Does homemade wine actually taste good? - Page 2 - Home Brew Forums
Home Brew Forums > Wine, Mead, Cider, Sake & Soda > Winemaking Forum > Does homemade wine actually taste good?

Thread Tools
Old 02-09-2010, 10:27 PM   #11
Boerderij_Kabouter's Avatar
Dec 2007
Oconomowoc, Wisconsin
Posts: 7,750
Liked 147 Times on 119 Posts

I hate saying things like this here... but in my honest experience, no. Homemade wine is not nearly as good as commercially produced good wines. While I agree it is a hobby and you can get better at it, in a product such as wine wherein the final product depends so heavily on the raw material, a kit will never live up to a finely crafted wine.

If you have access to high quality grapes, then the sky is literally the limit. I live in Wisconsin. How great do you think the grapes I have access to are?

That said, my family tends two separate vineyards growing 8 different northern hardy varieties. We are in our 6th year of tending and finished our third vintage this past season. I think we will be able to produce a high quality product out of those vines, but it will not be comparable to California or other classic wines. It will be its own thing. I think we will be closer to a Rhine wine with high acidity and a bright crisp, low alcohol wine. Also, one of the reds has a chance of developing into something good, but it is not like anything else I have had.

Overall, do it for fun not because you can be the next great thing. My brother loves wine but isn't all that into tasting it. On normal week nights or whatever, he just wants some wine to drink. Kits are perfect for him because he actually saves money and has wine to drink that was fun to make.

There are a million facets to the hobby. I just don't want people going in with unreal expectations.

passedpawn Likes This 
Reply With Quote
Old 02-09-2010, 10:45 PM   #12
Dec 2009
North Alabama
Posts: 506
Liked 19 Times on 16 Posts

Originally Posted by Steelers77 View Post
Go buy some juice from a local wine shop, I don't understand the Welch's grape thing, we buy 2.5 tons of grapes a year and our wine is awesome. But I also have a mentor who has been making wine for 30 yrs.
I recently took a bottle of my Syrah to my brew club meeting, and the one kid took a sip and said it was good then after he was really excited and was convinced I did not make it. He was a wine guy and really thought the wine fit the style perfectly. It's a great hobby.
In my case the Welch's thing was more an experiment than anything, if I happen to get some halfway decent wine out of it, then all the better. If not I'm sure mixing it 50/50 with some Sprite will cover up any imperfections

Reply With Quote
Old 02-09-2010, 11:39 PM   #13
Jun 2009
Posts: 448
Liked 5 Times on 5 Posts

For years I was active in amateur radio, and I am struck by the similarities between it and homebrewing/winemaking as hobbies. There are hams who will spare no expense to create a station that is the equal or better of any commercial broadcast operation. There are others who are content with very basic equipment and just enjoy participating in the hobby. Reading on HBT I see some outstanding craft brewers and winemakers who can produce a product that can stand next to anything available commercially, while others make very nice, drinkable, but very basic beverages. To me the whole point of a hobby is to enjoy oneself and the final result, whether that is an award-winning shiraz or just a basic extract beer or a gallon of Welch's wine. I think what's great about this hobby is you can accomplish either one if that's what you want to do.
Hickory Glynn Winery & Brewery

Reply With Quote
Old 02-09-2010, 11:46 PM   #14
malkore's Avatar
Jun 2007
Posts: 6,922
Liked 37 Times on 35 Posts

I make Welch's wine for cooking/marinating meat. 50 cents a bottle is hard to beat.

for drinking (while the welches is pretty decent) I make the kit wines where the juice is made for fermenting, and at $3 for a bottle of chianti or chardonnay it cannot be beat. easily comparable to a $10 bottle of commercial wine. 66% savings is worth it to me, not to mention the fun of doing it.
Primary: English Mild
On tap: Pale Ale, Lancelot's Wheat, English Brown Ale, Steam Beer, HoovNuts IPA
Bottled: MOAM, Braggot, Raspberry Melomel, Merlot, Apfelwein, Pyment, Sweet mead, Cabernet
Gal in 2009: 27, Gal in 2010: 34, Gal in 2011: 13, Gal in 2012: 10

Reply With Quote
Old 02-10-2010, 12:33 AM   #15
Sep 2009
Posts: 237
Liked 4 Times on 3 Posts

I like using the welch's and the old orchard to learn what to expect, before I start using my homegrown organic fruits and berries and the good honey that is produced here in my area.. I am not a wine snob in any means, but good wines can be made with ingredients other than grapes. Plus, finding mead in this area is very hard to do and I have to drive quite a ways away to buy it, while making them tends to be just as fun as the wines and so far they are turning out better than what I have been buying and have sampled commercially, and with aging might actually be better.
I can no longer drink the good rich reds that I used to enjoy due to the fact that they are migraine triggers for me.
The whites that I buy are not by any means very expensive and tend to be in the $10 to $15 range. Just can't afford to go broke these days for wine.
But the first batch of Ed Wort's apfelwein turned out in taste and flavor to some of the whites I buy, which was very unexpected.
The hubby, on the other hand, is a cheap boone's farm/wine cooler type a guy and could care less about how it turns out cuz he's probably just gonna dump a bit of soda or juice in and top it with some cut up fruit and boy howdy! He's happy.
Every one has a different taste and likes different stuff- if we all liked the same wine, the wine aisle at the store would be pretty short and boring.

Reply With Quote
Old 02-10-2010, 03:17 PM   #16
Feb 2009
Albuquerque, NM
Posts: 485
Liked 6 Times on 6 Posts

There's some groups around this part that get together for grape buys from local wineyards, and vineyards in California. They truly can and do produce absolutely excellent wine.

They buy the grapes whole and crush them themselves. Since this is what most commercial wineries do, these people makes wines every bit as good as commercial. I have a post on here about this place I went to in TX that had like 60 better bottles all fermenting away; a full scale commercial winery operating at a 6 gallon scale. They buy all their grapes, smash them and make tons of small batches, and the wines were freakin' excellent.

I have a $70 Chilean Malbec kit going right now that I don't expect to be good. But it will probably be better than the $3-$5 stuff (or so I hope). If I like the process, etc, when the locals do their next wine press, I might go get some of their freshly pressed stuff and try it out.

Basically, with kits I think that you can reach up into the $20/bottle range, maybe higher if it's a good kit, and you're really good. To go above that, or to match the truly great $20 bottles, then I think that you're going to have to get freshly crushed grapes locally somehow. Or at least that's the story that I get from some of the local home winemakers.

Reply With Quote
Old 02-10-2010, 03:22 PM   #17
Oct 2009
Posts: 1,068
Liked 7 Times on 7 Posts

My meads, blueberry, banana, and kiwi wines have all turned out amazing. But that's kind of different that welches or using grapes lol
Primary: None.
Secondary: Nawww
Bottled: Ó Flannagáin Standard, Random Stout, Nut Brown, Edwort's Rye IPA, Milk Stout + Coffee Milk Stout, Centennial Blonde, Pale Ale, Cthulhu Dementia Robust Porter, Nyarlathotep (I)IIPA, Willamette IPA parti-gyle, Indian Brown Ale, Oatmeal Stout, Blueberry Oatmeal Stout, Barely Legal IIPA, Oatmeal Stout 2, Hazelnut Coffee Oatmeal Stout
Planned: RIS, Coconut Porter

Reply With Quote
Old 02-10-2010, 04:53 PM   #18
Jan 2010
Posts: 18

I haven't tasted my own wine yet, but I just tried a glass (or a bottle) of my uncle-in-law's Wild Berry Shiraz from 2004 - it was FAR superior to any commercial Shiraz I have ever had (and that's my favorite wine!!) - his only problem was he had sediment at the bottom.

The problem with homemade wine, IMO, is no one ever lets it age long enough. I'm holding my bottles for AT LEAST 6 months and hopefully longer! Fortunately, my finace's aunts and uncles all make homemade wine - one set churns out their wine so quickly and the othe set lets theirs age. We decided to let his aunt and uncle's supply the family with homemade wine, while we will hold on to ours for a bit.

Reply With Quote
Old 02-11-2010, 01:14 PM   #19
EvilTOJ's Avatar
Dec 2005
Portland, OR, Oregon
Posts: 6,401
Liked 50 Times on 35 Posts

I have some 2007 blackberry wine picked from local bushes. It's excellent. Very very excellent. No, I'm not sharing.
There is a very fine line between "hobby" and "mental illness."

Reply With Quote
Old 02-11-2010, 04:50 PM   #20
Jun 2009
Victoria, Texas
Posts: 561
Liked 15 Times on 7 Posts

Originally Posted by EvilTOJ View Post
I No, I'm not sharing.
Hey, would you mind....O'h never mind.

Gun control is being able to hit your target.

Reply With Quote

Thread Tools

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Peach wine smells awful, but taste good??? Reddy Winemaking Forum 12 09-22-2013 03:31 AM
Wanted: Good plans for a cheap homemade mash tun potzertommy Kettles, Mash Tuns & Hot Liquor Tanks 9 12-11-2009 12:33 PM
Homemade Wine Series as a Wedding Gift Geoffington Winemaking Forum 11 12-09-2009 04:49 PM
Long week -- so, homemade beer with homemade pizza AZ_IPA Cooking & Pairing 12 03-07-2009 02:37 AM
Oak Red Wine Taste clr Winemaking Forum 3 12-12-2007 09:54 PM

Forum Jump