Life span of a wine kit

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Tom Miller

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How long is an average wine kit viable? The reason I ask is that sometimes you will see a good wine kit sale but it might be a few months before you can get to it. I assume that most kits have been sitting in a warehouse for some time before they are sold to the consumer. Can I stock up without worry?
 

Doug’s wines

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Researched awhile ago as I was about to make a kit that was very old (3 years) and below is an excerpt from what I found on another board. In general it seems kits last 12-18 months from production. I went ahead and made the kit after replacing the yeast and kmeta. Tossed the clearing agents and let it clear naturally. Wine is tasting pretty good (about 2.5 years old) and almost out of it now.

This was taken from the Wine Expert website:

Winexpert doesn't publish an expiration date for our wine kits, since they don't 'expire,' as such. Our guideline is for users to make their kits in a time period 12-18 months from the packing day, depending on the conditions under which the kit has been stored during that time. Because of their higher brix and acid content, smaller-volume kits (under 15 litres) tend to have a longer shelf-life, while larger-volume (15 litres and over) last for a bit shorter timespan.

It's important to note that the kits don't suddenly stop being viable. They may have oxidised a bit, if storage conditions were not optimal, and this could result in some loss of fruit character or aromatics. But on the whole, they still turn out quite well. In fact, without a side-by-side comparison with fresher kits, most people simply don't notice a difference.


From the RJ Spagnols website:

Q. What is the shelf life of the kit? How do I know how old it is?
A.
On the label that says the type of wine you have is a date code, this is the day the kit was manufactured. The code is simple, YYYYMMDD, so a kit that has 20070214 was made on February 14, 2007. If they are stored correctly 4 week kits will last 18 months, 6 week kits will last 12 months. After that the quality will begin to decline, the juice oxidizes just like wine does.
 

Keith5

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I bought some items off CL and was given a 9 year old RJ Spagnols Grenache kit. I figured WTH and pitched fresh yeast and fermented it Last September. It did oxidize a bit to reddish brownish color and it’s obviously not as good as fresh but it’s drinkable. Has decent flavor and actually has been great as a red cooking wine for gumbo, roasts, etc.
since I do this for fun, it was fun learning and was my first taste of Grenache.
Just pitch some fresh yeast and see. It may not be your best, but for $2 yeast investment, you’ll probably like it better than your 401k YTD return right now. LOL
 

stever

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I started a WE lodi cabernet that was at least 5 years old the other day. Fresh yeast pack and it is bubbling away now :)
 
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