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A couple of observations about recent wine I have made

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pmf2000

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As of this weekend I have bottled 4 kits and 1 beer kit. I thought I would write a few observations.

Island Mist Blackberry Merlot - This was the first kit I did. So far it is my least favorite. Overall it is very thin and lacks any bite. I think if I had to do it over again, I would have added more sugar to start in an effort to get a higher alcohol content. Mostly it tastes like non alcoholic wine.

Niagara Strawberry White Zinfandel - This was the second kit I did. So far I really like it. My wife says it tastes like Boones (which will turn off some folks I'm sure). It was a bit harsh when I bottled it but it is starting to smooth out. I have brought a couple of bottles to parties and everyone seems to like it. I am interested to see if continues to get better as it ages.


World Vineyard Collection Italian Pinot Grigio - I just bottled it this weekend so I will hold off on any comments other than to say this batch tastes very promising. Even now it is very drinkable.

KenRidge Classic White Merlot - I just bottled this as well so the comments above apply.


I started making wine because my wife really likes it and for the cost of 4-6 bottles, I can make 30. Truth be told, I have not been much of a wine drinker. However, now that I have started to make wine and started to learn about what makes a wine good, my appreciation for it has gone up tremendously.

Now that I have some drinkable wine, I am looking forward to making some higher end kits.
 

robie

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The mist kits are pretty much higher quality wine coolers and are not meant to stand up to a typical wine.

Bet you can go to your local liquor store and find something to add to that thin mist kit. If you do experiment, do a separate test case and don't spoil the whole lot.

Look for something with blackberry in it, like a brandy or another blackberry wine. Maybe spike it with some rum (coconut rum???). Maybe make a sangria out of it by adding other fruits.

Or serve it over ice as just a nice summer drink that doesn't have the slight kick of traditional wine. Serve it over a blackberry puree or something like that.

I put mine in "wine-on-tap" containers, which is like a box wine container and bags you can purchase. This way you can have ice and fruit; your friends can dispense it on the spot and you won't even have to bottle it.

Experiment!
 

cpfan

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pmf:

Haven't made the IM Blackberry, but have made the Orchard Breezin Blackberry. It tastes much the same as your comment. Which, btw, is much the same as the commercial Wild Vines Blackberry Merlot.

Steve
 

pmf2000

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I put mine in "wine-on-tap" containers, which is like a box wine container and bags you can purchase. This way you can have ice and fruit; your friends can dispense it on the spot and you won't even have to bottle it.

Experiment!
How do you like the Wine on tap systems? With the amount of wine I am starting to make, space is becoming an issue.
 

pmf2000

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pmf:

Haven't made the IM Blackberry, but have made the Orchard Breezin Blackberry. It tastes much the same as your comment. Which, btw, is much the same as the commercial Wild Vines Blackberry Merlot.

Steve
Hey Steve,

I actually don't mind the Wild Vines Blackberry Merlot. Even that has a bit more going on with it.
 

MN-winer

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pfm2000,

Did you do anything different to your Niagra Strawberry Zin kit? Did you up the alcohol content?
 

pmf2000

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pfm2000,

Did you do anything different to your Niagra Strawberry Zin kit? Did you up the alcohol content?
I did both kits based on the instructions. As these were the first kits I have ever tried, I wanted to make sure I understood the process.
 

rawlus

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i think you will be substantially surprised with better results even with a relatively lower end true red wine kit. i think the jump from mist-type kits to real wine is most noticeable.

right now is a great time to talk to your local wine grape distributor and order a case/lug of chilean malbec or merlot, de-stem and lightly crush by hand and put into 4-6 freezer bags and save for upping the quality, color, body and dissolved solids of lower-to-medium level wine kits. essentially a home-made grapepack but probably of even better quality than what typically comes with premium kits.
 

robie

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Sorry, I was gone for awhile.

I like the wine on tap system for things like mist wines. They are perfect for a party.
George at Finevinewines says the bags are good for six months and I think the instructions say you can reuse each bag ONE TIME.

I wouldn't put my best kits in them, but the mist kits are perfect. Bottle a few and put the rest in the bags.
 

robie

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right now is a great time to talk to your local wine grape distributor and order a case/lug of chilean malbec or merlot, de-stem and lightly crush by hand and put into 4-6 freezer bags and save for upping the quality, color, body and dissolved solids of lower-to-medium level wine kits. essentially a home-made grapepack but probably of even better quality than what typically comes with premium kits.
Do the Chilean malbec or merlot grapes come frozen?
My LHBS doesn't handle them. Where do you order them?
 

rawlus

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Do the Chilean malbec or merlot grapes come frozen?
My LHBS doesn't handle them. Where do you order them?
chilean grapes will be coming in in another month or so fresh from harvest. frozen is usually available year-round depending on inventory.

not sure of a supplier close to you, but it might be worth a call to juicegrape.com, they are a major importer on the east coast and may have some leads for you. another alternative would be to capitalize on the sale on frozen grape must at midwest supplies and just divide that up into several containers to keep frozen until needed for addition to kits.
 

rawlus

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robie - i just looked at juicegrape.com's website - for small orders they can offer destemming and crushing and processing into frozen must for shipping, it's only like an extra $6/case. worth a call imho.
 

robie

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robie - i just looked at juicegrape.com's website - for small orders they can offer destemming and crushing and processing into frozen must for shipping, it's only like an extra $6/case. worth a call imho.
Sounds super. Thanks for the info.
 

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