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Old 01-10-2012, 01:36 AM   #1
Mar 2011
Sayville, NY
Posts: 1,264
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I am looking at making my first wine and I was looking at my local HBS. They were recommending the Selection International wines and from reading on here, they seem decent. I would prefer to start with a wine that i am certain that I would like and would also prefer to make sure I buy a quality kit. It seems that having the grape skins is preferred, so I would like that. I prefer Cabernets, Zinfandels, Shiraz, and bigger reds, but for a kit I was thinking of going with a blend as they seem to be attractive to more palates. If you have ever had Pillar Box Red, or Menage et trois, that is what i would be going for. I was thinking of this kit:

AUSTRALIAN CABERNET/SHIRAZ - The full-body and complexity of Cabernet Sauvignon and the ripe fruit and chocolate flavors of Shiraz. Perfect harmony together.

Or this:

SHIRAZ / ZINFANDEL - Deep red wine w/Shiraz giving notes of ripe blackberries, plum, & blueberry, & Zinfandel showing off raspberry, anise & peppery spice note blending into a long finish of vanilla & toast.

Does anyone have any feedback or have another recommendation of something to look for?

Also, if I want to have this done in time for August, does that seem feasible so that i will not be drinking wine that is too young? I will be drinking it anyway, but would that change my choice?

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Old 01-10-2012, 01:42 AM   #2
Ale's What Cures You!
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Jun 2006
UP of Michigan, Winter Texan
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I think any of the Selection Estate kits could be ready by August, although they may be a bit better with some age.

With kits, you really do get what you pay for. A $60 kit makes something similar to a $5 bottle of wine (still a good deal!) while a $175 kit makes something more like a $20-$25 bottle of wine.

I make wine kits in all price ranges- the cheapies for early and easy drinking, while I use the most expensive wine kits for aging a bit and serving for nice dinners with friends and for gifts.

If you find something in the $125-$150 range, the quality is pretty good and the kits don't have to age very long to be drinkable.

Make sure you follow the directions exactly, and you could have it in August.
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Old 01-10-2012, 03:19 AM   #3
Mar 2011
Sayville, NY
Posts: 1,264
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So, the contents dont matter? Like if a $125 kit is just juice and a $100 has skins?

I think i am going to try one of the kits above. I can get it locally and it is recommended by the LHBS. I liked the wines that he made with the same company when we tried them (tried about 4 or 5) so if it is bad, guess i gotta blame him

Now to switch from beer to wine so that i can get 30 empty bottles

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Old 01-10-2012, 01:09 PM   #4
Jun 2008
Fayetteville, NC
Posts: 1,372
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My opinion is that while you could spring for a $125 kit, what if you screw it up???? Also, it will be 2 years before you know if it was worth it.

How about starting with a $60 kit to see how it all works? If you screw that one up, not a huge loss, and it will be drinkable in 9 months to a year.

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Old 01-19-2012, 05:16 AM   #5
Dec 2010
Biloxi, Mississippi
Posts: 322
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Regardless of the kit you go with, remember this: Water (if you have to add to kit, some come with complete juice), is a huge ingredient. Do not screw your wine up (and therefore your desire to make your own) by skimping on this. I did two kits and was less than pleased with either although I have polished the product off. Not until I got into making beer that I realized my discontent was more than likely strongly affected by my choice of using tap water. The beer I made with spring water was EXCELLENT, while the beer I made with tap water was........well.........poured out to say embarrassingly. Sping $7 for 7 gallons of SPRING water (and that is not the same as distilled either).
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