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Just opened a bottle of my first wine

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skyfire322

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I bottled about a month ago, and was pretty nervous because 1.) it was my first attempt and 2.) it looked and tasted pretty diluted, so I decided to crack one open last night to see how it was and was super surprised with how it changed!

For the duration of the bulk aging stage, I had placed 3 oz. of heavy toast French oak cubes in there and didn't taste anything, so about two weeks before bottling, I placed a M+ French oak spiral in there. Again, not too much change at bottling, but after a month, that smoky/leathery aroma was in the forefront (which my girlfriend and I love). The tannin wasn't too strong, and it had a very smooth finish. Strong enough to pair with food, but light enough that you could just drink it on its own.

The color got a lot better as well. At bottling, you could see through the glass but now has that dark red ruby color that everyone knows and loves.

All in all, I'm really happy at how everything turned out and can't wait to try it in another six months!
 

BernardSmith

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Success breeds continued effort and continued effort breeds more success. Good for you! And how wonderful that your first wine turned out so well.
 

bkisel

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That's great!

So what wine was it? Did you start with a kit?
 

skyfire322

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It was the RJS Grand Cru Sangio/Merlot kit. I just swapped out the included yeast (118) with D80 (based on everyone's experience and suggestions on the forum :) )

I was really nervous that it'd turn out like vinegar, but there weren't any road bumps along the way! I'll be starting a new kit this weekend, so hopefully it turns out as good!
 

bkisel

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It was the RJS Grand Cru Sangio/Merlot kit. I just swapped out the included yeast (118) with D80 (based on everyone's experience and suggestions on the forum :) )

I was really nervous that it'd turn out like vinegar, but there weren't any road bumps along the way! I'll be starting a new kit this weekend, so hopefully it turns out as good!
Like you I started this hobby doing wine kits. Did kits for about a year or so before trying my hand at country/fruit wines and now do both kits and country wines.

Maybe get a few more kits under your belt and give fruit/country wine making a try?
 

skyfire322

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Like you I started this hobby doing wine kits. Did kits for about a year or so before trying my hand at country/fruit wines and now do both kits and country wines.

Maybe get a few more kits under your belt and give fruit/country wine making a try?
I planned on doing three more kits; two white (starting a Riesling this weekend) and one more red. For my first fruit wine, I'd like to try my hand at some elderberry :)
 

bkisel

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I planned on doing three more kits; two white (starting a Riesling this weekend) and one more red. For my first fruit wine, I'd like to try my hand at some elderberry :)
I haven't made Elderberry wine myself but I know it is a popular country wine to make. Bet you'll find dozens of recipes for making your first batch.
 

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