Wine bottle shortage?

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Jovimaple

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Like a lot of you, I'm into recycling/reuse. I reuse my own bottles (triple rinse, drain and dry), and delabel certain commercial wines that we buy. The best way I've found to delabel is using heat. After my wife is finished with baking in the oven, and it cools to about 300 deg. F, I will put a load of bottles in for 5 to 10 min. to soften the glue. Then using a pair of heavy leather gloves, I use a knife to peal the corner of a label off and then grab the corner and slowly pull. Generally, the entire label comes off leaving little residue. The trick is not to soften the glue too much, so that it sticks to the paper of the label. Too hot or too long, and the glue gets too soft and wants to stick to the bottle. Experiment. YRMV. If one type of label doesn't "behave", it goes straight to recycling.

Greg
I have started recycling bottles with labels that don't cooperate. I always feel so guilty, though - it's a perfectly good bottle! But then I remind myself of the time and aggravation I am saving myself, and I move on. Ha!

I usually soak bottles in hot water, then use a plastic scraper. I peel off as much as I can and then use a magic eraser to get the rest. My own labels come off easily with that method. For others, I put in a little effort but then recycle as soon as I remember I don't HAVE to keep them all.
 

Scooter68

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Local restaurants are a good source of used bottles. Most of the bottle in my cellar came from restaurants.

One of the advantages to that is a known type of bottle if the restaurant sells a limited variety or 'pushes' specific brands of wine. That makes it much easier to get matching bottles over time. Fortunately I would hope that most restaurants prefer the old-fashioned "Corked" bottles over screw tops as that would appear a little classier to customers. (Appearances matter so...)
 

Jovimaple

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For reds, definitely. However, I'm seeing more and more whites in screwcap bottles.
I have moved away from screw cap bottles since corks are cheaper. (And I also got a floor corker which made it so I didn't need Hubby's help like I did when corking with a hand corker.)

It became bothersome to try to get the bottles AND caps back from friends.
 

SouthernVino

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I too reuse my bottles. New commercial bottles I remove labels wash, rinse, and dry. I store all of them upside down in boxes. At bottling time, all I have to do is sterilize with StarSan and bottle. Quick and easy.

To remove labels, I just take a pan of boiling water and pour it into the bottle. Let’s it sit for a few minutes, then pour out the water and peel the labels off. If I have more than one bottle to do, instead of pouring out the water, I just pour it into the next bottle. While I am peeling the label for one, the other is being prepared for the same process.

for any left over residue from the glue, I rub some Olive Oil on it with a paper towel til removed and wash with warm water.

The whole process is quick, easy, and uses no chemicals.
 

Mike53154

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I too reuse my bottles. New commercial bottles I remove labels wash, rinse, and dry. I store all of them upside down in boxes. At bottling time, all I have to do is sterilize with StarSan and bottle. Quick and easy.

To remove labels, I just take a pan of boiling water and pour it into the bottle. Let’s it sit for a few minutes, then pour out the water and peel the labels off. If I have more than one bottle to do, instead of pouring out the water, I just pour it into the next bottle. While I am peeling the label for one, the other is being prepared for the same process.

for any left over residue from the glue, I rub some Olive Oil on it with a paper towel til removed and wash with warm water.

The whole process is quick, easy, and uses no chemicals.

I normally soak my bottles in hot water with oxiclean for a couple hours and scrape the labels off with a plastic scraper and sometimes if necessary a safety razor blade 🤷‍♂️

Another great option would be to take a hairdryer and heat the lable starting on one end, as you heat the lable, peel it off as you move the heat slowly across the lable. Easy peezy 👍
 

TurkeyHollow

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I also reuse bottles so I made this sheet to remind me of just how foolish I can be with my time:
Just wasting time
Oh yeah... the spreadsheet should have a column for time wasted on creating a wasted time spreadsheet but I then would have to put another wasted time column in for contemplating adding wasted time columns!
 

Jovimaple

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I also reuse bottles so I made this sheet to remind me of just how foolish I can be with my time:
Just wasting time
Oh yeah... the spreadsheet should have a column for time wasted on creating a wasted time spreadsheet but I then would have to put another wasted time column in for contemplating adding wasted time columns!
I have done similar calculations and came to the same conclusion.

I got about 14 cases of used bottles from Craigslist last summer and fall. (The third time, the guy just texted me directly instead of posting it). I FINALLY am done delabeling and washing them all.

I have a dozen more bottles from some friends and then all my used bottles are clean and ready for my own wine and labels. Giving myself permission to recycle those with really tough labels was a game changer, and the delabeling time vs. my day job hourly salary helped to convince me.

I am ready for what I currently have in production, but have already warned hubby that I will need to buy several more cases for everything I have planned for this summer! 😁
 

VinesnBines

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I have done similar calculations and came to the same conclusion.

I got about 14 cases of used bottles from Craigslist last summer and fall. (The third time, the guy just texted me directly instead of posting it). I FINALLY am done delabeling and washing them all.

I have a dozen more bottles from some friends and then all my used bottles are clean and ready for my own wine and labels. Giving myself permission to recycle those with really tough labels was a game changer, and the delabeling time vs. my day job hourly salary helped to convince me.

I am ready for what I currently have in production, but have already warned hubby that I will need to buy several more cases for everything I have planned for this summer! 😁
Watch Facebook Marketplace for free bottles. Also, our state vineyard association has an exchange or classified page. I picked up nine cases of new bottles from a winery that was changing styles. Mainshipfred got a boatload of 350ml the same way and shared with a number of folks. Thanks again Fred! If your state has a winery and or vineyard association, check with them. Some wineries sell the extra cases of new bottles at a discount rather than store them.
 
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I got about 14 cases of used bottles from Craigslist last summer and fall. (The third time, the guy just texted me directly instead of posting it). I FINALLY am done delabeling and washing them all.
I've been cleaning bottles for so many years that I don't even think about it.

A local winery is happy to give way the empties from the tasting room. Their labels have a plastic finish, and I took a tip and fill them with very hot water. Let them stand a few minutes and the labels peel right off. I put the bottles in a sink with Oxyclean, and any remaining glue softens and comes right off. This winery rinses all bottles immediately when empty, so they are clean, but I soak 'em anyway. I did 5 cases in a day.
 
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I have done similar calculations and came to the same conclusion.

I got about 14 cases of used bottles from Craigslist last summer and fall. (The third time, the guy just texted me directly instead of posting it). I FINALLY am done delabeling and washing them all.

I have a dozen more bottles from some friends and then all my used bottles are clean and ready for my own wine and labels. Giving myself permission to recycle those with really tough labels was a game changer, and the delabeling time vs. my day job hourly salary helped to convince me.

I am ready for what I currently have in production, but have already warned hubby that I will need to buy several more cases for everything I have planned for this summer! 😁
If I tell my wife I'm going to buy new bottles when she is in just the right mood, she will scrape the crap out of some labels. Not sure how to calculate that though. :p
 

oppyland

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I also reuse bottles so I made this sheet to remind me of just how foolish I can be with my time:
Just wasting time
Oh yeah... the spreadsheet should have a column for time wasted on creating a wasted time spreadsheet but I then would have to put another wasted time column in for contemplating adding wasted time columns!
Of course, you could extrapolate that to include the labor cost involved in making the wine as well. ;) Hobbies aren't generally good ways to make money!
 
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A friend bottled in gallon jugs -- he decanted into 4 quart or five 750 ml when he needed wine.

First time in his cellar, we walked down a hall to his winemaking area. It took a bit for me to realize the walls of the hallway were 4 count boxes of gallon jugs, stacked floor to ceiling. That was a lot of wine.

Clear jugs are available in bulk for a bit over $6 USD each.

 

NorCal

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Another option that I’ve used for short term storage is the smart bottle bags. Especially for skeeter pee (see post bag-o-pee) dragons blood, whites that are going to be consumed soon. The best thing is you can keep the oxygen out while you consume, now matter how little is left. Cheaper, lighter than bottles and more handy in many situations. The price recently got lowered and I just restocked for this years batch. The delivered cost was $19 for qty 10, 1/2 gallon bags, enough to do a 5 gallon carboy, and they are reusable.
FE930FF3-156F-4DCE-A78C-84878A28AD5D.jpeg
 

Lukaswine

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I've been cleaning bottles for so many years that I don't even think about it.

A local winery is happy to give way the empties from the tasting room. Their labels have a plastic finish, and I took a tip and fill them with very hot water. Let them stand a few minutes and the labels peel right off. I put the bottles in a sink with Oxyclean, and any remaining glue softens and comes right off. This winery rinses all bottles immediately when empty, so they are clean, but I soak 'em anyway. I did 5 cases in a day.
I dislike removing labels and cleaning used bottles. Kudos to you for doing it!😊
 

Jovimaple

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I dislike removing labels and cleaning used bottles. Kudos to you for doing it!😊
A couple people wonder why I just don't leave the existing labels on used bottles, or switch entirely to new bottles.

I'm too cheap to pass up free bottles, and too anal to leave the old labels on them - I want my own labels on my wines!
 

hounddawg

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I'm not all that fond of it either! It's a necessary evil ...
yup me too, my problem is,, i'll chunk used cases to the side, then time to clean them,, sadly i realize what have i done again,,,, all while cleaning 10 to 15 cases, last 4 years,, New Years Resolution , has failed me 4 outta 4,' times , like right this minute i have less then a case needing scraped,, i need to get the gumption up to clean them, it's way to cold to mess with the mules, had my jack trimmed a couple days ago, dang near froze my fingers off, just holding him, Farrier was a lady, first i have ever met, but she knew what she was doing, and climbed in to my jack as good as any man,,, Farriers are hard to find, good ones that is, she treated my jack very well indeed, ,, i ask to get inked in as a customer, yea i'm in for every 8 weeks, she liked pulling up to my barn or in to it if needed, with room for working, she mentioned several times about standing in mud, rain, snow, and she liked that all my animals get handled, i never liked having to battle with a animal 4 time bigger than me,, lol, even the dexter cows come running for a alfalfa cube,
Dawg
 

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