ask dr. vinny

Hello there! I'm Dr. Vinifera, or "Vinny" for short. Ask me your toughest wine questions, from the technical aspects of winemaking to the fine points of etiquette. I hope you find my answers educational and even amusing. Looking for a particular answer? Check my archive and my FAQs. You can also follow me on Twitter: @AskDrVinny.


Dear Dr. Vinny,

In 2009, my family and I enjoyed a bottle of Château Pavie 1966 with Christmas dinner. It was the last bottle of a case of ’66 Pavie that my godfather had given to my parents in 1970 or thereabouts. Its 11 siblings had long since been opened and consumed before I was born. Though the wine was more than 40 years old at the time, we finally opened it two years ago, and I’m happy to say that it was still quite enjoyable and that we have kept the empty bottle as a keepsake. However, I have recently noticed the label is starting to peel off. Can you give me some suggestion as to how I can reapply it back on the bottle before it comes off completely?

—Ted H., Cincinnati

Dear Ted,

What a great story. Since I don’t have a bottle of 1966 Pavie to reference personally (I wish!), I’m going to guess that the label was glued on, as opposed to the sticker-type labels that are much more common these days. You could use a bit of rubber cement or a glue stick to try to reattach corners that are peeling off.

Or, if you feel that the whole label is sliding off and needs to be freshly reattached, you could soak the bottle in warm water until the label comes off entirely. Then, once the label is dry, you might consider framing it, or, again, you could reattach it to the bottle with either rubber cement or a glue stick.

You might want to try a little test area with whatever adhesive you’re leaning towards, just to make certain that it doesn’t discolor the label.

—Dr. Vinny


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