Whether you keep a wine journal, need to mark a special occasion or just want to remember the wine for a future purchase – wine label removal is not easy. Before manufacturers started using non-water soluble glue, you could just simply soak the bottle in water for a few hours and it would peel right off.
While some companies still attach labels with water soluble glue (it’s water soluble if there are tiny parallel lines on the back of the label), most will not come off. The best way we’ve found to remove the labels is in the oven.
The oven heating method works best if the capsule, the wrapping the covers the neck and cork of the bottle, is still on the bottle. Preheat your oven to 200° F and place the bottle, label up, in the oven for approximately 10 minutes. The heat will not be hot enough to melt the glass (it takes heat well over 2000° F to begin to melt). Once your 10 minute timer goes off, take the bottle out of the oven by the neck and using an oven mitt. From there, you should be able to lift the corner of the label with a box cutter or razor blade and it should peel right off!
Remember, the glue on the label is still there, it’s just melted – so place the label, glue side down on a piece of waxed paper to cool. The bottle will also still be hot, so be sure to put it in a safe place until it cools.
Now the next time you open that bottle of Joseph Phelps Insignia, you’ll know how to save the label!