For thoseofyou don't know my history, I started in this hobby withRJ Spagnols' products and most of them have been consumed by now; however, I was rumaging around in the wine cellar tonight and found a Vino del Vida Chardonnay/Semillon blend that I started on July 21, 2002. Having been told to not expect a kit wine to last more than five years, especially a 7 liter kit, I decided tonight was the appropriate time to find out the truth.
I chilled the wine for 30 minutes in the refrigerator, then took the cork screw to it. Janna, my wife, took a sniff from the bottle and asked "Are you sure it won't kill us?" I assured her that it might taste terrible, but would not kill us.
I poured the glasses, swirlled it around and took a sniff. Very nice flowery aroma and NO off smells. I took a drink and smiled. It had survived and very nicely, indeed. The taste was a crisp melon with a buttery feel on the tongue. It is still a tad thin, but overall I was extremely surprised and pleased. It would have lasted longer, had I decided to leave it alone.
If you are wondering how long a kit wine will last, I can say over 5 years and probably longer if you use the higher end kits, add the extra sulfites and store the wine in the proper conditions.
This hobby is constantly filled with surprises.