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Monday, January 12, 2015

How to Remove Labels From Wine Bottles

Have you ever had a really good glass or bottle of wine and then when you wanted to have it again, you couldn't couldn't remember the name? One way to combat that bit of winesia is to collect the labels from bottles that you like.

These days you can easily take a photo of the wine label with your mobile phone, but let's face it, what are the chances you will even remember that you have the imaged stored in your phone later on? For most of us, once those images are posted to social media and a little time has passed. we forget we ever took most of the photos saved in our phones.

Removing the label from a wine bottle and saving it in a notebook or wine journal provides us with an opportunity to preserve the experience of drinking the wine as well, as we can make notes about the wine's bouquet, flavor notes, etc., to help remember not just that it was a palatable wine, but specifically why.

Below is an article on how to remove the labels from those lovely bottles of wine previously published in August of 2010 on the now defunct Helium web site.

How to Remove Labels from Wine Bottles

There are a few ways by which to remove wine labels from bottles from soaking in warm water to using commercial products designed for the task. Some methods are more effective than others depending upon the label itself and the adhesive used to affix it.
Most people remove wine labels the old fashioned way by soaking the bottles in hot water until the labels lift away. While this may work for some labels, with others it results in torn wet paper. If your aim is to simply remove the label and not to preserve it, this method may be perfectly fine for your needs.
Alternatively you can also put the bottle(s) in the dishwasher. Some people have found this method effective; though there is the chance the loosened label could cause a blockage or other issue inside the dishwasher.
The best way to remove a label from a wine bottle and preserve it is to use a commercial label lift sheet specifically for removing wine labels. To remove the label this way you simply peel the backing away from the sheet and carefully position it onto the bottle. You then burnish it against the label with the back of a spoon and let it sit for about twenty minutes.
Once time is up you should be able to peel up the label lift sheet and the surface of the label along with it. If the label face has not completely adhered to the sheet simply reposition it, burnish again and let it sit a bit longer.
This method preserves the labels for your favorite bottles but doesn’t leave the bottle completely clean. If you are planning on reusing the bottle and want the label completely gone you will still have to employ one of the other methods.
An effective and economical alternative to a commercial label lift product is to use clear packaging tape. Unlike the label lift sheet, the tape will not be wide enough to cover the entire label so you will have to use two or more strips of tape that slightly overlap each other.
Apply the tape to the wine label similarly as described above for the label lift product and burnish. After the tape has set (twenty-thirty minutes) carefully peel back the edge to see if the label is ready to be lifted. Unfortunately there are some labels that will not lift this way even if the tape is left on the bottle overnight.
Labels successfully removed via the tape method or the commercial label lifting product can be put into a wine journal for safe keeping or even added to a scrapbook to commemorate a special occasion.


  1. lol I am much to lazy to do that, I just take a picture of anything I want to remember with my phone!!

    1. Yes, but how often do you look at those photos?