What The Heck Is Barcoding?
If you're building a wine cellar, I would seriously consider barcoding all of your wines.
This is the ultimate in wine cellar management...
Having the ability to print and scan your own labels makes wine migration to and from your cellar a breeze! Initially though, it takes a while to get all of your current wine's information entered in and the barcodes on.
The barcode contains all the information about each bottle of wine:
- date purchased and what you paid for it
- current value
- when to drink window
- the bottle's exact location within your cellar etc
You can stick the newly printed label right on the bottle or on a bottle tag for easy viewing. Your barcode scanner can be left right in the cellar, so scanning becomes second nature after a while. It only takes a few seconds.
There is the need to make a small investment in the proper equipment though. Some wine cellar software companies offer their own barcode scanners, printers and labels. But you can also buy your own. One of the most reliable label printers in the business is the Dymo LabelWriter 450.
Here's what you'll need for barcoding:
Scanner (Barcode Reader)
You'll need a barcode scanner to read the barcode on the label. This is where all of the information on each wine gets collected. Most of them are handheld and portable so you can go directly to the bottle in the rack to scan the label on it.
As you might have guessed, the printer spits out the barcode sticker that you simply place onto the bottle or bottle tag.
Previously mentioned, Dymo is one of the most reliable label printers and comes with a two-year warranty. You'll need to download their latest software and drivers here. Just enter the fields and click the download button for "LabelWriters", either Mac or Windows - (doesn't support iOS or Android yet). Using this software enables you to print in many different languages as well.
Labels come in different formats depending on what your needs are, and what you want printed on them. Dymo labels that come in a roll (qty.500) instead of sheets is a waste-free way to go! You print off only what you need.
Use the above labels for barcodes or other information related to each bottle of wine. Just print, peel and stick.
Bottle tags simply hang on the neck of the bottle when at rest in the wine rack. You can simply write a note on the tag or stick a barcode label on it. They make it super easy to scan or view what that bottle of wine is all about, without pulling the bottle out of the rack.
You'll have to decide if putting the barcode on a bottle tag (which hangs on the neck of the bottle), is something you're going to want to live with visually. They can really take away from the look and feel of a beautiful wine cellar. The tags are very practical though, since you can scan the bottle without taking it out to get all of the information on it.