Sunday, July 18, 2010

Velo et Vin

The cupboard of a friend's grandmother's house is lined inside the doors with countless wine labels going back to the 1940's, presumably commemorating many an enjoyable evening of food, wine and friends.

Inspired by her cupboard I decided that I'd start a version of this myself but with a twist. Being --as you know-- a fan of bicycles, I thought I'd make a point of collecting wine labels with bicycle imagery. I'm not sure, but it seems that bicycle-themed wine labels have been a bit of a trend in the last few years, but the truth is I have no idea. I think its one of those things where when you start looking for something you start seeing all over the place.

Nancy and I had Cycles Gladiator as one of the wines served at our wedding. As someone said, what could be better then flying naked redheads and bicycles? In fact it was on our honeymoon in Quebec that I acquired the Nicolas Laloux label, while I first saw but did not acquire the Penny Farthing bottle up in Sherbrooke while out for dinner. I wanted to ask the waiter if they could grab it from the recycling but shied away from doing so. Not too long after I found it again.

So, if you come across a bike related wine (or beer for that matter) let me know about it, I'd love to add to my collection. What's out there that I've missed?


Paul Dunn said...

Hi Dave,

I came across your blog when searching for "Nicolas Laloux" wine, since it has a bicycle on the label and I don't have that one yet !

Nice collection - how do you remove the label without damage?

Check out for a photo collection devoted to this topic - some of my collection is there under the name pauldunn1959.

Have fun,

Anonymous said...

Hey Dave!

I'm myself a collector of wine labels and came across your blog via searching for 'wine label collection'.

I will have a look in my collection if I can find anything related to bicycles. I will let you know!

So are you only going to collect bicycle related wine labels? Are you keeping your grandma's collection as well?

All the best with collecting!

Some good tricks for removing wine labels are: case of a sticker label:
step 1: boil water in a kettle
step 2: fill the bottle with the water untill almost full (be careful though :)!)
step 3: close the bottle with a cork
step 4: leave it stand for 5-10 minutes
step 5: place the bottle (with the water still in it in case the label isn't coming of yet) horizontally on a tea towel
step 6: use a cutter knife to slowly detach the label from the bottle
step 7: place the label (probably still with some glue on it) on a clean white sheet of paper
step 8: add to your collection

2. in case of a glued label (soluble glue can often be recognised by horizontal lines):
step 1: put hot water in the bottle and close with a cork
step 2: fill a little tub (or any container you like) with hot water
step 3: immerse the bottle in the water and leave it there for approx. 15-20 minutes (depends)
step 4: remove the bottle from the water and place the bottle (with the water still in it in case the label isn't coming of yet)
horizontally on a tea towel and dry the bottle and label
step 5: use a cutter knife to slowly detach the label from the bottle.
step 6: place the label (probably still a bit wet) on a clean towel/sheet of paper and let it dry
step 7: place the label in a book to straighten it out
step 8: add to your collection

These guidelines should help you with removing the label.
But keep in mind the 2 golden rules:
1. protect yourself from burning yourself...and
2. be patient: do not rush.

Have fun and let me know if you need any further help.
Other suggestions and tips are always welcome.

Filip Cayman

Dave said...

Hey Filip,

Thanks for the instructions on removing wine labels. It never occurred to me to put hot water IN the bottle. That makes a lot of sense.

Good luck with your collection.


Dave said...

Hi Paul,

Thanks for the link to the Flickr page. I especially like the "Fiets" label. I'll be keeping an eye out for that one..