Custom wine bottle and engraved wine glasses as gift? HELP!
July 29, 2009 9:07 AM   Subscribe

I would like to give custom wine glasses and wine with a custom label as a gift to my SO...advice??

I have looked around the internet and have seen several places to get personalized/engraved wine glasses. Riedel seems the most common brand.

I'm just looking for some advice for the best place to get these or other's experience.

I would like the engraving to me two letters/initials but would be interested in having a simple image or saying engraved as well.

Are Riedel wine glasses the brand to go with? I'm looking to spend anywhere from $100-$200.

Additionally, I would like to give a wine bottle with a custom label. Any advice on how to do this? I am pretty artistic and could print something up myself. Can I just soak any bottle of wine in soap and water to remove its label to add mine?

posted by jdlugo to Food & Drink (5 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Riedel glasses are great. I like the little wine tumblers (with no stem) but that is probably not great for white wine, since the wine warms with the heat from your hand. For engraving, try Williams-Sonoma, Red Envelope, or even Macy's.
posted by heather-b at 9:23 AM on July 29, 2009

Riedels are really nice glasses and are easy to find with custom etches, but like...people bag on them because they don't want to buy into the whole "Riedel Custom Glass For Each Varietal" thing, which is fine, but they are still nice glasses.

For custom-labeling wine, you can send your art to wine label printers that will do a small runs of wine labels and will send you them printed and die cut: is an example. People like this will also sell you blank wine labels you can print at home. In my experience, your best bet for getting this to look real is if you have a solid ink printer. Ink jet looks like you made it at home. Even digital laser seemed dicey for us, depends on the art I guess though, solid ink handles big color blobs well. The downside is that the solid ink output is very easily chipped, so your labels will be more fragile than a real wine label and will get chippy (meaning ink will come off, leaving the white paper exposed) on the edges if you aren't careful with them.

You can also buy blank bottles and refill and cork them.

Companies like will take your label art and apply it pro-style to a bottle of wine that the already have. This will probably come out looking the best (IME) but will also mean you have to deal with their budge wines.

I don't know about removing the label from an existing bottle, I've had mixed results with this. It depends a lot on the type of label and bottle I think. Like the labels on traditional Burgundies say come off really easily, and a little googone or something will take care of any residue, but New World wines with modern-looking labels can be considerably more stuck.
posted by jeb at 9:25 AM on July 29, 2009

If money is a consideration, you can get some nice wine glasses and etch a design on them for cheap.

Typically when I do this on wine glasses, I stencil something in contact paper, stick it on the glass, and then apply the etching cream. I've never actually bought custom etched/engraved glass products, so I can't help you there.
posted by scrutiny at 9:32 AM on July 29, 2009

I don't have any experience with engraving wine glasses, though I have cut my own stencils and etched glass before. It doesn't sound like budget is a concern, but a small bottle of etching cream is $5, and a roll of contact paper just a few bucks. Personally, I'd be concerned with the glasses breaking in shipping and I'd consider seeking a local artisan to do the work for you. If nothing else, the place that makes bowling trophies probably engraves glasses as well.

Re-labeling wine bottles, on the other hand, is something I probably know too much about.

Most labels will just soak off. Look out for labels that are printed on glossy paper-- they may use a stronger adhesive, and of course screen printed bottles won't work either. GooGone should remove just about any adhesive you run into.

Also, you'll probably want to go with a dry adhesive for your own label, so think spray mount like 3M Super 77. If ink-fastness would be a problem, say if you were going to chill a bottle of white in ice, you might consider a clear top coat spray. A ribbon or strip of paper can cover up any branding on the foil at the neck and the wax seal, if present, can likely be reheated and stamped again.

Be sure you buy photo-quality paper for your printing, like this. It can hold a higher resolution image than your standard printer paper. When printing, make sure you go into your printer settings, and set everything to maximum quality.
posted by fontophilic at 9:41 AM on July 29, 2009

I guess cost is more of a factor with respect to the label. Most of these places charge a pretty high setup fee ($30-$50) and I only want one label...

For the label, I may just do this myself using watercolors and a local printer.

I would love more suggestions about how or where to get wine glasses etched. Should I consider other brands than Riedel?
posted by jdlugo at 12:27 PM on July 29, 2009

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