6 Best Practices for Labeling Wine Bottles to Ensure Your Spot in an Ultra-Competitive Industry


With the number of wineries on the rise, it’s more important than ever to present a polished, consistent product by using a quality labeling machine.

The number of wineries in the United States has doubled over the past decade, having recently surpassed the 10,000 mark. At the same time, after 24 years of growth, wine consumption in the US market slowed to 1.2 percent in 2018.

But there’s good news, too. Americans are still drinking wine and spending more per bottle. According to Wines & Vines Analytics, total US wine sales are up 4 percent, topping out at $48,396 million over the past 12 months.


What does all of this mean for you? It means there's a great opportunity for growth and success, but it’s crucial to keep best practices in mind when bottling and labeling wine. 

We’ve identified 6 key labeling opportunities that can help keep your wine bottle ahead of the curve.

1. Be Adaptable and Creative to Keep Up with Trends 

The 2019 State of the Wine Industry Report suggests that consumer health may be one reason that consumption has not continued to grow as much as the wine industry would like. Baby boomers are drinking less due to health concerns, while millennials are more committed to healthy living than past generations. In addition, products such as ciders, cannabis, and the newest craft beers and spirits may be diverting attention from wine — both trendiness and price-point factor in heavily with younger generations.

To address these concerns, here are a few trends you should know about.

  • Pink, Sparkling, Crisp, and Red Wine varieties are showing the most growth potential.
  • Cider, Sangria, and Wine Cocktails tap into the millennials’ desire to explore new products.
  • Healthy descriptors such as gluten-free, low carb, vegan-friendly, etc. may influence purchasing.
  • Wine in cans and boxes is now viewed as a trendy, convenient, and affordable way to enjoy wine.
  • Midrange price-points between $11-19 show the most promise for volume and value growth.
  • Regional wines from Oregon, New Zealand, and France continue to maintain popularity.
  • Cross-over products that mix wine with beer, spirits, juice, and cannabis beverages are seeing interest.

2. Make Sure Your Design Connects with Consumers 

According to a survey of 2,000 wine drinkers, the wine bottle and label are often what prompts consumers to purchase. 


When shown several wine bottles ranging from $10-150 in price:

  • 82% of survey respondents chose a wine bottle based on the appearance of the label
  • 65% were influenced by how expensive they thought the wine looked (actual prices were not disclosed)
  • 58% cared about the wine region
  • 53% were impacted by the shape and color of the bottle
  • 46% prefer to purchase something they’ve enjoyed in the past
  • 42% preferred a vintage wine

The moral of the survey? When labeling wine, you absolutely want to make sure your wine bottle looks amazing. Whether that means fun and quirky or elegant and sophisticated might depend on your target market — but either way, your wine bottle should capture attention and evoke quality. That means your wine label needs an artistic, professional design — and needs to be properly and consistently adhered to ensure that your wine bottle looks its best on the shelf.

3. Increase Your Efficiency and Speed to Market 

Another best practice to consider for your wine bottling operation is which labeling machine will allow you to make more wine in less time. Ask yourself: is it time to “up” our wine labeling game? 

Investing in a wine labeling machine that will help you ramp up production while maintaining quality may be just what you need to keep up with the competition. If purchasing a large, fully automatic labeling machine sounds overwhelming, consider a semi-automatic model that fits your wine labeling needs today but is scalable for the future.

The key is to make sure that your labeling capabilities are able to keep up with your production. Also, when purchasing an automated labeling machine, it’s a great idea to add a pack out table  which allows your line to run at full speed while the wine bottles are boxed for shipping.

4. Build a Trusted Reputation through Consistency 

By investing in an eye-catching, professionally designed wine label, your brand will be well on its way to developing a reputation that brings return business. However, if you’re still hand labeling your wine bottles, you’re limiting your speed to market and leaving your product vulnerable to quality control issues. 

Wine bottles will not present well on the shelf if labels are crooked, torn, or placed inconsistently. When labeling wine, it’s especially important to make sure labels adhere properly. People entertaining guests may not choose your product again if the label looks unsightly or comes off when placed in the ice bucket.

Your wine bottle offers the perfect opportunity to communicate the quality of your brand to customers. A quality labeling machine will help ensure that your labels are consistently placed and fully adhered, with speed and accuracy every single time.

5. Invest in Equipment that offers Flexibility & Adaptability 

When choosing the best wine bottle labeling machine, you want to begin with your current goals but also keep where you’re headed in mind. Look for a labeling machine with the flexibility to grow with you, including adjustable speeds and adaptability, so you can easily label more than one product.


The cost of a labeling machine may seem initially daunting, but can be offset by increased production and savings on labor costs. Semi-automatic machines are less costly than fully-automatic inline machines. They offer amazing bang for your buck by meeting a wide variety of needs, both today and into the future.

6. Choose a Knowledgeable Partner 

If you’re considering a wine labeling machine, finding a trusted partner is the easiest way to learn about your options and choose the best equipment to meet your needs. Pack Leader USA specializes in equipment for labeling wine, no matter the size of your operation. Our labeling machine experts are here for you every step of the way, from free consultations to training to service.

Download the Wine Industry’s Guide to Labeling Equipment