Packaging wine for shipment is quite an art. A lot of care and patience must go in to the job to keep the bottles intact and safe. If a bottle cracks and leaks, it is not only a huge waste on your precious investment, but other possessions in the package can also get damaged in the process. So it is extremely important that you learn to package the wine properly before shipment to ensure its safe transit.
1) You first need to use boxes with dividers in your packing. There are specific boxes that you can buy from moving companies that come with dividers. You might also be able to get similar boxes for free from supermarkets, restaurants, wineries and liquor stores. For easier transport, use smaller boxes whenever possible. Having too many bottles in the same box is like putting all your eggs in the same basket. So put them in smaller, individual boxes as much as possible.
2) Put extra tape over the bottom of the box to prevent the bottles from slipping through the slot at the bottom of the box and getting damaged.
3) You need to doubly ensure that the bottles are tightly corked. You can also use wire cork cages to prevent the corks from coming lose. You need to take this extra precaution especially when transporting sparkling wines.
4) Use a paper or bubble wrap to wrap the bottle. Starting with a corner of the sheet, roll the bottle diagonally on the sheet, folding in the excess edges of the sheet as you roll the bottle. Finally, secure the bundle with shipping tape firmly.
5) Then place these paper-wrapped bottles inside the dividers in the box. If there are empty spaces in the dividers, fill them up with newspaper or packing peanuts.
6) Once all the bottles have been placed inside the box, secure the top of the boxes with a lot of tape.
7) In order to notify the movers that the boxes contain fragile items, clearly label the box in large letter as fragile.
8) While the bottles are being transported, try to keep the temperature of the enclosure as low as possible. If possible, move them in climate controlled vans which are available with a number of moving companies. 55F is the ideal temperature for most wines. While carrying more expensive wines, it is good to carry them in an ice chest cooled with dry ice.
If you follow these precautions carefully, you can happily open your new bottle of wine at your destination and have a good time drinking.