Smaller cases screws up storage costs

When I started, it was invariably 12 bottle cases. I cannot think of a single exception. Gradually as wine prices went up, the number of bottles in a case for the top wines went down to six. The good news was that you could usually get case discounts on six bottles, the bad news was if you used professional storage, it essentially doubled the cost.

The latest is three bottle cases, which means that if you want to keep it in wood, it is now four times the cost. I would prefer to keep owc, but may decide to consolidate wines instead.

I buy wines for my son either for drinking or for investment, and do my best drink wines and reduce his inheritance. For those speculating in wine, it may very well make it a lot less lucrative.

That’s only certain places that charge by the case regardless of size. I believe Domaine is the purveyor of such a pricing scheme. Many (I might daresay most) do not charge that way.

Personally I prefer 3 bottle cases even if I buy 6 or more. It’s nice to be able to open a case and keep another case pristine for drinking later or possible sale down the road.

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here in California it’s storage by space—you rent a certain size locker so the smaller cases actually let you pack more in.


The Domaine NY location handles it this way, although the measurement is “case equivalent” of 14"L x 11"W x 13"H… Domaine DC and I believe all the other Domaine locations are locker-based where you get a cage and whatever you can jam in there is fine.


I store wine at Domaine NY and my only gripe—and it’s a big one—is that it’s not a locker system. Paying them to “pull” wines drives me crazy, though to be fair I very rarely pick up wines since they’re there for the long haul.


I stored for over a decade in NY and it was per-case pricing. This model made an already-expensive storage solution even more expensive, since I had lots of partial cases. They finally were able to consolidate all my partials in their system and (basically) divide my total bottles by 12 to get my billing amounts.

Though expensive, I didn’t mind too much because the service was truly top-notch. Now that my wine and I are settled in Boston I use locker storage which, as others say, is all-you-can-fit. It’s far cheaper, but due to “life logistics” my white-glove NY storage worked really well while I needed it.

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So if you had a winery that sold 24 bottle “cases” you would only be charged for one case?

They would probably charge a premium for having to schlep 60 pounds.


You need some 48 bottle cases—that’ll teach them.

Hello Mark and all,

By way of explanation I have worked in wine storage at multiple facilities, currently Manhattan Wine Company. In my experience most “full inventory control” (not private locker) facilities charge by the piece (i.e., the box, any discrete object). Given the broad spectrum of box sizes, shapes, types, this can add to overall storage costs. The most compelling argument I have heard in favor of this is that the storage company is responsible for each piece. That is, any given piece can be misplaced, lost, broken. Thus charging by the piece spreads the risk in the broadest fashion should something go awry.

Wearing my wine collector hat, I don’t necessarily agree but the explanation is not entirely without merit. And, FWIW, most logistics work is done by the piece count which creates a correlation with storage.

That said, MWC instead bills on a 9 liter basis (the equivalent of one 12-bottle case of 750ML bottles). So, for example, if you have 6 magnums in 6 individual boxes, that would equate to one billable case. The underlying motivation is to not penalize clients for odd sized cases or collecting large format bottles, etc. This strikes me as fairer although it does add to back office work and sometimes may confuse a client who has X number of boxes but Y number of 9L equivalents. With this methodology MWC bears the cost of any empty slots in cases.

Again, in my experience most of the US does not have “full service” storage companies so it’s locker storage options where the above is moot. It’s up to you to cram as much as possible into the locker. It’s largely major metropolitan areas where full service vendors exist and the whole question raised here comes into play. Hope this helps.