V. DRINKING WINE
Dealing With the Open Bottle: Getting the Label Off
Maybe in the scheme of things (and what is the scheme in hyper-text, anyhow?), putting a section on how to get the label off a bottle here might seem out of place. But since we couldn't think of a better place, and since it is probably one of the most asked questions not directly related to drinking wine, here goes.
Thre are many suggestions here, but we haven't seen and/or done any of them since we're not into saving labels. But many are! Once the label is off, store them in whatever fashion you like. One correspondent likes to rubber cement the label into spiral notebooks.
Also, rather than going through the trouble of trying to get labels off, you may be able to get (at least) current labels directly from the winery just for the asking.
Once the label is off, pat it dry then place between paper towels. Sometimes it will help to cover the adhesive size with a single tissue as well. Press by placing under a stack of books (careful not to let the liquid destroy the books!) or between clamped pieces of wood. Change the paper towels once or twice a day until the labels are dry which may take two to four day.
Put a few drops of dishwashing detergent in the hot water.
For labels with a hot-melt glue (look for bands of adhesive on the back), try putting the bottle in a large container filled with boiling hot water, soak for a few minutes, then take the razor blade to it.
Soak in water with some ammonia added--and some have said all ammonia, but I'll bet they really meant just a mixture (and I assume you don't heat it?). The ammonia is said to disolve the glue, but then evaporate from the label, leaving no residue. Be careful with glossy labels as the ammonia may dissolve the ink.
For glue which is soluble in gasoline, soak in gasoline for 10 to 30 minutes and they will fall off. Definitely don't heat it. Furthermore, I DO NOT suggest this technique, since it is much too dangerous. DON'T DO IT!
If water won't penetrate metal or foil labels, try soaking overnight in a wetting agent such as a concentrated wall-paper remover solution. Work with the razor blade technique, but you may only be able to go a little way in at a time before peeling becomes impossible. At this point, put the bottle back to soaking overnight. Repeat until the label is removed. May also work on non-foil labels.