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Mexibob

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I started wine making about 5 years ago when my daughter bought me a Beaverdale 6 bottle kit for my 70th birthday. I forget whether it was Pinot Grigio or Chardonnay, whatever I was amazed at the result. The wine was easily superior to the (then) £4/5 supermarket range and I soon found myself regularly at the local Wine Making Centre buying the 6 bottle kits. For the first 2 years I stuck to the Beaverdale Brand apart from a Solomon Gundy Zinfandel Rose but found I could not control the “frothing” during the fermentation phrase and consequently have since avoided. However to be fair it tasted fine when bottled and laid for some 6 months or so.

For the past 3 years I have progressed to the Beaverdale 30 bottle kits making Viex Chateau Du Rol, Pinot Grigio, Sauvignon Cabernet, Chardonnay, Nebbiolo, Rojo, and a White Burgundy. These days I tend to stick to Pinot Grigio, Viex Chateau Du Rol, and Nebbiolo as the wines of choice.

I have been tempted on numerous occasions to purchase a high end kit, but with suggested maturing ages of 2 years and more I’m concerned I may not be around to enjoy! Seriously though I only use screw top bottles with Novatwist screw caps as the bottles are far easier to source. Longer laying times may result in the need to obtain bottles and corking tools. I will ask the question on one of the other forms.
 

vinny

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It depends on what you mean by higher end kits. I have made the cheapest available to me and the highest quality I can find. Finer wine kits are a different story. Because they are real unpasturized juice, they really benefit from more time. Or, so I am told, 'cause they are still not available in Canada.

Of the kits I have made all were drinkable at the bottle date. I didn't think they were good though, so I gave them more time. I find at 3 months after the bottle date, they really come together and that is where I find them to be drinkable. I just bottled some that aged 6-8 months and still have bottles left from the original bottling. I have been able to taste the wine as it progresses and have learned a lot about my preferences.

Wine is ready to drink when you like it. It will always benefit from age, but that doesn't mean that you can't bottle a high end kit in 5 months and start to enjoy it. You will also learn more about the development and your taste preferences as you work through the bottles.

The one thing that I do find interesting is how well a lower end kit will stand up next to an expensive kit. I can get 2 WE lower end kits for $150, Some of my kits I have paid $200 for one. Given 3 months additional time they all compare well. All very good and very drinkable. Time will tell if the expensive kits start to pull away with more development, but I am still pretty new to this, so I am just enjoying what I have made and learning as it matures.

It's all good fun, and you have very little to lose in trying a higher end one.

Another option is to make more than you can drink, then you will definitely have some at the 2 year mark and you can decide if that time is worth it.
 

Mexibob

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It depends on what you mean by higher end kits. I have made the cheapest available to me and the highest quality I can find. Finer wine kits are a different story. Because they are real unpasturized juice, they really benefit from more time. Or, so I am told, 'cause they are still not available in Canada.

Of the kits I have made all were drinkable at the bottle date. I didn't think they were good though, so I gave them more time. I find at 3 months after the bottle date, they really come together and that is where I find them to be drinkable. I just bottled some that aged 6-8 months and still have bottles left from the original bottling. I have been able to taste the wine as it progresses and have learned a lot about my preferences.

Wine is ready to drink when you like it. It will always benefit from age, but that doesn't mean that you can't bottle a high end kit in 5 months and start to enjoy it. You will also learn more about the development and your taste preferences as you work through the bottles.

The one thing that I do find interesting is how well a lower end kit will stand up next to an expensive kit. I can get 2 WE lower end kits for $150, Some of my kits I have paid $200 for one. Given 3 months additional time they all compare well. All very good and very drinkable. Time will tell if the expensive kits start to pull away with more development, but I am still pretty new to this, so I am just enjoying what I have made and learning as it matures.

It's all good fun, and you have very little to lose in trying a higher end one.

Another option is to make more than you can drink, then you will definitely have some at the 2 year mark and you can decide if that time is worth it.
 

Mexibob

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Hi, many thanks for commenting on my Forum Intro. In hindsight “Finer Wine Kits” would have been a better description than “High End”. I’m more than happy with the results of the Beaverdale Kits. Based on my palate I have found that the whites are generally very drinkable within weeks of bottling and improve up to about a year. The reds however are best left for at least 3 months and continue to improve for about 18 months. I cannot pass judgement beyond 2 years as by then the wine has been consumed. I have reached the stage where I make 120 bottles a year in 30 bottle kit batches and rarely drink a bottle less than a year old other than sampling. It’s out of curiosity that I would like to try a full favour red fine wine kit to see how wine laid for 3 years and more compares.
I would add that I have refrained from leaving some of the Beaverdale to lay longer as most advice I have received is that the wine is best consumed within 2 years. I am also concerned about the longevity of the Novatwist caps.
Thanks again for your interest.
 

vinny

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Hi, many thanks for commenting on my Forum Intro. In hindsight “Finer Wine Kits” would have been a better description than “High End”. I’m more than happy with the results of the Beaverdale Kits. Based on my palate I have found that the whites are generally very drinkable within weeks of bottling and improve up to about a year. The reds however are best left for at least 3 months and continue to improve for about 18 months. I cannot pass judgement beyond 2 years as by then the wine has been consumed. I have reached the stage where I make 120 bottles a year in 30 bottle kit batches and rarely drink a bottle less than a year old other than sampling. It’s out of curiosity that I would like to try a full favour red fine wine kit to see how wine laid for 3 years and more compares.
I would add that I have refrained from leaving some of the Beaverdale to lay longer as most advice I have received is that the wine is best consumed within 2 years. I am also concerned about the longevity of the Novatwist caps.
Thanks again for your interest.
Just to make sure we are on the same page, Finer Wine Kits is a name brand in the US. It is spoken of often here. They are a relatively new company offering chilled fresh juice delivered in kits. It is still concentrated, but is not pasturized, so it is not shelf stable like the majority of kits available to us.

To expand on what I wrote above, I started making wine last January. I made some country wines and then moved up to kits after a couple of months. I had been watching videos on Youtube and had been given the idea that you can make a good wine from any juice, just add sugar and yeast and in a month.. Wine!

When I came to this forum to ask some questions about my first wine I was quite disappointed to hear that it should sit for a year and the raspberry tartness should mellow out in that time. I wasn't as taken aback when I started talking about 4, 6, and 8 week kits and what the difference was, when I was told they need a year sometimes 2 depending on what it is.

'Uhhh, ok, so what can I make that won't take a year+ to be able to try?'

For my first kit it was suggested that I remove 1 oak pack so there would not be as much tannin to blend out. After 6 months I would have a very drinkable wine. So I went about making that kit. At the bottle date as I mentioned, I did not like it. So no trouble, carry on bulk aging. As I was very interested in the development of it, I was tasting every couple if weeks, and literally 2 weeks from one taste to the next, I thought I am not interested in bottling that, to sampling side by side with a store bought wine, thinking this kit is better. So I cut the wine in half. I moved half to a 3 gallon carboy, and the rest went into 15 bottles.

I just opened one and have 2 left slated to taste at the 9 and 12 month mark, but I just bottled the other 3 gallons last week. I can run the same progression with this 15 bottles and stretch the kit out to 18-24 months. Tasting all the way.

That was a little long winded way to say that you could aim to bottle the kit at 6 months,. If you leave half in bulk (3 gallon carboy) you eliminate the concern of your caps. You can bottle in stages as I did and your 2 year old wine may only be in bottles for 3 months, depending on how you choose to do it.

I remember one comment here, that sometimes you taste a wine at 6 months and it is great, so you bottle it. You have a few over the months because it is so good, but you are risking that it could be a really AMAZING wine if you gave it time.

This may be true, but if you don't make it at all, you miss the entire experience altogether.

I am just hoping to make the choice an easier one for you should you choose to try a higher end kit. There are lots of ways to do things and you can make it work for your comfort level. Especially if you ask for guidance here. You may find you get more info than you bargained for. :rolleyes:

Good luck with the choice, and I forgot to say it last time...


Welcome to WMT!
 

Rice_Guy

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welcome to Wine Making Talk
reading your OP I do some screw caps on every bottling run, ,,, If you are happy with the result, why change? —>- the normal answer is that it looks classy to get out the cork screw. from the point of view of an industry person aluminum caps are the best barrier > then synthetic as Reserva > then run of the mill natural cork or Nomacork
 

Mexibob

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welcome to Wine Making Talk
reading your OP I do some screw caps on every bottling run, ,,, If you are happy with the result, why change? —>- the normal answer is that it looks classy to get out the cork screw. from the point of view of an industry person aluminum caps are the best barrier > then synthetic as Reserva > then run of the mill natural cork or Nomacork
Thanks for your thoughts. I think you are right I’m being over cautious. Apart from one leakage when I don’t think I tightened down enough I’ve never had a problem.
 

Mexibob

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Just to make sure we are on the same page, Finer Wine Kits is a name brand in the US. It is spoken of often here. They are a relatively new company offering chilled fresh juice delivered in kits. It is still concentrated, but is not pasturized, so it is not shelf stable like the majority of kits available to us.

To expand on what I wrote above, I started making wine last January. I made some country wines and then moved up to kits after a couple of months. I had been watching videos on Youtube and had been given the idea that you can make a good wine from any juice, just add sugar and yeast and in a month.. Wine!

When I came to this forum to ask some questions about my first wine I was quite disappointed to hear that it should sit for a year and the raspberry tartness should mellow out in that time. I wasn't as taken aback when I started talking about 4, 6, and 8 week kits and what the difference was, when I was told they need a year sometimes 2 depending on what it is.

'Uhhh, ok, so what can I make that won't take a year+ to be able to try?'

For my first kit it was suggested that I remove 1 oak pack so there would not be as much tannin to blend out. After 6 months I would have a very drinkable wine. So I went about making that kit. At the bottle date as I mentioned, I did not like it. So no trouble, carry on bulk aging. As I was very interested in the development of it, I was tasting every couple if weeks, and literally 2 weeks from one taste to the next, I thought I am not interested in bottling that, to sampling side by side with a store bought wine, thinking this kit is better. So I cut the wine in half. I moved half to a 3 gallon carboy, and the rest went into 15 bottles.

I just opened one and have 2 left slated to taste at the 9 and 12 month mark, but I just bottled the other 3 gallons last week. I can run the same progression with this 15 bottles and stretch the kit out to 18-24 months. Tasting all the way.

That was a little long winded way to say that you could aim to bottle the kit at 6 months,. If you leave half in bulk (3 gallon carboy) you eliminate the concern of your caps. You can bottle in stages as I did and your 2 year old wine may only be in bottles for 3 months, depending on how you choose to do it.

I remember one comment here, that sometimes you taste a wine at 6 months and it is great, so you bottle it. You have a few over the months because it is so good, but you are risking that it could be a really AMAZING wine if you gave it time.

This may be true, but if you don't make it at all, you miss the entire experience altogether.

I am just hoping to make the choice an easier one for you should you choose to try a higher end kit. There are lots of ways to do things and you can make it work for your comfort level. Especially if you ask for guidance here. You may find you get more info than you bargained for. :rolleyes:

Good luck with the choice, and I forgot to say it last time...


Welcome to WMT!
Finer Wine Kits are not to my knowledge readily available over here, so not fully on the same page. That said I have appreciated your advice and interest.
 

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