Millions of people worldwide enjoy the myriad varietals of wine, and many spare no expense acquiring just the right bottle that will transform an ordinary meal into a sublime gastronomic experience. But getting that perfect bottle (or bottles) to the dining table isn’t as easy as going to the liquor aisle of the local Ralph’s Super Market.
Beginning in the 1980’s, the demand for California wines began to steadily increase, providing an alternative to the European flavors. Once online shipping factored into the equation, the wine shipping industry really took off and has remained steady for years now with American wines in demand all across the globe. Whether you are acquiring or selling, all the information you need for shipping wine is laid out below.
First, determine if you’ll be shipping one bottle or several. A single bottle of wine, will need straw and wooden brackets at the neck and base, but several bottles in the same crate can be problematic if packed improperly. When more than a single bottle are shipped, they must be laid horizontally opposite of each other (neck of one bottle facing the base of the next. This traditional shipping method allows for minimal contact between contents.
Use Plenty of Straw to ship wine. Wine is normally shipped in wooden crates stuffed with straw. Lots of it. The initial purpose is – of course – to cushion the wine from vibration. Straw allows the bottles to breathe, releasing humidity to keep the wine inside its most palatable.
Fragile, Fragile, Fragile – Once your wine is crated properly, cover ever possible section of the container with fragile stickers, Sharpie warnings and the like to make it clear this package is special.
Neil Gernon, a new-generation wine vintner who splits time between northern California and New Orleans, said his company considers shipping as important as the wine he produces.
“We treat every case like it was meant for our dinner table,” he said. “Your potential customer’s first impressions are the bottle label and ‘nose’ of the wine, and both are directly affected by good shipping techniques.”
He continued: “I can definitely say we get better service from drivers that work for themselves and care about the job versus some big companies that just see delivering things like wine as a chore.”
Need to ship some wine? Click here to begin.