3 tips to protect your wine collection

With all the care you have put into building your cellar of fine wines, put as much care into protecting your investment from theft or damage, recommends an insurer of people with high net worth.

“Personally selected, outstanding vintages are meant to be enjoyed when the right time arrives, and our expertise helps ensure this can happen,” said Jim Pedersen, president of Nationwide Private Client, part of the Columbus, Ohio-based company.

The group provides custom coverage for wine collections and is recommending three main ways collectors can protect their wines. The list was released ahead of National Wine Day on May 25.

1. Document your investment

Keep all original documents, including purchase receipts, auction catalog or private seller information.

Keep photos and detailed descriptions of wine bottles that include unique bottle marks and vintage year.

Maintain an updated inventory list including descriptions, accurate count of bottles, and storage locations.

Routinely get professional appraisals of your collection, and keep a running record of appraised values.

2. Optimize your storage

Store wine in a cellar or electric wine cooler. The best place for storage is in a cellar or electric wine cooler with fiberglass insulation to regulate temperature and protect against mold or damage to the label.

Control the climate. Keep wine away from areas that could generate temperature changes such as kitchens or laundry rooms.

The ideal temperature range for wine storage is between 45-65 degrees Fahrenheit. Avoid arid environments that can dry out corks. Areas with 50-80 percent humidity are adequate for storage.

Store bottles on their side to prevent the cork from drying out.

Keep stored bottles away from light. Sunlight can damage wine by aging it prematurely and household light bulbs can fade labels.

3. Insure your collection

And what would a list of tips from an insurance company be without a recommendation to buy coverage.

Make sure a personal-collections insurance policy covers accidental breakage, theft, fire, water-related damage and loss or damage caused by mechanical breakdown of refrigeration equipment, according to Nationwide.

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