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Old 12-02-2009, 08:26 PM   #1
stormrider27
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Default wine kit quality question

On a scale of one to 10 where do wine kit wines come in. I am sure that I am not going to be making anything approaching the quality of first growth Bordeaux. That being said a bottle of kit wine costs between 2-6 dollars to make plus the equipment. What level of wine will it produce? Is it the same as the $3 table wine sold at Wally world? How about mass produced for the masses but quality $7-$10 stuff like yellow tail? Or something in the $10- $20 range?

I know that this is an objective question but you guys have proven to be on track in this sort of thing.

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Storm

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Old 12-02-2009, 10:41 PM   #2
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it depends. the more juice the kit comes with, the more body it will have (for reds).

I did a $63 Chianti by winexpert, and everyone that's tried it really liked it. It doesn't come with a ton of juice either.

The $100+ kits have more juice and produce 'better' wines (assuming all else is equal).

I'd say the chianti is close to the $10/bottle range for a commercial wine if you overlook the lower body (which honestly, it seems fine to me for body).

i started making wine because the wife started cooking with wine a lot more and it was getting spendy.

after that chianti kit, I did a real cheap wine using frozen grape juice concentrate (Tree Top brand that you get at the grocery store), a bit of acid blend, etc.

turned out good. my wife says its like communion wine, however its quite drinkable and its what she uses for cooking. I bottled it in half-bottles (375ml wine bottles) to make for less waste when cooking. that probably ran me $1 a bottle and is probably $4 at the commercial level.


and, there are tricks to making better wines from cheaper kits.

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Old 12-03-2009, 01:12 AM   #3
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I think the upper tier kits are quite good after a couple of years but I don't make kit wines to save money. If I were looking at dollars and cents I'd likely buy cases of mid-range varietal wines on sale for $8-$10 a bottle. I do it for the satisfaction of enjoying the fruits of my labors and having someone say "You made this?"

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Old 12-04-2009, 10:57 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by summersolstice View Post
I think the upper tier kits are quite good after a couple of years but I don't make kit wines to save money. If I were looking at dollars and cents I'd likely buy cases of mid-range varietal wines on sale for $8-$10 a bottle. I do it for the satisfaction of enjoying the fruits of my labors and having someone say "You made this?"
I wouldn't be doing it for a pure financial reason either but that being said if the quality is that of 2 buck chuck then I shelve the idea and spend my time and energy brewing beer. However I would like to make a quality product if that is possible than I think this would be a good extension of my hobby assuming there is some financial incentive. I doesn't have to be a lot but I either have to be able to make a better product for the same amount of money or an equal one for less. With beer I know that both are possible and also there is the ability to tinker that I don't think is as big an option in kit wine.

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Old 12-04-2009, 11:08 PM   #5
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I think the cheaper Vintners Reserve kits (in the $60 range) are in the quality of two-buck Chuck, or a cheap Argentinia malbec like Funky Llama. Not bad at all, and decent for an everyday dinner wine, but definitely not comparable to a $25 bottle.

The more expensive kits come with more juice (not as much concentrated juice) and the grape skins, so that they simply taste better. I made a $150 kit of tannot/merlot and it's about 2 years old now and definitely turning into a very nice table wine. I'd say it would compare favorably to a $20-$25 bottle of wine. We've made another kit, an Argentinian malbec kit that cost about the same and it's young but I think will be in the same category as the tannot.

With wine kits, generally you get what you pay for. Nothing wrong with the Vintner's Reserve kits if you want a quick table wine that would compare to $5 bottles. I've done several of them, since we drink about 3/4 of a bottle of red wine with dinner every night. It's better than jug wine, but not as good as a nice dinner wine. My cost for these kits, including corks, is about $3 a bottle.

The better kits end up costing me about $7 a bottle when finished.

Not much of a money saver, when you consider the time and energy and the cost of the corker and the equipment.

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Old 12-05-2009, 12:24 AM   #6
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I decided on trying this as my first kit:



Malbec Syrah from Mendoza, Argentina

A new world spin on an old world wine! This blend of 2 classic red Bordeaux varietals creates a full-bodied wine with plenty of appeal. The wine is fruit forward and approachable, with balanced toasted vanilla flavors from Hungarian Oak Cubes. The wine hints of cherries and black currant up front, with darker, richer notes of coffee, tobacco and licorice behind. Round and smooth with balanced tannins and a very easy drinking wine.

Food Pairings: A good solid match for grilled foods as well as heartier meat dishes like Steak and Kidney pie or Osso Bucco.

Oak 3 Body 4 Sweetness 0

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Old 03-25-2010, 03:27 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by malkore View Post

I did a $63 Chianti by winexpert, and everyone that's tried it really liked it. It doesn't come with a ton of juice either.
I apologize for digging up an old threat, but I was just curious how long you aged this kit. I'm assuming it was Vintner's Reserve??? I just bought this kit with the intention of aging it for about 12-18 months. Suitable?
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