If you decide to venture into the world of wine collection, it may be worthwhile to spend some time researching wine and narrowing your objectives.
Whether your wine collecting aims are for personal use or as an investment, wine is finicky and needs a certain amount of care to age well. Here are five quick tips to help you protect your fine wines:
Markets can be volatile, so routinely have your collection professionally appraised, and keep a running record of appraised values. Keep in mind that fine wine prices do fluctuate. There are a range of professional appraisers that can value wine digitally or in person. Work closely with your insurance broker to make sure your collection is protected, based on current market values.
Wine should be stored at a consistent temperature of between 13 - 15 degrees Celsius. Avoid exposure to extreme temperature changes, especially heat, which can flatten the wine’s aroma and flavour. Wine is mostly water, so it will freeze at between -6 and -9 degrees Celsius. Humidity should also be constant, at 50 to 80 percent to keep the corks healthy and sealed. Also avoid high temperatures; wine storage should never exceed 24 degrees Celsius, as the wine will begin to oxidise.
The best wine cellars are detached, well insulated and secure. You may want to store your wine in a specialty wine storage facility or in your own cellar, insulated with fiberglass to regulate temperature. Using redwood or mahogany is a good choice, as they do not rot in humidity. An electric wine cooler will also work well, especially if you have a back-up generator.
Within your cellar, decide how you want its makeup to look like: the percentage for collection versus the percentage for consumption. For example, it is common practice to use 10% of your cellar for everyday drinking, a selected few for special occasions, and the rest for ageing. You will need to keep track of the wines that require long-term storage.
Be sure to keep a record of what you have and when it was purchased. Keep your original receipts, detailed descriptions and photos of wine bottle, and an updated and complete inventory, including storage locations. That way, if anything happens, you’ll know what you have – or what’s missing.
Once your wine is in storage, try not to move it, unless absolutely necessary. If you have to move it, do so carefully. Pack each bottle in a two-piece, molded polystyrene foam mailer and place in a double wall container to ensure that it will get to its location safe and sound.
Talk to your moving company about your wine collection. Some companies may not cover your collection and aren’t insured to cover wine, so you may need to hire a company that specialises in wine transporting.
At Chubb, we insure valuable wine collections as part of our Masterpiece Home and Contents policy. Learn more about how our Masterpiece policy covers wines and consider whether your wine collection is covered for the wide range of risks that may affect it.
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