how to collect wine labels

How to Collect Wine Labels: A Guide To Your New Hobby

Don’t be surprised. Why is collecting stamps a very typical business and widespread hobby(it is called philately), but you think it is weird to collect wine labels? Well, you shouldn’t! And today we will discuss how to do that properly and talk about this new hobby we recommend you adopt! So, do you know how to collect wine labels?

First, you should remove and preserve wine bottle labels carefully, it would help if you heated the bottle to remove the glued paper without tearing it apart. Once the glue is melted, use a utility knife to lift one corner of the label, and it should peel immediately. You can put the removed label in a book to rest and then put it in your album next to the others.

Before we move on, let’s create a name for our new hobby. Think greek, as the whole world did once. Take “Philo” as love, loving, and “Krasí” as wine. So combining the two, we got philokrasí.

This word expresses all the love we have for wine and anything connected with it, including the labels. So collecting wine labels is a hobby named Philokrasí(Wikipedia give me a call).

Instructions for the Wine Label Peeling Process

It is a bit uncomfortable to save the labels when they have a bottle attached. So first things first, we are going to remove the bottle glass from the label. No need to warn you, do it as gently as you can to save the label’s initial look.

So what we need to use is:

  • Water (3 cups)
  • Paper towel
  • Utility knife

General Instructions

City market in Tuscany with famous bottles of local wine on display in store shop window
  1. First, boil the water. We will use the boiling water to heat the bottle and make the glue melt. Winemakers use a high qualified glue, so it is hard to remove it just by peeling it off. To reach the label area, we need 710 ml of water, which is about 3 cups.
  2. With the next step, you should pour the boiled water directly into the bottle. Take all the safety measurements into account not to burn yourself. Put the bottle into the sink and then pour the water. To run the water into the bottle, you need to hold the bottle to do it more comfortably. So, wear an oven glove. If the kettle is narrow, it will not cause difficulties to pour the water from the pot to the bottle, but if it is not, please use a funnel to avoid rushing the water all over the kitchen and your hands.
  3. Once you pour the water into the bottle successfully, you should now leave it for about 5-10 minutes. It needs time to melt the glue so you will be able to work. Meanwhile, you can enjoy a glass of wine from your collection.
  4. When the waiting time is up, you should pour the water out of the bottle. Please put the gloves on again as the bottle is still hot. Carefully grab the bottle and tip the water out into the sink.
  5. Now take the paper towel and soak any drops that may be on the bottle. Be very careful and gentle in your moves not to spoil the label or peel it off piece by piece.
  6. Once the water has been emptied, now is the most responsible part; you should remove the label. With one hand, hold the bottle still. Use the other hand to carefully start the knife’s edge ( you also can use a razor). Slide into a corner of the label, and once it is already torn from the bottle, you can go further, lift and peel the rest of the label very carefully.
  7. Now you want to give a good rest to the label before sticking it again in the album where you will keep your collection. Please put it in a book and leave it there for a day. There you go.

Additional Tips

Author Note: The great part of this process is that you don’t need to get wet with the label, which can be damaged. This is actually a great way to remove some unique labels of anything you want to save without damaging them.

There are other methods, of course, to remove glued labels out of the glass. Like boiling it in copper, or steam the label holding the empty bottle over the steam. But as we mentioned, those methods make the label wet, which may cause damages to the label.

There is another modern way to make the label peeling easily. You can bake the empty wine bottle in the oven or microwave. But this can be dangerous if you forget to set the right temperature.

The Art of Collecting Wine Labels

Some wine producers pay famous artists to design the labels of the wine they make. And the result can be so fantastic that you even forget about the wine and want to just frame the label on your walls. Besides this, many winemaking companies change the label of their famous products or make some slight changes, as per the customers’ needs (e.g., they want the letters to be bigger). And the old labels become vintage.

So real wine lovers collect the label for that reason, to complete their collection of vintages. Some time ago, people collected the bottles of wines for vintage collections (there are such people nowadays, too), but then they realized how much room it can occupy.

So they found the creative solution to continue their favorite job, slightly changing the way they did it before. Besides, this can involve more people, the ones who collect stamps and also the ones who collect postcards.

If you are very serious about this and want to have collections of ancient wine types, those that were out of made when you haven’t yet been born; you can always buy them at auction.

Let’s suggest some creative ideas on how to collect wine labels.

Photo Album

Label of a wine bottle Le Montrachet

The older the wine label, the older the casket. Those albums have been out of fashion for years. There are very few people who use them to save the paper photos in it. The digital world absorbs everything paper, including the old, good tradition of printing paper pictures.

This is not bad and nor good; this is the reality. But there are old school people who prefer traditional ways, and that’s why photo albums are still on the shelves of bookstores.

We suggest you buy one and save the labels of the wine you used in this album. The real thing about this is that you can touch them, take them out of the pockets of the album, and maybe give them away from your collection to your dearest person.


Scrapbooks have become popular in the last 3-5 years, and they are amazing! The idea behind this was to hold onto memories and make them remain fresh and colorful. But over time, keeping a scrapbook becomes a unique hobby and a nice way to keep your hokey-pokey in one place and a bit organized.

Author Note: The difference between a regular sketchbook and a scrapbook is that you usually only draw in a sketchbook; with a scrapbook, you can stick flowers, stamps, postcards, stickers, draw and write, in a word, anything that comes to your mind.

Imagine how cool it would be to keep a scrapbook on wine and save your most beautiful labels here within some quotes and maybe a piece of cork and any other thing that can remind you of wine.

Wine Bottle

Do you remember when we put letters in the bottle and threw them in the ocean to reach our loved ones? Just kidding; we didn’t do so, but there was such a mail option ages ago. But now, you can use a wine bottle as a container to collect wine labels.

You can peel the labels (you already know how to do it), roll them, and put them into the bottle. Remember to remove the container-bottle tags as well.

This is a very creative and handy way to save your favorite labels, and then you can take them out and stick them on some bottles of wines you make and give them to your loved ones.


Vino Nobile di Montepulciano bottle from 2008

The notebook is in between the scrapbook and the photo album. You can laminate the labels and glue them into the pages of the notebook. Consider sticking one label on each page and make them comfortable and leave space for the notes you may take about each label.

This is a great way to save them by the dates they were produced from the earliest to the latest. And you will have your own little museum of wines.

Cloud-Based Storage

Author Note: We are not sure about the whole thought of saving wine labels in online storage, but this can be another option for combining the old and the new. It would help if you scanned them first before moving them to the storage you use.

The good thing about the latest technologies is that you can give real labels to the people who prefer saving them with the methods mentioned above.

Parting Thoughts

Wine evenings are for memories to recall. You bring old pictures, take a look at them, close your eyes and try to picture the day that happened decades ago. And all these with a sip of good, vintage wine.

Wine is a memory, and you should save it too. Who knows what that old label can remind you of! We hope you enjoyed our guide on how to collect wine labels.

To living a full-bodied life,


1 thought on “How to Collect Wine Labels: A Guide To Your New Hobby”

  1. Wesley –
    I have several original decorative card stock wine bottle cartons used by Almaden Vineyards that were designed by my late father who was the commercial artist responsible for their respective designs (after approval by the customer, of course). They are from the late ’50s and early 60s. They are in KD (knocked down) condition.

    These cartons are as follows:
    Champagne (Reflective Silver and Plum).
    Champagne Solo (Ruby Red, Buff and Decorative prints of workers in a vineyard).
    Centennial Brandy (Reflective Silver and Ruby Red).
    Solera Duo Sherry (Sky Blue, Off-White and Photo of bottle and glasses).
    Solera Duo Sherry (Burnt Orange with Decorative prints of workers/grape baskets).
    Champagne Blanc De Blancs (Leatherette Brown with Black bottle 4/5 Quart).

    If anyone out there would like these for their collection, I’d be happy to send them at no cost.

    Best regards,

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