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WineXpert How do VR kits stack up to other, more expensive brands?

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Mike

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I've made 3 batches of wine thus far: VR cab, VR sav. blanc, and RJ Spagnols petite sirah. I just got into drinking wine (and making it not soon after :D) over the past year and a half, so I'm by no means a connoisseur (yet!). My girlfriend is in the same boat, but we've both thoroughly enjoyed each of the three batches.

Without any kit brand snobbery, is there a significant, discernable difference between a VR kit that runs $65 or any of the other kits around $100 or below? (Let's not factor in the $150 kits)
 

smurfe

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If you like them, keep making them and don't go by anyone else's opinion on any kit. I like the VR whites but have been disappointed with almost every VR red I have made, particularly the Cab. I ended up using them for top off wine for other kits. They were really thin and for me, every WE red kit has kit taste that I detect till the wine ages about a year and a half. We really like the Pinot Griggio though. The Sauvignon Blanc was decent to. We like the Selection series kit better but it wasn't bad at all.
 

Mike

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Yeah, I wouldn't mind a thicker red. I'm a fan of cabs. Can you recommend a reasonably-priced kit?
 

Daisy317

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My homebrew dude carries WE kits and has been trying to push them on me. He carries VR, IM, and some specialty kits... I haven't done a kit yet but have been seriously considering an ice wine kit. He had a batch of peach ice wine that he made in the fridge and snuck me a taste, it was pretty good but I have no idea if it was really from a kit or a sales ploy... hrmmm...
 

Mike

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I recommend to anyone that drinks wine to try making it. It's at least 10 times easier than brewing beer IMO and the results are very good again IMO.
 

Wade E

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I have the Peach Ice wine and its a winner IMO. As far as kits go the bigger kits for red wines have much more body and usually much more alc also. I make the RJS Cellar Cklassic Winery Series with Grape skins and the end result is a much bigger wine with more abv also. In example the starting sg is usually around 1.105 compared to 1.090 with a VR kit and the wine is usually chewy like a big bold wine is supposed to be.
 

St Allie

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I did a quick google to see what VR stands for. What is it?

all the answers quoted VR without saying anything beyond it was a RJS kit.

oh and I'm typing between bottling a kit here.. so my attention span is multi tasking.

Allie
 

St Allie

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thanks Mike.

rushes back to her bottling...
 

Mike

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Wish I had something to bottle! I've been slacking on making something. I need to go pick up another kit or 3 soon. :>

Wade: The RJS Cellar Classic Winery Series kits... how much do they run? $115 ish?
 
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Wade E

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I get them for $89 here but that # can vary quite a bit from place to place. Usually about $120 but when you divide that # by 30 bottles and then compare the reslults of those 30 bottles it aint nothing!
 

St Allie

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Wish I had something to bottle! I've been slacking on making something. I need to go pick up another kit or 3 soon. :>

Wade: The RJS Cellar Classic Winery Series kits... how much do they run? $115 ish?
$115 ish in NZ is more than140NZD for that kit btw.

let us know if that kit is worth buying..

much appreciated,

Allie
 

MN-winer

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Mike,

I posted a question similar to your's a few months ago. Looking for a reasonable red (under $100) that has more character, body. I've also done a few WE kits and they are somewhat thin. Although I will say that the WE Pinot I have is now about 3 months old and I've had only my second bottle and the second was better. I also noticed that opening it and recorking for a day made it better. Not sure why. Someone suggested the WE Selection International Chilean Cab, which I started last night. I can tell already just by the ingredients (two oak packs) and starting SG (1.09) it will be better than the VR line. I got it from Midwest at under $90.

Let us know what you end up with!!
 

Mike

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Thanks winer. Are there any online sources where you don't have to pay out the $#&@& for shipping the heavy wine kits?
 

Tom

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True!

I don't think my LHBS carries the kits you speak of. Can you suggest a nice "chewy" wine from their selection please?
http://www.keystonehomebrew.com/Zilron/catalog1_0.html
Mike,
I get some supplies from there when I'm in the area. Jason and his employees seem very helpfull. Does jason have a wine club?
I'm in NJ near Burlington and if you are close you are invited to my wine club meeting.
 

Mike

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I'm not sure if what Keystone has is considered a wine club. AFAIK, all they have is every 1-2 months they have a wine tasting where wine makers bring their own wine and taste others. They do a similar thing for beer. I've never been to the wine one although I'm going in October and have only been to the beer one once. It's totally informal (in the parking lot of the store). More of a social thing I suppose although it's surely a chance to get feedback from more experienced brewers/makers which is what I went.
 
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MN-winer

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Mike - I am not aware of any free shippers, other than amazon ships those cheap pak lab kits sometimes.
Update your User profile with your location and maybe someone will know of a Local Home brewer store near you.
 

smurfe

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Thanks winer. Are there any online sources where you don't have to pay out the $#&@& for shipping the heavy wine kits?
Just remember, there is no such thing as truly free shipping. Almost every item you will find at a free shipping retailer will be higher priced than at a regular pay for shipping retailer. It is very rare that I can't shop at a pay for shipping retailer and have the lowest price to my door. One thing though is don't get hung up on cheapest price to your door. Look for customer service. While you probably won't have issues with a kit there is a guarantee on them. You want to buy from retailer that will back and honor that warranty with no issues. Some are lets say not so accommodating.
 

Mike

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Yes, Murph. I meant to write "free" shipping. ;)
 
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