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Old 02-11-2010, 07:26 PM   #21
curtiswarner
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the professional kits aren't bad, such as those from RJ Spagnols, but they are formulated to appeal to a certain market, and don't always have the same concentration of flavours and aromas and body of regular wine. I tried to evaluate them using The Pocket Sommelier, but they tend to be weak. Good for cooking with, though.

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Old 02-11-2010, 08:00 PM   #22
laundryman
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Myself being a complete beginner, I can agree that we drank our first kit way too early.
A pinot grigio that should age 3 - 6 mos. At 3 mos I only had 1 bottle left and it was just beginning to taste like wine. I think good, high end kits are a great way to get your feet wet. The lesson I learned from batch no. 1 is don't top up with water and be patient! This is a great hobby and an excellent forum to help folks get better at it!

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Old 02-13-2010, 12:41 PM   #23
dogboysdad
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Make out of it what you will.

I am lucky to be in a grape growing area and can enjoy grapes picked only hours before we crush and de-stem them. Grapes like concord, niagra, diamond, etc. make nice wine. We also press thousands of pounds of Washington and California grapes each year. They also make fine wine and we have won several gold and silver medals from the American Wine Society with them. I enjoy them both.

I have noticed that many people who don't like wine will drink several glasses of concord/niagra blend and ask for more. Some years the empty bottle costs me more than the wine in the bottle. I take great pleasure in watching their faces light up when they take that first, curious sip.

What do I enjoy most about making wine? Experimenting and sharing my results.

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Old 02-13-2010, 06:05 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dogboysdad View Post
I take great pleasure in watching their faces light up when they take that first, curious sip.
hahaha that goes for beer and wine, about half of my excitement when a new batch is worth trying is to see what my friends think
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Old 03-25-2010, 09:53 PM   #25
earthboundagain
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I have an uncle who has many years experience in making homemade wine.

He averages around 400 gallons a year and he likes to save good batches for years and years and he always tries to keep at least one bottle from each batch. He has gone as far as to buy several types of barrels to age his wines in.

They are good and I mean really good. Unfortunately for me, he has a high paying job and is a workaholic, and it is hard for me to catch him with some free time, so I can pick his brain someday.

So I guess it is all just a matter of how much effort and time you are willing to commit.
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Old 03-25-2010, 10:09 PM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by earthboundagain View Post
it is hard for me to catch him with some free time
Try to engage him by email and ask him (in his free time) to email you some recipes, pieces of advise, tips/tricks that you can share with others so that the knowledge lives and grows. Tell him it's nothing pressing, take his time. Just when ever he gets a chance.
(Stuff like that stirs people. Mostly because they know it to be true.)

Or you can try to swing a "Hey lets write a book".
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Old 04-01-2010, 04:06 AM   #27
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I know my beers much better than I know my wines. Maybe that's why it seems to me like I come closer to making good wine than good beer. I use 6 gallon buckets of wine grape juice when I try to make wine that's similar to commercial wine. Aging is also very important. Patience and quality ingredients go a long way in wine making. A couple of years ago I made a batch of dandelion wine. I almost gave up on it because it just wouldn't clarify. After it was done with the initial fermentation I racked it two more times over the course of several months before it finally cleared up. I plan on saving at least one bottle of it for my daughter's 21st. She was just born a few weeks ago. I had a couple of glasses worth leftover after bottling. If it's any indication of what it will be like after a few years on the shelf then it could shape up to be an amazing wine.

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Old 04-04-2010, 06:04 PM   #28
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I grew up near dogboysdad, and can attest to the fact that homemade wine is great. My father used to press a ton of concord grapes every year, and so did one of my uncles.

Often time Uncle George would just press the juice, pump it into a barrel and just put an airlock on it. Not add a dog gone thing to it.

Welch's grape juice is nothing like the juice you get from freshly pressed grapes. It's reconstituted from grape juice concentrate.

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