"If you're gonna make the wine, you've gotta make the label...."
I know there are programs out there for making wine labels, but I've never found the need
for one. My labels, for the most part, are simple and to the point. They say everything
I need or want them to say, and they say it simply. The examples above are such labels.
If I want the label to say more, I just say it. The two labels above are for a Port wine I
made in 2004. I could not decide which label I liked best, so bottled half with one label
and half with the other. Note the residual Brix, stated just after the alcohol percentage.
The point is that the label can convey as much or as little as one wants it to convey.
These are easy to spot in the wine rack. I was playing with image size,
but these may have been a tad too small. Compare with the following....
These labels are simple but attractive. Both wines were excellent. Note the date on
the Aronia Berry Wine is not a vintage, but included to manage its cellar life.
Two labels embracing simplicity intended to adorn bottles given as gifts.
I used to make my text-only labels in Microsoft's Word for Windows. I've made some
really fancy ones containing both scanned and hand-drawn images using Xerox's Ventura
Publisher. Today, I mostly use Microsoft's Paintbrush and Image Composer and Corel's Corel Draw.
Labels produced with these programs are then printed. For display here they were converted
into .gif a or .jpg files. These programs are easy to use and create files that are easily
edited. The large collection of fonts delivered with Corel Draw can be used by any of
these programs and expand the variety one can create. However, you can use whatever word
processing or graphics program you're comfortable with. It's only important that you do it
The labels I make vary in size and are printed two or four to a page and trimmed with a
drop-blade paper cutter. I use either glue sticks or a spray-on adhesive to affix them to
the bottles. I've used self-adhesive label paper and found it not really worth the added
expense, and they are somewhat difficult to later remove when reusing the bottles.
These labels are for a 3-gallon batch of dandelion. The size (4 x 2.5 inches) fits a LASERRUN
label I found, laid out 8 labels to a sheet. I used Microsoft's Word for Windows to set up
a 2-column page, onto which I inserted the images. The black-background label was for clear
bottles; the transparent background prints out white and looked good on yellow/amber bottles.
These labels were set up as the previous two and printed eight to a page on peel-off
labels. Easy to apply, but a pain to remove when you want to reuse the bottle.
A 5-gallon batch was fermented to dryness and half was bottled dry. The remainder
was sweetened to 1.010. The dry aged better because the sweet was drank quickly.
If you use a program specifically designed for wine or beer labels, I'd like to hear about
it. Also, if you'd like to send me scanned copies or graphic files (.bmp, .gif, etc.) of the
labels you've made, I'd love to see them. Just attach them to an email and I'll
take a look.
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Last update was August 3rd, 2008.