Those who venture deep into the world of wine and adjacent amusements will eventually accumulate a wine collection. The collection could be just a few bottles in a small wooden rack on the kitchen counter or several thousand bottles carefully stored in an environmentally controlled cellar. We might keep track of the collection by taking a peek at the kitchen rack from time to time or we could invest in a software management tool, such as CellarTracker or UnCork, to keep inventory, organize tasting notes, and send an alert when a bottle is ready to drink. For most of us, the size of our collection and how we keep track of it lies somewhere in between.
I’m typical of most casual collectors. Over time I’ve acquired a wide range of wines that, unfortunately, just aren’t ready to drink yet. If they were ready, they wouldn’t be in the collection – they would have been drunk. The collection isn’t big enough to warrant cataloging, either on paper or in a computer. I can look through the small number racks and bins pretty quickly when I’m looking for something. But I do like to collect information on most of my wines, so for now I’m using two simple tools. The first is Wine Notes®, a smart phone app that helps me capture and share tasting notes wherever my wine adventures take me. The second are simple wine bottle labels. These are laser printed on Avery mailing labels. The small label below (top) is printed on Avery label 5162, the larger label (bottom) is 8463.
As shown below on this bottle of San Polino Brunello di Montalcino I picked up in Montalcino, Italy, a few months ago, I previously wrote basic purchase information directly on the bottle label. This works fine when the label is a light color and there is enough space to write clearly, but you can see in the right photograph that the Avery label works better.
To print your own wine bottle labels, use your writing software’s label creation feature (I use Microsoft Word) and select the manufacturer and label number of your choice.
A couple hints about using stick-on wine bottle labels:
- Write your handwritten notes on the label before pealing it from the sheet
- Dry the wine bottle before applying the label if it is cold and even slightly wet
- Use white labels as I have here, Avery sells clear labels of the same size but the printing is very hard to see on red wine bottles
Please comment below and share any wine bottle label ideas you may have.