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bnews

Junior
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Hello everyone, my name is Brenda from Pennsville, New Jersey and I’m new to winemaking. I’ve collected and enjoyed wine for many years but I received my first wine kit for Christmas from friends and have found a whole new world. Wade was kind enough to guide me through my first few hurdles when I first found your site yet I haven’t participated in any forums. I’ve read quite a few and found a lot of great, useful information and tips throughout.
I do have a few questions that I would like to put out there, one involving bottles. Has anyone ever bottled wine in anything other than a “wine” bottle? Specifically, I drink Perrier mineral water that comes in 750 ml green bottles with screw caps. The corks do fit (using a Portuguese corker and #9 corks) – the only possible snafu that I can imagine is the actual engagement of the cork to the bottle neck itself. Meaning, a regular wine bottle has at least 1 ¾” of direct contact to the entire cork – the Perrier bottle would only have 1 3/8” – 1 ½” at the most before the bottle neck begins to taper out. Would that impact the wine? Obviously the alternative bottling would be for personal consumption, not wines to be used for long term storage or gifts. Any thoughts?
Also, in trying to determine my next kit(s), has anyone ever tried RJ Spagnols Cellar Classic Bella Bianco? Or the CruSelect CA Pino Noir? Or possibly the EP Italian Amarone or Dashwood Pinot Noir? Obviously my taste in wine is dry and somewhat oaky, except for the occasional ice wine or ports. Any suggestions/recommendations would be greatly appreciated and thanks in advance for your help. Brenda


Secondary Fermenter – WE Int’l Selection Australian Chardonnay
Primary Fermenter – RJ Spagnols Grand Cru Pinot Chardonnay
 

cpfan

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Also, in trying to determine my next kit(s), has anyone ever tried RJ Spagnols Cellar Classic Bella Bianco? Or the CruSelect CA Pino Noir? Or possibly the EP Italian Amarone or Dashwood Pinot Noir? Obviously my taste in wine is dry and somewhat oaky, except for the occasional ice wine or ports. Any suggestions/recommendations would be greatly appreciated and thanks in advance for your help.
The only one I have tried is the EP Italian Amarone. I won't comment since I don't seem to like amarones.

The Bella Bianco is the Spagnols "big" full-bodied white. I heave heard some good stuff about it. Also heard good things about the two Pinot Noirs. In fact a discussion on the old Spagnols forum seemed to be split about which was the best.

I suspect you can't go wrong with any of them, if they are the type that matches your likes.

Steve
 

Tom

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Welcome,
I also am from NJ not to far from you.
As far as using those bottles. I suspect the neck may not be strong enough for your corks. Try a few filled with water 1st. Look around at some BYOB restaurents and bars for empties. I have a wine club in S,Jersey and maybe you can come to a meeting and we may be able to get you some as well as learning (and drinking) how to make better wine.
Where do you get your supplies from? Local? Closest place I know by you is in Philly.
PM me if you want details on the wine club.
 

Wade E

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I dont recommend the corks with those bottles even if you have tried a few and it worked, those bottles are not designed for corks and can therefore split when doing so and cause serious injury. Someone on another forum did so and needed multiple surgeries to repair severed tendons in his hand as will never have full use of that hand any more. If these wines are not for long storage you can get new screw aps for these bottles at this link.
http://www.finevinewines.com/ProdDetA.asp?PartNumber=4320 or even better these http://www.finevinewines.com/ProdDetA.asp?PartNumber=4335

I have the EP Amarone and love it, it is way better then the few commercial Amarones Ive tried but the most I was willing to pay for those was $65. The Dashwood Pinot is also awesome. If you like the thinner wines like a Pinot Noir then most medium sized kits will do a decent job at that but if you like big chewy wines like Merlot and Cab Sauvs then I recommend getting the big grapeskin kits like RJS Cellar Classic Winery series or Cellar Craft Showcase Series. There are other brands that do a good jog also but I hevent tried them due to limited availability around here.
 

xanxer82

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Welcome aboard and good luck with your kit. :) You'll be buying another soon, I'm sure of it.
And whatever you do NEVER USE A CORK
IN A SCREW CAP TYPE BOTTLE!!!!!!

:a :sh
 
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bnews

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Nice to meet you Tom. And yes, would love info on your wine club.
I actually shop at How Do You Brew in Newark, DE. I'm right at the foot of the DE Memorial Bridge and DE has tax free shopping so... It's a quaint shop and the owner is quite nice. He actually floats me a discount in return for samples when I'm finished but his inventory is quite limited - prices aren't bad, it's like mail order with shipping costs but available for cash and carry. I also registed at finevinewines since the retail avenues around here are so limited.
About the bottles, it kills me to buy bottles when thinking of how many I've emptied in my lifetime! I told my friends it's there fault for giving me a wine kit for Christmas - thought about it for years but never took the plunge.
Looking forward to hearing from you,
Brenda
 

Wade E

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You could just reuse the bottle caps also, they usually seem to hold the fizz of a Soda in so Im willing to bet they will do fine!
 

Tom

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If Malbec is your favorite consider getting some of the Chilean juices in May. I get 12 gallons of Malbec and Carmenere each year.. Hmm Good !
 

bnews

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Wade, didn't realize at first that your links were to new screw caps... you threw me with the horror story of the busted bottle necks. I cut a tendon in a finger once and just thinking of that poor person kinda tossed my tummy.
Will look into getting new caps and try a few - I'll let you know how/if it works out.
 

bnews

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Count me in Tom - let me know when the juices arrive. Carmenere is another favorite of mine. Although, I've haven't made anything but kits as of yet.
 

Tom

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They come in May BUT you need to pre order. You need to PU in Hammonton @ Gino's.
 

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