How To Remove Wine Labels: 4 Methods To Use

how to remove wine labels for your wine journals

How to remove wine labels is a question asked by many wine enthusiasts who want to keep a souvenir from their favorite bottles of wine. There are a few simple methods you can use in your home to safely remove a wine label intact.

Why Remove Wine Labels?

If you have never removed a label from a wine bottle, you’re probably wondering why people are so interested in wine bottle labels. The answer is simple. A wine label is a souvenir from your wine drinking experience. Instead of simply describing your experience in wine journals, you can put an intact wine label in your collection.

In addition to wine collection, there are a few other reasons why people want to remove labels from wine bottles. People who make their own wine at home might want to remove a wine label intact with lukewarm water so that they can reuse it. Finally, there is wine fraud. As shown in the fantastic book “Billionaire’s Vinegar” and the documentary “Sour Grapes,” some people create fraudulent wine to deceive others. Unfortunately, an intact wine label from a genuine wine bottle is sometimes removed and reused to commit fraud. Needless to say, you are responsible for how you use these tips. Collecting wine labels for a collection or for other personal use is fine.

By the way, this guide assumes you are removing a label from a glass wine bottle. These methods might not work effectively with other types of containers like plastic bottles.

Method 1: Use Baking Soda

The baking soda label lift method is simple and easy to use. A few items are needed to use this method, which you probably already have in your home.

Equipment Needed:

  • Baking Soda (any brand is fine)
  • A Rag
  • A Towel
  • Sink or Bucket (it must be large enough to cover the entire label on the bottle)

Label Removal Method Steps

1. Fill the sink with water

2. Add 5-10 tablespoon spoons (0.31-0.62 cups or 73-147 milliliters) of baking soda to the cool water

3. Wait for 30 minutes

While you wait, why not enjoy some wine fiction?

4. Use a rag to remove the wine label from the bottle gently. Some people use steel wool as a backup, but there is a greater chance of damaging paper labels when you use metal.

5. Use a towel to carefully dry the bottle (or you can put the bottle on your kitchen counter to dry)

While the above label lift method is theoretically possible to use on a full bottle of wine, I advise against it. If you remove the wine label to add to your collection of wine labels before drinking the wine, it is easy to get confused about which wine is which! If you must remove the wine label right away, you could print and use custom wine labels on the bottles instead.

Tip: To increase your confidence with this method, practice removing beer labels first.

Method 2: Remove Wine Labels With Hot Water

Want to keep a memory of a particular bottle? Use this label removal method. It is best suited for an empty bottle.

Equipment Needed

1. Rubber Gloves (i.e., any type of type of kitchen gloves will work)

2. Hot Water

3. Towel

Label Removal Method Steps

1. Put on your gloves

2. Put the stopper in place in your kitchen sink and fill the sink with hot water

It is best to increase the hot water temperature over a few minutes gradually. A sudden increase in hot water temperature might cause the glass to break. Start with warm water and keep increasing the temperature.

3. Put the wine bottle into the hot water and leave it there for 10 minutes

While you wait, take a few minutes to learn more about food wine pairing from the book “Big Macs & Burgundy” (read more about this fantastic book in this post: 10 Reasons Why “Big Macs & Burgundy” Is The Best Food Wine Pairing Book In The World).

4. While wearing your gloves, peel back the wine label from the bottle. Go slowly to avoid damaging the wine bottle labels. 

5. Put the damp label on a clean surface to dry overnight.

6. Perform a visual assessment of the wine label. If you are careful, you will have a beautiful label to add to your collection.

How To Remove Wine Labels: Dry Methods

Most label removal ideas involve a bottle with water, a bucket with water, or bottles with boiling water. In most cases, knowing how to remove wine labels with water is all you need. That’s why it is helpful to know how to use a dry method for label removal. Some commercial labels use a type of adhesive that is resistant to water.

Method 3: The Label Lift Method

This method requires purchasing a unique accessory called the Onephile Label Lift. You can buy a label lift – 50 Pack directly from Amazon for an affordable price. 

Equipment Needed:

Onephile Label Lift – wine enthusiasts, use this product to preserve memories of a special bottle.

Scissor – helpful to trim the label edge so that it fits in your wine journals.

Wine Journals (optional) – wine journals are suitable to store your growing wine label collection.

Label Removal Method Steps

  1. Apply the label lift to the wine bottle
  2. Rub the label lift for two minutes
  3. Carefully peel off the wine label from the bottle
  4. Use the scissors to trim the wine label
  5. Store the wine label in your label collection

 Method 4: Using dry heat (i.e., the oven method)

When you seek to learn how to remove wine labels, you need to get comfortable with the heat. Whether you are using lukewarm water, boiling water, the steam method, or the oven method, heat helps.

You will learn how to use your kitchen oven to remove a wine label in the following steps.

Equipment Needed

The oven method requires equipment that you probably already have.

Oven Mitts

A Kitchen Oven

Knife or Razor (a box cutter blade can also work)

Cookie Sheet

Label Removal Method Steps

1. Fully empty the wine label

2. Remove any foil or wax from the bottle. These substances may create a foul smell if they are not removed.

3. Set the oven temperature to 350 degrees Fahrenheit

4. Put the empty wine bottle on a cookie sheet and put it inside the oven on an oven rack

5. Wait five minutes for the wine bottle to heat up

6. Using oven mitts, open the oven and remove the wine bottle

7. Let the wine bottle cool for 8-10 minutes

8. Hold the wine bottle with your oven mitts and remove the label with a sharp kitchen knife

Take your time (i.e., at least a couple of minutes) in removing the wine label to avoid damaging the wine label. IF all goes well, you will have a baked label to add to your collection.

Additional Tips To Consider

To refine your new wine label removal skills, use the following tips.

Tip 1 Drink The Wine First

While it is possible to remove labels from wine bottles before opening the wine bottle, few wine enthusiasts would suggest that method. There is a small risk that heat, chemicals, or the stress from your elbow grease could damage the bottle or the wine inside. Before using any method of removal, enjoy your wine.

Tip 2 Practice on Beer Bottle Labels

In general, beer bottles are less expensive than a bottle of wine. Therefore, it is best to develop the valuable skill of wine label removal with a beer bottle first. For this practice to work, choose beer bottles with labels similar to wine label materials.

By taking the time to practice this valuable skill with beer bottle labels, you can make mistakes in a low-risk situation. Once you feel confident, you can use the other methods.

Tip 3 Manage Your Label Collection

Taking the time to remove wine labels only makes sense if you have somewhere to put your new label collection. There are a few options. You could use a photo album. Alternatively, you can try using wine journals to hold your collection.

How To Remove Wine Labels: 4 Methods To Use

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