Quality of cheaper grape juice vs more expensive brands

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Nov 21, 2009
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Can anyone tell me the difference in quality for a $45, 6 gallon wine kit, versus one for $85 or $100+?

Prices all over the place out there and since I'm just starting out and I want to get the best juice for my money.

cheap kits have no body and are "thin" tasting. Don't know where you can get $45 kit. The "mist" kits are OK for a "patio" wine. What price range do you buy? also what kind of wine you like? Knowing that maybe we can steer you to a decent wine.
It not as much the quality of the juice, but the amount of juice. Cheaper kits are more concentrated meaning you have to add more water. While it will taste just like any other wine, as Tom said, you will have no body. I like to compare it to orange juice. You have a glass of fresh 100% squeezed juice and it is great. You buy a can of frozen concentrate and make it to level it just don't get it.
Hell I can get a double kit at Costco for $60 Cd. The guy at local HBS said make them 5 gallond and they arent bad
With wine kits...you pretty much get what you pay for, and what you pay for is the total amount of dissolved solids in the concentrate. That's why U.S. Elite can charge as much as Wine Expert for their 6.3 liter kit vs a 15 liter kit. You get 6 gallons of wine out of each of them, but one is more concentrated (or has more dissolved solids than the other).

The really cheap kits are usually sweet wine kits, they are lower in ABV, and have you sweeten the wine with an F-pack. That allows you to drink the wine early.

I'm on my 4th Island Mist kit from Wine Experts ($65).. I gotta say that its some really good stuff, ready to drink in 30 days, and cost like $2-$3 a bottle to make depending on if you lable your bottles..

People I know thats been drinking wine for years keep coming back for more, and people that aren't wine drinkers want some.. lol.. No Lie..!!!

Premium kits will give you more body for sure but also takes like 6 months to a 1 year to open and enjoy..

Hope this helps.. Happy Thanksgiving..
You might like to do what we are doing we started with the more expensive kit that takes longer but while it's doing it's thing we bought a couple cheaper & quicker wines to hold us over so we won't be so tempted to to drink the first one right away .
Good point.
One thing that will change is your "taste". Once you have a few batches under your belt you will probably start enjoying wine more. This is where you "taste" buds start to change. More experimenting, better kits, and trying wine you never tried before.
Best thing is to join or start a wine club.
Of course staying here for any questions you may have. Answered by a variety if winemakers here.
Thanks for the links to these articles. This is exactly what I wanted to know when I came to these forums for the first time this evening.

So can I assume that a 10 liter wine kit will make better wine than the $6 bottle from the store if I do my part correctly?