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Old 09-14-2008, 10:01 PM   #1
Papinquack
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Default Which wine kit to brew for Christmas?

I'm not a wine drinker so I need some advices as far as wine kits go. I'm looking to brew a batch of wine that has both great taste as well as alcohol content, I'm leaning toward red? I'm figuring to spend $60.00 max.My plan is to brew and give as Christmas gifts. Will I have enough time for it to mature if I start this month? How many bottles do you usually get from a kit?

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Old 09-14-2008, 10:21 PM   #2
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If you want wine for Christmas gifts, I'd avoid reds. Three months would even be pushing it for whites. I'd suggest one of the "Mist"-style kits. They're a lighter wine and mature quickly. There's a pretty good selection and they would be your best bet for something ready in three months.

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Old 09-14-2008, 10:47 PM   #3
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I agree- although most of the kits in the $60 range are early drinking kits, that's pushing it.

Most kits make 6 gallons, so that's 30 bottles. Make sure you consider the costs involved with the corks and bottles (unless you dumpster dive like I do!) and a corker, if you don't have one. Good corkers are expensive, but sometimes a homebrew store will let you borrow or rent one.

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Old 09-17-2008, 12:13 PM   #4
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I'd recommend making a good red and giving it next year after aging. Or buy them a nice commercial bottle this year along with your homemade one with a sign on it saying dont open until Christmas 2009, Ken

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Old 09-17-2008, 03:40 PM   #5
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I don't care too much for the Mist style kits but I did make one and I found it was very, very popular, especially with people who don't drink a lot. I usually like my own reds too much to give away most of a batch but the Mist kits are easy to be generous with. They're easy to make, inexpensive, and mature quickly. Mine disappeared within six months, with several people requesting more, and I only drank a single bottle.

During the large and prestigous annual Winemaker Magazine home wine making competition the Mist style kits always do very well in the competition. It's funny that they do so well since most confirmed winemakers don't admit to drinking them very much. If that's the case, I wonder why they're so popular?

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Old 09-17-2008, 03:54 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by summersolstice View Post
I don't care too much for the Mist style kits but I did make one and I found it was very, very popular, especially with people who don't drink a lot. I usually like my own reds too much to give away most of a batch but the Mist kits are easy to be generous with. They're easy to make, inexpensive, and mature quickly. Mine disappeared within six months, with several people requesting more, and I only drank a single bottle.

During the large and prestigous annual Winemaker Magazine home wine making competition the Mist style kits always do very well in the competition. It's funny that they do so well since most confirmed winemakers don't admit to drinking them very much. If that's the case, I wonder why they're so popular?
My best friend LOVES the Island Mist kits, and makes them almost exclusively. I enjoyed the glass I had on the pool deck this summer, but it's much more like a wine cooler, or a fruit wine like Arbor Mist, than a wine. I drink wine only with dinner, so I prefer big reds or sturdy whites. I suppose it's all a matter of preference- some people drink wine like beer (gasp!) as a beverage to relax with and watch TV, I guess!

The Island Mist kit, if made right now, would be ready to give away at Christmas, but I don't know of any other kit (except maybe a white wine Vintner's Reserve kit) that would be done by then.
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Old 09-17-2008, 04:08 PM   #7
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I think that EdWort's Apfelwein is much better than the Mist Kits, in both taste and cost. Ready in about 60 days. Even better by Christmas.

Personally, I make wine using 20 Liter pales of fresh must I buy at Sam's. I just bought 4 the other day for about $25 each. I got 2 Muscat and 1 each of Merlot and Zinfandel. Killed the wild yeast with Camden and added Montrachet yeast and some nutrient. Will adjust the acid level if needed closer to bottling. Muscat will be ready in about 6 months, the reds in a year. Last years 100 bottles are almost gone, but the Apfelwein has slowed down our wine consumption significantly.

Paul

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Old 09-17-2008, 09:32 PM   #8
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I think making any type of wine now and expecting it to be ready to drink by christmas is pushing it. Wine is not like beer, and it takes much more aging to reach it's full potential. Would you drink a barleywine or an imperial stout after 2-3 months of aging? Probably not. Same applies with the wine. I'd say make a good red kit, and age it untill christmas next year, when it'll be much better. It's better to drink good wine later than green wine now.

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Old 09-17-2008, 11:15 PM   #9
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My vote is for an Island Mist type kit. Even with that you'll be pushing it. They are popular and everyone who has tried the one I made loved it. (Mango Citrus) I'd like to make the Blueberry one sometime soon, but that is only if I don't buy all the fresh grape juice I want to buy next week.

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Old 09-27-2008, 08:49 PM   #10
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I made an Orchard Breezin' Melon Kiwi Pinot Grigio recently which received rave reviews. Plan on making an OB Apple-Cranberry Chardonnay next week to be ready for holidays... These kits are sweet and very fruity at first and then mellow 1-2 months later. I enjoy them both ways.

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