You’ve done well. Promotions, happy wife, darling kids, a 107-bottle wine refrigerator stocked with trophies.
Then hammer falls. Management transfers you across country. Pay increase: check. Good schools for the kids: check. Your cherished wine: not so check.
Pilling eight cases of your beloved stuff in the car and driving three days is not the answer. Hard on the wine, not to mention no room for the wife and kids. What are your options?
Forget UPS or FedEx, they only work with licensed shippers.
Some moving companies will not transport wine; check that out. If they do, pack your bottles in 12-bottle cases—which will weight about 35 pounds each. Put case box inside standard moving box with packing peanuts in the void. Number boxes so you account for each. Be there when boxes are loaded to ensure they make it on the van. Sure the draymen are honest, but just saying.
Check your insurance. Your homeowner’s policy probably covers wine, but check; make sure you fully document those bargain bottles of Chateau Lafite-Rothschild you bought for $1,300 each.
Check laws. Some states do not allow shipments from outside their borders, although most make allowances for people moving household goods. Websites for more information: freethegrapes.org and shipcompliance.com.
You could, of course, invite friends over for gosh-darn roaring farewell parties, then restock in your new digs. Friends empathically vote for this option. So do wine sellers in your new city.
• Catena Alamos Malbec Mendoza 2011. Full mouthfeel; big, jammy dark fruits, chocolate, sweet spices; smooth tannins; every-day value pour. $9
• Robert Mondavi Fumé Blanc Napa Valley 2010. RM’s sauv blanc (with touch of semillon); lemon-lime; melon, lemongrass, citrus; vibrant, fresh, creamy, zesty acidity; food friendly. $20
• Seghesio Rockpile Zinfandel 2008. Spicy nose; vivid raspberry-black cherry; full body, nicely evolved tannin, oak undertone; nice effort. $43
Last round: “Burgundy makes you think of silly things. Bordeaux makes you talk about them. Champagne makes you do them.”—Anthelme Brillat-Savarin, French gastronome (1755-1826).