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Home Brew Forums > Wine, Mead, Cider, Sake & Soda > Wine Making Forum > What's your go-to brand for wine kits?
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Old 03-23-2013, 07:13 AM   #1
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Default What's your go-to brand for wine kits?

I've been making wine from kits for about 5 years. It's all been RJ Spagnols, just because it's what I'm finding in the local shops. There haven't been any bad wines yet, all good to very good, but I want to try some different brands and I'm looking to order on line for more variety. I'm just wondering what your favorite brands are, what you've had the best results with. Suggestions for where to shop on line for best prices are also appreciated. Thanks

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Old 03-23-2013, 05:11 PM   #2
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I like Winexpert, but they are slightly more 'fruit forward' than the RJ Spagnols kits I've made. I buy mine @ my LHBS!

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Old 03-23-2013, 05:34 PM   #3
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It also seems like we should be telling you what we like. I like semi-sweet or sweet wines. I have only tried one kit; wineexperts green apple reisling, but it was pretty good. My only complaint was that the alcohol content is low (about 5 or 6 percent). Being a newbie, at the time, I just followed directions to the letter. Some people online have suggested adding half the fpac during fermentation, and I may have to do that if I try this kit again.

Ps, the reason I say "if" I try it again is because I like to try new things, and my wife didn't care for the fact that it was a white wine. I would try it again, but I'll be trying several other things first.Having one carboy, and still being pretty new, I have been experimenting with juice wines, instead of kits.

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Old 03-23-2013, 06:02 PM   #4
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I tend to alternate between red and white to try to keep a balanced inventory. And I like a lot of different wines. For whites, my favorites are sauv blanc and pinot grigio but I also like reisling, chardonnay, gewurtstraminer.... pretty much all of it. Reds- zinfandel, cabernet, malbec & chianti, along with various blends, are my go to's but, like whites, I drink it all.
I tend to steer away from very tannic wines. Don't like them overly dry. Moderately dry to semi sweet.
I am fairly patient with my wines too. I do a 3 stage fermentation over a period of anywhere from 3-6 months. After bottling, I generally wait 3 months before trying it and have enough of a collection that everything will get to be over a year old. So far I've made about a dozen wines.
Don't know if all that is really of any help. Just wondering what are considered to be the better quality kits out there since I only have experience with one brand. Thanks for the input.

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Old 03-24-2013, 04:14 AM   #5
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I have a Cellar Craft Showcase Cab in my glass as we speak, incredible!

I have a CCS Sauv Blanc ready to bottle, last taste was fantastic.

Maybe some of the cheaper kits are just as good, but @ $6 a bottle, it's such a deal that there's no reason to try something cheaper.

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Old 03-24-2013, 02:58 PM   #6
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Cellar Craft Showcase and En Primeur have been the best I've ever done.

I do a mix of those super premium kits (they're very expensive!) and a mix of cheapies (Winexpert) and then some moderately priced ones. That way I've always got a good selection of decent to good to excellent wine in my cellar.

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Old 03-24-2013, 08:48 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HollowPointBrewer View Post
I tend to alternate between red and white to try to keep a balanced inventory. And I like a lot of different wines. For whites, my favorites are sauv blanc and pinot grigio but I also like reisling, chardonnay, gewurtstraminer.... pretty much all of it. Reds- zinfandel, cabernet, malbec & chianti, along with various blends, are my go to's but, like whites, I drink it all.
I tend to steer away from very tannic wines. Don't like them overly dry. Moderately dry to semi sweet.
I am fairly patient with my wines too. I do a 3 stage fermentation over a period of anywhere from 3-6 months. After bottling, I generally wait 3 months before trying it and have enough of a collection that everything will get to be over a year old. So far I've made about a dozen wines.
Don't know if all that is really of any help. Just wondering what are considered to be the better quality kits out there since I only have experience with one brand. Thanks for the input.
The island mist kit is meant to be used within a years time. I have a couple of bottles that are 15 months old, and they seem ok, but it uses bentonite, and iirc, bentonite produces off flavors after a while.
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Old 03-24-2013, 09:37 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yooper View Post
Cellar Craft Showcase and En Primeur have been the best I've ever done.

I do a mix of those super premium kits (they're very expensive!) and a mix of cheapies (Winexpert) and then some moderately priced ones. That way I've always got a good selection of decent to good to excellent wine in my cellar.
+1

This is a good strategy. It's mine as well.
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Old 03-24-2013, 10:26 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tkmorgan View Post
The island mist kit is meant to be used within a years time. I have a couple of bottles that are 15 months old, and they seem ok, but it uses bentonite, and iirc, bentonite produces off flavors after a while.
dont almost all kits include the bentonite packet?
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Old 03-24-2013, 11:04 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tkmorgan View Post

The island mist kit is meant to be used within a years time. I have a couple of bottles that are 15 months old, and they seem ok, but it uses bentonite, and iirc, bentonite produces off flavors after a while.
Not sure about bentonite producing off flavors...
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