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NorCal

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I find that I don’t like my wine that much. They are drinkable and I could put them among $10-$20 commercial wines blind and they wouldn’t stand out good or bad, but I’m finding that I’m somewhat disappointed with my wines more often than not. I would put the 5 wines that have won silver medals at the CA state fair in this category.

Perhaps my expectations are too high? A personal problem? An incorrect assumption that my wine should be getting better with each vintage?

How about you, do you like your own wine?

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Boatboy24

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I'm like you. I've made quite a few that I really like. Unfortunately, those are far outnumbered by wines that make me go 'meh'. But most all of them are comparable to commercial wines at more than double the cost of making my own. So I keep researching, testing and trying to improve. A never ending quest, I'm afraid.
 

sour_grapes

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So far, I have only made grape wine from kits, so take my comments in that context. For a period of time, I was disappointed in my red wines. (The whites have all been quite good.) The red wines were drinkable, but generally speaking I would prefer an $8 bottle of Bogle to nearly all of mine. A bit of KT, a bit of "meh." However, the situation is changing. More and more often, I find I really enjoy my wines. (Not all of them, but a fair fraction of the batches, and even the best only compare to ~$10 or $12 bottles.) I don't know whether I am developing a bit of cellar palate, whether my tweaking has gotten better, or if my wines are now getting sufficient age on them. Probably a little of all of the above.

It was this dissatisfaction that led me to trying fresh grapes this year (which I am still waiting to arrive). We'll see how it goes in a couple of years!
 

meadmaker1

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Lol im not alone
I dont know that I dont like my wines as much as, ive had a couple wines that inspired me to make wine and ive not matched them.......yet.....
By natrure I get a little caught up in what im supposed to make, and loose focus on what I truly like.
But im getting closer. Another 50 or 60 batches and a bunch of years and ill have though.
 

Stressbaby

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Same here. I can count on one hand the number of wines I've made that I thought were really and truly very good. Most are just OK at best. So after 6 years and about 100 ferments, that is a "very good" rate of about 5%. I mean no offense to anyone when I say this, but that is why I'm a little mystified when folks post 1 year in about all of the great tasting wine they've made. I mostly made garbage the first 2-3 years, but maybe I'm just a slow learner.

I started doing a bit of a thought experiment a while back which has been interesting. Whenever we pour a commercial wine, I stop and pretend it's mine, and build a critique from there. My wines seem to compare a little more favorably since I started doing that.
 

ibglowin

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I think you just need to be patient here. How old is your oldest bottle now? I have about 6 bottles left from my first big crush back in 2011 and with each bottle I open I am always amazed at the continuing transformation that occurs with more and more time in the bottle. I have some 2012's Cab blends that are just now going to the next level of crazy good. They were harsh for years. Those tannins have now finally softened and integrated nicely and the fruit is coming forward once again.

3P's of winemaking my friend!
 

bkisel

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Guess I'm way more easily pleased than you guys. Very seldom am I disappointed in the wines I've made. Especially true of the reds and have even begun to appreciate some of the whites I make for my wife.

Perhaps my expectations are to low?
 

dralarms

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I like mine much more than store bought. If I couldn't make better wine than store bought I'd hang it up and sell off all my equipment, bottles, and turn my wine shop into an office for my business
 

Ajmassa

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I don't know whether I am developing a bit of cellar palate, !


Cellar palate? Did you coin that term? I like it regardless. Growing up on homemade its been a constant thing I struggle with. For years I actually preferred a glass of poorly made homemade wine to any other.
No longer the case, but im still able to enjoy wine from grapes or juice with that "homemade kick" I've always had trouble describing. It's not a bad thing. :)
 

GaDawg

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I also like my wine more than commercial $10-20. Maybe y'all have a more sophisticated palate.
Maybe the key to success is low expectations.
 

joeswine

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Do You Like your wines

I'm not sure that's the correct question, should it be, compared to commercial wines, how are mine? The answer should be they are what I made them. The next or what am I not doing enough to make it to the correct profile .Question should be then if not then what am I doing incorrectly to the process ?

Everyone who has followed me on this forum knows I rarely follow the format so when I make a kit and tweak, I then make it my own. I have people around me who are not afraid of telling me the truth about my product but better then that sending your wines into competitions are a great way to see what is what.

Does anyone think out there that wineries out there doesn't have a bad blend or year and that any winery doesn't tweak there wines in one fashion or another. So we take each batch on it's own ..then think about the results and what not to do the next time and remember time in wine making is our friend...................:b
 

Rtrent2002

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I felt the same way after 5 kits. Then I learned to avoid sorbate in my reds, allow them to clear naturally, add a bit of tannin in the primary or secondary, and use the right yeast. Still not making superb wines yet but def better for sure.

Regarding whites, they seem to be more forgiving with what I mentioned above, especially the sweet whites (Riesling, moscato, etc)
 

ibglowin

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If all you drink is wine from one region then you begin rather quickly to train your palate to just the taste of wines from that one area. Lot of us make wines strictly from the Lodi area of California as they grow an abundance of grapes there and have plenty to send to all points East. If you don't drink wines from other regions now and then your palate will quickly lose the ability to discern differences in terroir. You begin to think this is not what a Cabernet should taste like.

The Dangers of Cellar Palate

Cellar palate? Did you coin that term? I like it regardless.
 

joeswine

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Do You Like your wines

the above statement by ibg is correct and that's why judging is also different west to east coast...palate,taste, time and base and sanitation are keys to better wine making.so if your wines are so,so you have to ask yourself what am I'm not doing correctly or is my base wine not up to par to start.:slp..and for the most part others enjoy my wines more than commercial wines.
 
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rustbucket

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My wines fit a bell curve; a few batches have been terrible, the majority are table wine quality, and a few have been absolutely great. The few I found to be terrible were juice bucket wines, too many variables and I screw them up with my over tweaking.

I've never made wine from a kit that produced less than table quality wine. While I always hope to make a great wine, table quality is OK as it justifies the time and costs involved in making wine from a kit.

Time is a factor! Wines that I found disappointing in the first year often become much better in the second. Terrible wine never seems to improve. I drink it up to free up the bottles but I never throw it away as I have an aversion to throwing away wine. There was only one wine that I poured down the drain and that was a commercial Cabernet that I picked up at a Virginia winery on an Atlantic States winery tour a few years back. It was absolutely undrinkable. I still don't know why I bought it after the wine tasting.
 

Sage

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If I didn't like it, I wouldn't make it. Also, less chemical preservatives than commercial.

On the other hand, I'm getting to the age that anything preservative might be helpful.......
 

ceeaton

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I think you just need to be patient here. How old is your oldest bottle now? I have about 6 bottles left from my first big crush back in 2011 and with each bottle I open I am always amazed at the continuing transformation that occurs with more and more time in the bottle. I have some 2012's Cab blends that are just now going to the next level of crazy good. They were harsh for years. Those tannins have now finally softened and integrated nicely and the fruit is coming forward once again.

3P's of winemaking my friend!
I was about to add that. I just wish I had a bottle or two from 2011! I plan on aging a large portion of my wine for at least three years, and hopefully have enough different batches to let some make it to 7 or 8 years. With that in mind I've been going with nomacorcs since I'm noticing even some of my premium real corks don't look like they'd make it that long, let alone 4 or 5 years, and they are only two years old. Might be my corker, not sure at this point.

I do like my wines in general. But my palate is not as sophisticated as some of yours, since I can't normally go out and buy a more expensive bottle of wine. A $25 or $30 bottle is usually a "treat" for me. Can't imagine a $100+, out of my league for now.
 
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benchmstr

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I have been in the competitive bbq world for over 10 years now and I can safely say I hate my bbq...I have a trophy room packed to the ceiling to prove me wrong, but it still doesn't change my opinion...you will always be your own toughest critic!

everyone loves the beer I make, and its won a few awards...and the few batches of wine ive made are always fast to go...BUT! I AM STILL MY OWN TOUGHEST CRITIC!

the bench
 

lilvixen

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This thread is so timely! I'm still only doing kits, but I'm dealing with the same question. I racked 3 red kits yesterday - CC Showcase and WE LE - ranging from 6 weeks to 6 months from pitch, and they all have a weird flavor that I've never tasted before in a commercial wine, and I'm really bothered by it. I've been hashing over everything to try and figure out what it is:

- Skins: 2 skins kits, 1 no skins, so it's not this.
- Water: I'm using bottled spring water, so it shouldn't be this.
- Yeast: I used the kit yeast (RC212), BM4x4, and D254.
- Temperatures: After fermentation, they haven't gotten above 75*.
- Sorbate: I'm didn't use it in any of these.
- Clarifiers: Maybe. My notes say there was no weird taste in the youngest one before I added the clarifiers. I'm racking a kit out of EM today, and I'm going to skip the clarifiers to test out the theory.

As of yesterday, I decided to hold off making any more red wine kits beyond the two I have on-deck/pre-ordered until everything I've made thus far ages long enough to hopefully lose the weird flavor and taste good. As it is, making wine is only slightly cheaper than buying commercial wine I enjoy, so the novelty is fading.

However, I will say that I prefer the white wine kits I've made to commercial, so I won't give up the hobby, but I may only make whites and buy reds. We'll see what happens with age and the clarifier experiment.
 

Stressbaby

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@lilvixen, sounds like "kit taste" (KT). Google it.

I think if you make wine from kits and can solve for KT (or if you are insensitive to it) then you can probably produce much more consistent wines.

Personally I find the production of wine "from scratch" to be much more rewarding, even given my "miss" rate, than making wine from a kit. With kits, it feels as if all of the work has been done for me.

@Norcal, @Boatboy24, @meadmaker1, are you by chance an INTJ?
 

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