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Old 02-16-2008, 02:43 PM   #1
Jumbo82
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Default Shiraz wine kit, which one?

I'm going to buy my first wine kit from Northernbrewer this weekend. I've made apfelwein, but this will be my first attempt at a real wine. SWMBO says she wants a Shiraz, so I'm debating between a few different kits. Our goal is to have a nice wine that we can give away as Christmas presents. That gives us about 9 months. We'd like the best possible wine for this timeframe. I suspect that the more expensive kits need more aging time, but I don't know. So, of the three kits listed below, which would be the best wine for our situation? Price is irrelevant, just looking for quality. Thanks.


Vinter's Reserve World Vinyard
World Vinyard Australian Shiraz. Australia's route to fame on the world wine stage, Shiraz from Down Under offers lush berry aromas that beg for a hearty whiff. A wine of ripe fullness, its concentrated blackberry fruits and fragrant spiciness are a delight on the tongue. It has the uncanny quality of allowing early consumption despite its complexity and 'bigness'. Robust and lively, Australian Shiraz is a savory treat.
#6040 World Vineyard Australian Shiraz $76.99

Selection International Wine Kit
Australian Shiraz. The grape that was made for Down Under - its hot climate is perfect for bringing out the best traits in this popular grape varietal. Australian Shiraz is seductively delicious, with startlingly rich, ripe aromas that deliver right through to the full zesty finish. Amazingly, the style allows for polished tannins early, so the young wine is not rough or harsh. The aged version retains the core fruit flavors of plums, cherries and blackberries, but gains extra polish. Pair this Shiraz with flavorful meals!
#6198 SP Australian Shiraz $123.49

Selection Estate Wine Kit
South Australian Single Vineyard Shiraz w/ Crushendo. A bold wine, deep ruby purple in color with a deep, dark plum and blackberry showing subtle accents of chocolate. Rich, lush, and complex, the soft black fruit combines with a hint of black pepper spiciness that follows through with a firm, tannic finish with toasty vanilla and a hint of spice. Winexpert's Crushendo® grape pack complements this amazing palette of flavors with fresh grape tannin and character. Pair with steak, rich stews, pizza, or bittersweet chocolate.
#40259 SE South Australian Single Vineyard Shiraz $161.99

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Old 02-16-2008, 04:25 PM   #2
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Maybe for your first real wine you should go with the cheapest kit. That's what I did when I started.

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Old 02-16-2008, 05:58 PM   #3
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$2 per bottle or $5 per bottle, eh, pretty cheap either way. I don't want to spend close to a year making something inferior to "save" a few bucks. Although if the cheapest kit will make the best tasting wine in 9 months, then I'll go that route.

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Old 02-16-2008, 06:10 PM   #4
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Well, I just bottled that first kit that you mentioned. It's fine, probably comparable to about an $8 bottle of wine. I've never made the more expensive kits, but I'm dying to try them! If it were me, I'd go with the "crushendo" series. I realize that's the most expensive one- but that's not why I would choose that one, though!

The cheaper kits are not bad- really! I've made several and liked them. But they don't age very well even with the extra sulfite, and they taste pretty "grape-y" to me. The crushendo series comes with a "grape pack" which includes some skins and fruit. This really seems to bring out more "wine" flavor and makes a more well rounded wine. If I was making it for gifts, that's the one I'd choose. For every day drinking around my house, though, I use the Winexpert Vinter's Reserve kits.

As far a drinking time, the WE VR kits (the cheaper) are really good about 4-6 months from making. The Crushendo series package states you bottle about 8 weeks from making. That might mean Christmas is a bit early for best drinking- but it very well could be ready by then. If the cost is not a factor, that's what I would choose. Unfortunately for me, cost is usually the biggest factor in choosing a kit!

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Old 02-16-2008, 06:15 PM   #6
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I was told that the Vintner's Reserve white were fine, but their reds were not all that great. I think it might have to do with the lack of tannins in addition to the concentrate in these kits. That said, I went with a VR kit as a first timer myself, but I didn't have the intent of using it for Christmas gifts. I wanted to see what kit wines were like, and if my wife would enjoy making them. I had a positive outcome on both counts and will be making more wine in the future, but I'll probably be doing one of the Selection kits next.

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Old 02-16-2008, 06:55 PM   #7
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Thanks you all for the replies! I decided to order the Selection International Wine Kit. Yooper, I was going to take your advice and go with the Crushendo series, but then SWMBO said "lets get the middle one." That made it easy. Bradsul, I'm glad you've had good results with this kit. I'm looking forward to receiving this kit and getting started. Thanks again!

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