Finer Wine Kits

Winemaking Talk - Winemaking Forum

Help Support Winemaking Talk - Winemaking Forum:

Joined
Jan 11, 2019
Messages
417
Reaction score
805
Location
Central Texas
I live in northern Wisconsin. I have been hesitant about ordering a Finer Wine kit due to weather factors and my travel schedule. I was going to order one last summer (and get the lifetime discount) - but was worried about it sitting on my doorstep in 90 degrees. Now it is below zero and I am worried about it freezing if I am away when it arrives. Has anyone else had any issues with this? Also - how long do you have to get a Finer Wine kit started once it arrives? And, how should a Finer Wine kit be stored until it is started? Thanks!
I’ve gotten several kits delivered to central Texas in the summer and never had an issue. I am diligent to not let them sit in the hot weather for long but they sometimes take four days to get to me. I track it in the FedEx app. If it is picked up at the LP facility in the afternoon it gets to me on day 4. If picked up early it’s on day 3. So far the coolers have done the job for me. Not really cold but not warm either.
Edit: If I recall the directions correctly, they say to put the juice in the fridge and freeze the skins.
 
Joined
Dec 4, 2021
Messages
373
Reaction score
532
I’ve gotten several kits delivered to central Texas in the summer and never had an issue. I am diligent to not let them sit in the hot weather for long but they sometimes take four days to get to me. I track it in the FedEx app. If it is picked up at the LP facility in the afternoon it gets to me on day 4. If picked up early it’s on day 3. So far the coolers have done the job for me. Not really cold but not warm either.
Edit: If I recall the directions correctly, they say to put the juice in the fridge and freeze the skins.
Must be nice. They are taking 6-9 days to get to the West Coast! Not sure that will fly come summer time, we will see
 

Sailor323

Senior Member
Joined
Apr 19, 2019
Messages
283
Reaction score
338
Does everyone use distilled water as recommended? My water comes from a 600-ft-deep well. Some other kit instructions say "Don't use distilled water." Any advice?
I use non-chlorinated water from my well.
 

chefken

Junior Member
Joined
Apr 15, 2014
Messages
28
Reaction score
17
I use non-chlorinated water from my well.
I use distilled water for the re-hydration of the yeast and spring water to bring the quantity up to the 24l mark. My city water (seems to me) to have at times plenty of chlorine.
The first FWK I made was stored in a fridge about 2.5 weeks before starting without any problems.
 

oppyland

Supporting Members
Joined
Aug 26, 2018
Messages
220
Reaction score
298
Location
SC Wisconsin
Thanks for all the comments.
I'll just jump in to say I always use unfiltered water from our well. It's a bit hard and has some iron, but I like the taste, and I think it adds character to my wine - whether that's a negative or positive I don't know. ;) I'd be a little leery about using city (chlorine) and/or softened (sodium) water.
 

Brian55

Senior Wino
Joined
Jul 27, 2014
Messages
1,132
Reaction score
628
Same exact juice but the Forte kit gives you more of that juice, plus the double skin pack (which is an optional add on with the Tavola kit), plus the seeds pack, plus some extra oak (they might toss in the extra oak if you order a double skin pack with a Tavola kit - I think that they used to before they introduced the Forte - Tavola distinction).

As far as how much more of the juice they do not specify the volume but the target gravity a good bit higher.

EDIT - the Tavola kits say ABV should come in between 12-13%, Forte says 13.5-14%, so roughly 10% more juice in a Forte kit it seems.

In my experience these kits over deliver juice / abv wise, for instance the Forte kits suggest your original gravity reading will be between 1.090 and 1.110, and it always seem to be closer to the highest end of the range (like 1.105 or more) after a good stir. And back before they called them Tavola kits I had a couple of those with O.G.s around 1.098 -- 1.100, which will get you a little more than 13% abv.
I'm not seeing any difference in the volume of the juice between Tavola and Forte kits. I've had to add the exact same amount of water to each. The Forte may be more concentrated than the Tavola, but volume appears to be identical. Either way, I'm loving these so far!
 

jgmann67

Rennaisance Man
Joined
Feb 22, 2015
Messages
4,029
Reaction score
2,609
Location
South Cental Pennsylvania
I was on the labelpeelers site and saw the year end review video with Matt and Matteo. I learned a few things that stick out:

* The Forte Bordeaux blend is Cab, Merlot, Syrah and Petit Sirah.

* Those two got pretty tuned up tasting all the FWK offerings.

* We should see something new for 2022. Matteo hinted at it, but wouldn’t give up the surprise (even after his 7th or 8th varietal “tasting”).
 
Joined
Dec 4, 2021
Messages
373
Reaction score
532
If I was betting, I would take a swing and say they are testing their product to see whether or not it will allow for a MLF process….if you think about it, if it does, this would be a huge advantage over all other pasteurized kits and could entice people who normally avoid kits to give it a try. Of course, the easy answer is that the are working on additional varietals, but that’s too easy for me, I think they are looking at something bigger 😛
 

jgmann67

Rennaisance Man
Joined
Feb 22, 2015
Messages
4,029
Reaction score
2,609
Location
South Cental Pennsylvania
If I was betting, I would take a swing and say they are testing their product to see whether or not it will allow for a MLF process….if you think about it, if it does, this would be a huge advantage over all other pasteurized kits and could entice people who normally avoid kits to give it a try. Of course, the easy answer is that the are working on additional varietals, but that’s too easy for me, I think they are looking at something bigger 😛
I would bet they’ll do limited runs of higher end juice and skins - like from Napa, Sonoma or the Willamette valley, and call them the “Master Winemaker Series” or something like that.

Good question for the forum: what will FWK do in 2022???

I can see them doing an ultra high end kit. But I can also see them doing larger format kits - ooooh, a “Barrel Series” that makes 12 or 18 gallons.
 
Last edited:

Gilmango

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 15, 2021
Messages
296
Reaction score
1,346
I was on the labelpeelers site and saw the year end review video with Matt and Matteo. I learned a few things that stick out:

* The Forte Bordeaux blend is Cab, Merlot, Syrah and Petit Sirah.

* Those two got pretty tuned up tasting all the FWK offerings.

* We should see something new for 2022. Matteo hinted at it, but wouldn’t give up the surprise (even after his 7th or 8th varietal “tasting”).
I think it is important to point out that it is only this year's batch of Bordeaux blend adds Syrah and Petite Sirah to the Cab and Merlot, but only because they could not source Cab. Franc this year. They still wanted to offer the popular blend, so they figured a work around, but I think that they were a bit dismissive of what Cab Franc brings to the party (I think they said something like, 'it adds color'), whereas I think Cab Franc brings a flavor all its own, the bell pepper flavor, which adds to the blend.

Along the same lines, they could not source Sangiovese this year, so the Super Tuscan blend adds Grenache and Syrah to approximate the Sangiovese. Label Peelers notes that substitution is noted on their websites description, but the Bordeaux one is not mentioned on their website, which I'd love to see. Super Tuscan description "Though the classic blend is Sangiovese, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, Sangiovese is not available in the 2021 harvest however, we have been able to make a convincing substitution of Syrah and Granach that preserves the character of the Super Tuscan as a medium body fruity yet earthy wine with a cherry bouquet that will keep your friends asking for more."

As far as new products I think that they pretty much said a Rhone blend was in the works? If so, perhaps doing some test batches already with different amounts of Syrah, Grenache, Mourvedre, etc. to settle on the final blend?

I would love it if they also were able to contract in advance for some fruit sourced from beyond Lodi, perhaps by contracting in advance for the grapes (and maybe paying for those grape contracts by pre-selling most of those kits to customers like us, eager to get Napa, Sonoma, Walla Walla, etc. fruit).

Right now they are, I think, getting their fruit all from the same facility in Lodi. And I am guessing that facility gets grapes from Lodi and perhaps the rest of the central valley which have not been purchased by wineries. As a result they are more at the mercy of the market, and some years there won't be enough Cab Franc or Sangiovese.

EDIT - to be clear, even if they got fancier fruit from beyond Lodi, they would still need the same Lodi facility to process it, not sure any other place does the same non-pasteurized concentration of grape juice. That might be a possibility but adds more variables, which is why I think we are more likely to see more blends, or limited run varietals, rather than "fancy fruit" from "fancy AVAs".

Also, I think they said on that video that the process gets as hot as 140F for a short time, which is still pretty darn hot, but not long enough at that temp to pasteurize.
 
Last edited:

TCPT18

Member
Joined
Jul 16, 2015
Messages
32
Reaction score
31
If I was betting, I would take a swing and say they are testing their product to see whether or not it will allow for a MLF process….if you think about it, if it does, this would be a huge advantage over all other pasteurized kits and could entice people who normally avoid kits to give it a try. Of course, the easy answer is that the are working on additional varietals, but that’s too easy for me, I think they are looking at something bigger 😛
Theyhave already advised that it can go through MLF. I have a bordeaux that has just completed MLF and a cab that is almost complete. will give a review when complete
 
Joined
Nov 5, 2006
Messages
4,881
Reaction score
12,357
Location
Raleigh, NC, USA
Theyhave already advised that it can go through MLF. I have a bordeaux that has just completed MLF and a cab that is almost complete. will give a review when complete
I'm interested in your results. When you report, start a new thread, as your results will get lost in the 60+ pages (so far) of this thread.
 

Latest posts

Top