection of fine wines, you know that each varietal likes to be handled in a specific way to preserve its character. That means your packing endeavors need to go beyond how to safely move wine bottles, and address some specifics. Some wines will need to be transported upside down, while some are ok being wedged into a cell box. Be sure you know which bottles need to be treated how, and label the boxes appropriately if they need to stay oriented in a specific way.
8. Give your wine time to settle
Most wines, especially reds, will need time to settle after being moved. Sommeliers call this “bottle shock” — when the flavor of the wine goes off because the acidity and alcohol are disturbed by being shaken or exposed to varying temperatures. So if you want to be sure you’re getting the best side of your fine wines, let them sit for at least a week after you move before opening them.