How to Ship and Store Wine

Posted on by Kris


Shipping and storing wine questions are something that I get asked a lot, especially since many Floridians when visiting vineyards wish to take some bottles of their favorite wine home with them. Most airlines permit wine to be shipped as checked luggage, but must take every precaution to make sure bottles aren’t broken in transit.

It’s always a good idea to check with the airline first before purchasing wine to carry home. There will likely be additional charges for the extra luggage. If the airline allows it, the wine traveler will need to pack the wine securely. There are numerous products on the market in which to ship wine. The simplest arrangement is a cardboard box with specially-shaped Styrofoam inserts that fit standard wine bottles. These can usually be provided by the winery. There are also collapsible padded sleeves that wrap around individual bottles.The bonus with these is that you can take them with you on your wine vacation, and they are reusable.

Although some people choose to heavily wrap a few bottles in clothing for shipment, this is a risky move. Even if the bottle is double-bagged in zipper bags before wrapping, there is still the chance the bottle could be broken in transit. The traveler could be held liable for damage caused to other passengers’ possessions should a bottle break.

A better alternative is to purchase the preferred vintages and have the vineyard ship them. A law passed in 2006 allows wineries to ship to consumers in Florida. The winery will have the appropriate boxes and packing materials to safely ship wine across the nation.

Once the wines arrive, it’s important to store them properly to prevent deterioration. Most basements have ideal conditions for storing wine, but in Florida basements are hard to come by! Luckily, a great number of storage units are now air conditioned, so you could do a search for “Florida self storage units in Miami” and store your wine there, at least temporarily until you find a more long-term solution.

Wine should also be stored in a cool dark environment. A temperature around 55 degrees is ideal for most wines. Avoid fluctuations in temperature. Sunlight can also degrade wines, so a dark room is preferable for wine storage. Humidity should be kept between 60 and 80 percent.

Bottles should be stored on their sides to help keep the corks damp. It’s a good idea to let the wines settle for a day or two after shipment before drinking. Even the most well-packed wine will experience jostling and vibration during transit. Once the sediment settles, the wines can be enjoyed.

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