How to Make Your Own Wine Labels
Why You Should Label Your Wines
| Items Needed to Create Labels
Types of Wine Labels | Software
| No Drips or Runs Allowed |
Labeling Wines Is Important
I once knew a vintner who had a simple answer to wine labels - he
labeled his bottles of wine with a single letter written on the
top of the cork. At first blush, it may sound like a great timesaving
idea - it's certainly faster than creating paper labels - but can
you imagine how long it took him to find an '98 Cabernet Sauvignon?
It must have taken us the better part of an hour and several opened
bottles to find the right "C" bottle... because he had
also labeled his Chardonnays, Cab/Merlots and Chiantis with the
Don't fool yourself... A simple letter written on the top of your
cork isn't enough to describe the type of wine in your bottle. As
a home winemaker, it's important that you know each bottle's contents,
history, and vintage year.
Besides helping you find the bottle you want quickly, labels can
also express your artistic side as well as help you gain control
over your wine inventory.
Before we can make labels, though, let's take a look at the things
What You'll Need
Assuming you'll want to create several labels at once instead of
making them one at a time by hand (each 6 gallon batch of wine produces
around 30 bottles), here are the items that you'll need to make
your own wine labels:
- Plain/gummed paper or label stock
- Software that supports graphics and labels
- Scissors or paper cutter
Optional, Fancy Items
We'll cover each item, one at a time. Hang on, here we go!
You already have a computer (or at least access to one) or you wouldn't
be reading this web page. It doesn't have to be one of those new
gee-whiz computers with tons of features, but it does need to be
powerful enough to run your chosen software (more on that below)
and be able to print. Both Macintosh and Windows machines will work
fine for this project.
The biggest question is whether you want color labels or black and
white labels. If you still have an old black and white printer,
you'll be surprised how little a new color ink jet printer costs
We use a Color LaserJet printer to make wine labels at grapestompers.com,
since the toner is heated or "burned" onto the paper and
the ink will not run when wet. We realize that LaserJet printers
are out of the price range of most folks' pocketbooks, but for those
who use ink jet printers, there are tricks you
can use to prevent the ink from running if the wine label should
Paper or Label Stock
Deciding which type of label paper to use will be the biggest single
decision you'll make for this project. Here's a list of the different
types of paper, and list their advantages and disadvantages, so
you can make the best decision for your particular situation.
Least cost; readily available.
Must figure out a way to glue labels onto bottles that is
good enough to hold well but is easy enough to wash off when
recycling bottles. Most folks use a glue stick.
Glue already applied to back of paper; labels soak off easily
when recycling bottles. If you desire, four sheets
of blank gummed paper (either white, light blue, or canary)
are provided FREE with the purchase
of any grape concentrate.
Must be sure to print on the correct side of paper. If paper
gets wet or hot, pages will stick together.
Peel and Stick Labels
Most software (MS Word, desktop publishing apps) has native
support for Avery labels and their clones.
Labels can be difficult to remove after using.
and Vine Labels or Stoney
Creek Wine Press Labels
Great designs and graphics; all you need to do is add text.
A good option if you have a B&W LaserJet and lots of money.
Most expensive option. Must use special wine labeling software.
Luckily, several types of software can be used to make your wine
labels. Here's a short list of the programs we've used successfully
in the past:
- Wine Label
- Microsoft Word
- Microsoft Publisher
- Print Shop
- FileMaker Pro
- Microsoft Access
- Microsoft Excel
grapestompers.com has currently settled on an inexpensive
(around $50) desktop publishing program called Print
Artist Platinum Plus. This is the software we use to make your
free wine labels. It does a great job and there are 7 CD's of images
available, with a searchable index.
Scissors or Paper Cutter
We've tried scissors, but really prefer a paper cutter to get consistently
Scan any photo or drawing and drop it onto your wine label.
Take a picture and use it as a background or the focal point of
your wine label. Most cameras save files in JPG format, which is
compatible with all the software programs listed above.
Preventing Soggy Colors
Over the years, we've heard some pretty nifty ways to prevent ink
jet colors from running. The basic idea is to print your wine labels,
allow the ink to dry, spray on a waterproof coating, cut or separate
the labels, then apply the labels to the bottle.
In no certain order, here are some spray coatings we've seen used:
- Blair Color Gloss Plastic Coat
- Kamar Varnish - made by Krylon
- Spray Varnish - made by Delta
- Top Coat Spray (satin finish) - made by Delta
- Clear Acrylic Sealers (gloss) - made by Krylon
Spray coatings of this sort can be found at your local arts and
crafts or hobby store (such as Michaels)
for about $5.95 to $7.95 a can.
Making your own personalized wine labels is both practical and lets
your creative juices flow. You can easily make your own labels for
only pennies apiece with no more than a computer, printer, paper,
Best yet, you get FREE personalized
wine labels with each grape concentrate kit you purchase from grapestompers.com.
We're happy to make the labels for you using one of our standard
designs and your text, or we can send you blank gummed paper so
you can make them yourself.
Just let us know your preference when ordering.
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