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Zog

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I'm ready to start kit #2 and I have a couple questions. I've noticed that kits range from 8 liters to 16 liters. Is it safe to assume that the larger volume kits tend to produce better results? Are any brands particularly better than others?

I'm looking for a California Chardonnay, any recommendations?
 

wyntheef

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I don't have much kit experience, but I can provide an answer to your first question regarding quality, because I have asked the same question myself and am certain most will tell you that you get a less diluted product from the larger kits resulting in fuller body and taste and potentially more alcahol content.
 

Tom

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Yes its true of the old saying "you get what you pay for".
Consider a $5.00 bottle to a $20.00 bottle. Start in a mid range to high end kit.
The mods here mostly would say to stay away from Wine Expert. They seam to produce a thin bodied wine in general.
Also consider if the kit costs $120.00 that comes to only $4.00 a bottle. You could not buy anything decent @ that price.
 

Zog

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Excellent article. I have much to learn.
 

phermenter

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I think it's generally true that more expensive kits make the better wines, but there are exceptions. The Cellar Craft 12-liter grape skin kits that go for about $80 are as good as many $100-plus kits IMO.

I'm not sure why some people here consider Winexpert substandard. I've had some good results from them. In fact I'd say the best wine I've made yet was a WE Selection Estate Dry Creek Valley Chardonnay. It compares favorably to some $20-$25 store-bought Sonoma chards.

Jim
 

TheTooth

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The Winexpert complaints I've read on here seem to be with their high-end reds. From what I've read they are a bit sweet and light in body.

The only WE kits I've made have been lower-end WE kits (red and white) for my wife to use as cooking wine, so I have no real first-hand experience with them.
 

mmadmikes1

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I picked up an expired WE kit ay factory stoe awhile back. a discontinued grape skine kit (Montagnac Vieux Chateau d"Oc) It is by no meanslacking body or color or weak. That is my only experience and the wine is just now getting readt for bulk aging. In a year or 2, I can tell you better. My friends that tried it said we could drink it now, no problem. But they are free winos
 

Runningwolf

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Folks, I did not drink much wine before I started making it. I made a lot of Island Mist's from Wine Expert and thought they were really good. I did up the abv. Well most of those are in the past now and I am making more of the higher end kits as I acquire a better taste. Mostly wine experts due to availability. Yeah I like them and so do most of my friends. As I see my taste changing I am starting to make a few good reds, that I do not really like right now. :fI figure in 18-24 months when they are ready, I will be ready for them! Perfect timing, HUH?
So what does all this rambling mean? Make and drink what you like now. As you start to acquire a different taste, start making wines that will compliment that taste. It sure is a lot easier to make and age a wine that you don't really like yet and have it ready for you later.:dg
 

vvolf34

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RW,

That really is excellent advise. Right now I do not prefer big reds, but down the road I might. Thank you!
 

NSwiner

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I think it's generally true that more expensive kits make the better wines, but there are exceptions. The Cellar Craft 12-liter grape skin kits that go for about $80 are as good as many $100-plus kits IMO.

I'm not sure why some people here consider Winexpert substandard. I've had some good results from them. In fact I'd say the best wine I've made yet was a WE Selection Estate Dry Creek Valley Chardonnay. It compares favorably to some $20-$25 store-bought Sonoma chards.

Jim
Do they only make 12 liters or is that the ampount of juice you get in the kit ? If it only makes 12 liters thats expensive !!!
 

TheTooth

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Do they only make 12 liters or is that the ampount of juice you get in the kit ? If it only makes 12 liters thats expensive !!!
12 liters is the amount of juice and juice concentrate in the kit. You add water to bring it up to the full 6 gallon level.
 

NSwiner

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Ok that makes sense I just never heard of them put that way by how much is in the bag .It always good to know what are the good wines because every company probably has a couple are lower priced kits that turn out really good .I started writing down the ones people here say are good .
 

rawlus

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its all about the dissolved solids. a 14% ABV wine is nearly 86% water. water isn't necessarily a bad thing - provided you have the necessary dissolved solids, extraction from the skins, which provides most of the nose, hue, depth of color, flavor complexity, etc.
 

jdeere5220

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I started writing down the ones people here say are good .
I do some of that too, however my retailer gave me some good advice: My good wine has nothing to do with your good wine. I'm new at making my own, but I've been buying batches from my retailer for a couple years. I think the Stag's Leap Merlot and Lunna Rossa are both excellent, and the Rioja is also really good after 6 months. These are all WE kits, which I noticed a lot of folks here don't advise. So it's whatever works for you. Maybe I've just never had anything really good :(
 

NSwiner

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Yes I agree with you jdeere5220but the ones I look at closer are the ones that have made the same wines as us or ones I know I would like if i was to go buy a bottle of wine . There's been times I bought a bottle I didn't care for it that much but then try again down the road and like it ,go figure .
 
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