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  1. R

    varietal % in kits

    Their product is good. They used to sell separate grape skin packs to add to the kits but I don't see them now. I would put these kits in a mid range similar to RJS Cru Select. They seem to be best at about 6 months and if allowed to age a year, they begin to fade. At $84 each, they are a...
  2. R

    varietal % in kits

    The only place I have found that guarantees 100% of the listed varietal is US Elite. I find the less 'tweaking' you do, the better the result. They also seem to mature faster.
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    WineMaker Mag Top 100 Kits

    Seriously?!?!? It took until #8 to find a wine that is more than a soda pop wine. That is kind of sad really. Suggests this may be more of a list made for a marketing department than for a true wine drinker/maker. To me, this diminishes the value of the competition.
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    Cellar Craft Amarone CC Showcase vs RJS

    In my experience, the Showcase Amarone drinks pretty well at 1 year, regresses a little bit at 2 years then hits the sweet spot at 3 years. I find that a 3 yo version is pure ambrosia.
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    Other What's the longest you can age a kit wine?

    This wine has lasted this long only because of the funky taste it has had from the start. I put it in an out of the way place to see if the funk would age out. If not for that, it would have been a distant memory by now. So a Brunello doesn't necessarily need that much time (unless it tastes...
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    Elderberry wines

    I also made an elderberry from concentrate and I really enjoy it for a change of pace wine. I made it slightly off dry. It certainly won't become an every day kind of wine for me but it certainly has a place in the cellar. I read an article (sorry, can't recall the source) that...
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    Cellar Craft Amarone CC Showcase vs RJS

    I have made both and greatly prefer the Showcase. Last Christmas Eve we did a 5 year vertical tasting of Amarone and the En Premeur was 3 years old. We preferred the 2 YO Showcase. Surprisingly, the 5 YO Mosti Mondiale Renaissance was quite good. It is the first time (and last bottle) we...
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    Other What's the longest you can age a kit wine?

    I have an Amarone that has made it 5 years and several others nearing 4 years. Oh, and also a Brunello at 5 years waiting for it to become drinkable. (a real musty taste reminds me of moldy oak that is gradually fading). Much depends on the condition of your storage area.
  9. R

    Astropaq: Has anyone used?

    I owned a similar system a few years ago, planning to bag, store and age my wine to save the aggravation of bottling. I learned (sadly) that aging more than a couple months results in a strong likelihood oxidation. I lost most of a batch because they just don't age well in bags. For me, I...
  10. R

    stuck corks

    Are you using sulfite on the corks before insertion? I had the same problem but, thanks to a thread here, stopped using sulfite on the corks and now I no longer have the problem.
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    Gas Price Watch

    We are also on an extended RV trip pulling our 5th wheel with our diesel pickup. Since leaving early July, we have paid anywhere from $2.19 to $2.58 for diesel. We are currently outside of Grand Rapids, MI and diesel just jumped from $2.44 to $2.59 overnight. That stinks. Hope that trend...
  12. R

    What's in your glass tonight?

    I'm sure there is something else blended in. They offered a couple blends but I preferred the one listed as Norton. I tried a blend of Norton and Chamborcin 70/30 that they described as being similar to a tuscan. Since I love tuscan wines I expected that blend to be my favorite but it didn't...
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    What's in your glass tonight?

    I have fallen in love with Norton. We are traveling through Missouri (beginning our adventure of seeing a game in every major league ball park). One day we decided to visit the Missouri wine country and that's where I met Norton. To me it is so complex it should be a blend, not a single...
  14. R

    Post a photo, any photo

    Maybe that is their protection from antiaircraft fire.:h
  15. R

    What's in your glass tonight?

    I'm jealous you still have some left!
  16. R

    What's in your glass tonight?

    Oh, THAT kind of excitement! Those things can be scary, especially when they can't provide an explanation of the cause. Guess it just proves no matter how healthily you live your life, none of us is bullet proof. I hope she is dong better and can get some answers.
  17. R

    What's in your glass tonight?

    It has been a few years since I spent time in Salida, but 'too much excitement' was never part of the equation. Salida must have grown up a bit :h
  18. R

    Sediment in bottles!

    I always remind my guests that this is a homemade, unfiltered wine. The sediment you see is unfermentable solids and part of the flavor profile of the wine and is often an indication of high quality ingredients.. Commercial wineries filter it out - I don't. It is nothing but flavor and...
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    Pick a Wine Kit & Win a Wine Kit Giveaway

    My choice would be Eclipse Stags Leap Merlot. I have not made it but it is on my to do list. I have ordered from you several times and have been very pleased with the service. Always prompt and courteous with a decent array of products. I, too, wish you would resume carrying the Cellar Craft...
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    WineXpert Winexpert Eclipse Lodi Old Vine Zinfandel

    Sorry for not getting back to you sooner. I had them in for 2-3 weeks but tasted after 1 week. At 2 weeks, I felt it was a bit over peppered so I racked off. It was peppery for 6-8 months then started to fade. Now, at about 2 years, it is perfect. Very worthwhile