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cmason1957

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All this avoids the point I made earlier that these same companies have been selling different tiers for years:

"Economy" tier that is very concentrated (you need to add more water)
"Premium" tier that is not as concentrated, and costs more.

We all know they produce the same amount of end product, that's not the point. The story we've been fed is that "premium" was worth it because it produced better wine, hence the higher cost. Now they're doing to the "premium" the same processing they did to the "economy", but still trying to charge the premium price meanwhile feeding us some BS marketing spin to try and rewrite history and justify it.
I think you are somewhat incorrect in saying they are doing the "premium" the same processing. The Premium kits still start out with less concentration, than the economy level.
 

Swedeman

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We all know they produce the same amount of end product, that's not the point. The story we've been fed is that "premium" was worth it because it produced better wine, hence the higher cost. Now they're doing to the "premium" the same processing they did to the "economy", but still trying to charge the premium price meanwhile feeding us some BS marketing spin to try and rewrite history and justify it.
The amount of end product isn't the point, I agree on that. Admittedly, I was surprised when they increased the concentration level given how they have marketed their products.

Still I think the quality of the grape juice is a factor than seems to be forgotten here. The reason the premium costs more is not because that they are less concentrated than the economy kits, it's because the juice costs more (Napa valley grape juice vs red wine Italian style). And increasing concentration level would still require the same amount of grape juice to start with so no cost reduction there.
 

wineh

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There's a problem with Winexpert's new mantra "less juice means less pasteurization, because more concentrate has higher brix"
Taken to its logical conclusion, the best kits should be the 5 litre 100% concentrate kits because they require zero pasteurization. Think about it for a while.
 

wineh

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The proof is in the outcome
I have both an eclipse and a private reserve stag's leap merlot going right now. So far it's not looking good for the new one. Lower in specific gravity. Smells great.
 

joeswine

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May I ask did you follow the process or your hydrometer?
I made the eclipse Merlot and it's as good as it can be.
Breakdown the taste profile, and body if you will for me.
 

winemaker81

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Initial SG for a kit is a range that varies from batch to batch, plus it varies depending on how the kit is reconstituted.

My WE Australian Cabernet Sauvignon and Australian Chardonnay both had a good initial SG. Both smell and taste good (acknowledging they are very green). While I'm skeptical of WE's marketing .... so far, the kits are good.
 

joeswine

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All these kits are the same yet different , they all are a concentrate of one volume or another ,its up to you the winemaker to take the kit in the direction you want it to go, first you need to know THE WINES PROFILE what should i be tasting? now that i read about that ,HOW DO I WANT IT TO TASTE? ,
WHAT ACHOLO LEVEL DO I WANT?Whats my plan? . a lot of this comes with years of trial and error i understand that "no problem".
If price is a problem then go to the moderate priced kits,you can really experiment on them or the cheaper $40 to$60 dollar kits.
 

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Venatorscribe

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There's a problem with Winexpert's new mantra "less juice means less pasteurization, because more concentrate has higher brix"
Taken to its logical conclusion, the best kits should be the 5 litre 100% concentrate kits because they require zero pasteurization. Think about it for a while.
Interesting. I haven't done what you suggested ie stopped to think about it - but is your hypothetical Brix reading after dilution? I haven't seen these new kits in New Zealand yet. First shipments aren’t due until mid month ( shipping COVID go slow). but as I drink red, I wouldn't seriously be drinking or sharing this wine for a few years, assuming I am still padding around earth.
 
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joeswine

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You know , people's idea of ageing is very different from area to culture and they all drink Young wines and allow wines too age, it's all subjective to ones taste and adility to store or affordable.
Kit wines and that's what we're talking about here , Reds of a good quality kit and I'm not talking about the top of the line is about 1 to 2 years ,higher prices kits 1 to 5 years .
That all depends on your sanatation.
The question is the new kit cost any better ? I think it has more body and definitely if done correctly ( let your hydrometer be your guide) deliver a better bottle of wine in a shorter time, that's just my findings.🏆
 

sour_grapes

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Interesting. I haven't done what you suggested ie stopped to think about it - but is your hypothetical Brix reading after dilution? I haven't seen these new kits in New Zealand yet. First shipments aren’t due until mid month ( shipping COVID go slow). but as I drink red, I wouldn't seriously be drinking or sharing this wine for a few years, assuming I am still padding around earth.
I am not @wineh, but it is pretty clear in the context of this thread that we were referring to the Brix before dilution. Really high Brix reduces water activity and renders food less prone to spoilage (think honey or jam).
 

joeswine

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It's not hypothetical, it is what it is, the delusion rate depends on you.
If you've taken notice the ABVS on these kits as is the acholo level in European wines have risen up.
I believe this is what there also trying to do, but know matter how you splice it the product is better, in my opinion 🏆however I tend to miniver my wine to make it what I want as most grape winemakers do
The process to some may seem day and night, but it's not that far off.
 

winemaker81

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but it is pretty clear in the context of this thread that we were referring to the Brix before dilution. Really high Brix reduces water activity and renders food less prone to spoilage (think honey or jam).
I disagree regarding clear context, partially because it never occurred to me to check the brix of the juice/concentrate. I know the brix is good if I get a good SG when I reconstitute the kit, so the brix of the kit is (for me) unnecessary information.

Spoilage has not crossed my mind, either. I've made 3 year old kits successfully, as the kits were stored properly. One kit was a dessert wine -- 100% juice -- that worked out fine at nearly 2 years old. Spoilage has not been considered, given my experiences.

That said, it makes sense that a more concentrated kit will better survive less than optimal storage conditions, for the reasons given.

Text is the most difficult form of communication. It can take a lot of text to establish context, as there is no body language or voice patterns to read. Add in terse exchanges by a dozen people with different interpretations of what has been written .... it ain't easy.
 

Venatorscribe

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I am not @wineh, but it is pretty clear in the context of this thread that we were referring to the Brix before dilution. Really high Brix reduces water activity and renders food less prone to spoilage (think honey or jam).
Keep your hair on chum. FYI it’s not a 'clearly' moment. There is little point measuring Brix pre dilution. out of curiosity I did it once. I recall it was something like 67 degrees. So really it is a waste of time. But the interesting little factoid— after adding the measured amount of water - is their any significant shift or difference to Brix compared to the previous kit arrangement. And or - why are we sweating this. We know where we want to start - just do it. And we‘ll have no real measure of quality for at least two or more years.
 

pillswoj

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My understanding of the process is that the manufacturer concentrates everything to the same level(brix), then the higher end kits get juice added back into them with the bigger kits being a larger % of juice. The question is whether WE is using the same level of juice in the high end kits (with a more concentrated concentrate) or did they reduce the juice in the kits.

From the RJS website:

The Wine Kit Bladder RJS Kits range from 4 litres - 23 litres (approx. 1 gal - 6 gal) Includes juice and concentrate- Juice = stabilized juice- Concentrate = juice where water content has been removed; must be reconstituted with fresh, soft water to required volume for making wineEntry level kits are primarily concentrate. The higher the price / tier, the more juice and less concentrate. Juice generally contributes more varietal characteristics. The juice and concentrate are blended and balanced in our production facilities, pasteurized, and packaged.
 

joeswine

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I guess the end result is don't buy it if you don't want to or learn to take a cheaper wine kit and make it better ,,,there the choices I guess🍇 which do you choose 👍 or not.
On this forum we've talked about higher ABVS. , Using less water , structure , aroma, taste profile and the wonderful world of wine making. It's all subjective the final question is do you like what you produce is that enough for you then so be it.
If not then think outside the box.
 

skyfire322

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Maybe I'm missing the mark, but this is all marketing. I work in marketing in the music industry and see it every single day. Here some examples:

A guitar company could make two of the same guitars, one of which has different pickups, wiring, and fancy designs. What will they do? They'll only make 100 of them, slap a "limited edition" on the headstock, then mark the price up by $500. But if you have the know how, you could spend an extra $100 for the pickups used in the "limited edition" guitar, and make that cheaper guitar sound very similar.

Another example: there are two tube compressors, which sound exactly the same but one literally costs $750 more because it uses better electronics. The only difference is that one has the history of being used in recordings like Dark Side of the Moon, while the other was used to record some weekend warrior who only plays at dive bars. Even though the mix sounds the same, but the songs are polar opposites, which one would people want to gravitate to? The one that has the iconic name.

I'll use the music industry as the TL;DR:
Yes, you can nitpick in the fine details like electronics or what wood or power tubes is being used, but if it sounds good to you and others can't tell the difference, who cares? I'd rather spend a little less, deal with the fact that I don't have the Rolls-Royce, but know that I've created something that's almost exactly the same and call it a day.
 

winemaker81

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@skyfire322, it occurred to me, after reading your post, that this change in formulation is not a SNAFU for Winexpert, it's a marketing bonanza.

I think back to New Coke. GAWD! was there controversy when Coca-Cola publicly changes the formulation for Coke. People were up in arms and swearing -- it was a disastrous change, and "classic coke" was back on the market 77 days later. But in retrospect, it was tremendous marketing Coca-Cola was losing market share to Pepsi, and this campaign put them back up front for a while. Suicidally dangerous marketing, but in the end, a positive result.

The WE reformulation is not that dangerous, so let's look at this results here on WMT:

This thread currently has 177 replies ... and 14,000 views, which obviously includes a lot of folks who are reading but not posting. Look at the forum listing -- 2 old threads (Tweaking Cheap Kits and Thinking Outside the Box, both started by @joeswine) have more views, but the newest is 5 years old. Most threads have, at most, a few hundred views. Non-kit wine makers are hearing about WE. Negative criticism may be the fastest way to spread word of anything.

Sure, a lot of folks will stop buying WE, for many reasons. And a lot are looking at it from the POV of "does the change make any difference?". People will post their results, and the final result will be that the kits are fine.

Is this intentional by WE? I doubt it -- IMO their plan was to put a positive spin on the kit size reduction.
 

BABRU

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Only theorizing but my guess is WE did significant testing to be sure the change in kit size would not result in a negative change in finished wine quality with their goal being to reduce shipping cost which would be a competitive advantage. The new product may even produce a better quality wine, but customer resistance to change and the unscientific customer “taste test” could resurrect the old original packaging. Fun topic at least. Let’s stay safe, healthy and keep up our supplies of good wine!
 
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