January 3, 2010

As you can see from the picture, I didn’t label my first few batches of wine. I had recently moved, and had no idea where the left over address stickers were from all the self addressed stamped RSVP envelopes were for our wedding. However, I did know where my little bit of yarn was from the times I get crazy enough to take up knitting again. In my notes, I indicate which batch got the pink string, and which batch got the cream yarn with colored spots, etc. The pros to this system are that I can reuse the string, and I don’t have to work to get the label off for the next batch. The cons are that I have to go look at my notes instead of just looking at the bottle to know what it is and how long it has been aging. I kind of think it is time I graduated to real labels.

In The Joy of Home Winemaking by Terry Garey, she says she uses labels though her home printer, and they come out looking like this:


High Pitched Wines



Made Aug 93                       Bottled Feb 94

She recommends on the label that you want the name, the date bottled, and the percent alcohol if known.

There are premade bottle labels out there at the local supply stores. Basically, they are the right size with a little bit of a border, decoration, or scene that you can run though your home printer to use as your label. They are a little bit glossy and run about $7.50-$10 for 32 labels. This is a little costlier, but it would look nicer than just an address sticker.

There are “machines” that put the labels on the bottle level and consistent.  I’ve only seen one at Shallon Winery when he starts talking about the $1,000 machine he needed to handle this very specific paper and glue he wanted to use on his chocolate wine. I’m speculating on how it works exactly, but I’m guessing that he has a professional printer do up a batch of labels on a long piece of paper, much like how you buy children’s stickers by the sticker. He places the bottle on top of two cylinders, and then rotates a crank. The rotation takes the sticker off of the paper and applies it to the rotating bottle. To see a demonstration, see I am in no way recommending their machines since I have never used one, but I am saying they have a good video demonstration.


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