Other Vintners Best - fruit wine base (fruit juice)

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Shurt1073

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I bought this Concord fruit wine base a few months ago on sale. Three years ago I made it and we named it "sucky grape" so you know it was just tolerable. I have searched the WTK sight and read several posts on the Vintners Best so I'm not surprised my first attempt at Concord was poor. About two years ago I tried a Cherry Vintners Best and it was unpleasant to drink but good to cook with. lol. So, here we are again at the end of 2022 and I'm going to give it another try and hopefully after reading the past posts it will be better. After reading I might be better prepared.

Making this wine is like being 18 yr old and going on a date with an older woman ..... unsure and scared but excited all at the same time!
 

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I’ve never heard good things about that brand, not saying one can’t make something decent with it just never heard anything better than it’s ok.
Coloma Frozen sells a lot of different frozen fruit concentrates if one wants to make country wines, I’ve made some of their Zinfandel and Merlot and both batches are currently bulk aging.
 
I've made the Elderberry twice, with good results. The Vintner's Best reconstitutes to 5 US gallons, not 6. I extended the batch I just bottled to 7 gallons with 2 liters of grape concentrate. I wanted both red, but the LHBS was down to 1 red and 1 white, so I went with that. It worked out and the wine came out good.

Is this wine as good as wine made with fresh elderberries at 6 lbs/gallon? Nope, but unless comparing side-by-side, very few would know that. Below are links for my normal winemaking notes, and an Elderberry In Detail blog.

https://wine.bkfazekas.com/2022-elderberry/
https://wine.bkfazekas.com/2022-elderberry-in-detail/
 
I bought this Concord fruit wine base a few months ago on sale. Three years ago I made it and we named it "sucky grape" so you know it was just tolerable. I have searched the WTK sight and read several posts on the Vintners Best so I'm not surprised my first attempt at Concord was poor. About two years ago I tried a Cherry Vintners Best and it was unpleasant to drink but good to cook with. lol. So, here we are again at the end of 2022 and I'm going to give it another try and hopefully after reading the past posts it will be better. After reading I might be better prepared.

Making this wine is like being 18 yr old and going on a date with an older woman ..... unsure and scared but excited all at the same time!
Mine turns out well, but I like a sweet wine I always backsweeten to my taste . Ive also used less water and made it with more flavor and around 12 percent other than 10 percent. Not everybody is the same you can tweek it to your taste. Good Luck!
 
Mine turns out well, but I like a sweet wine I always backsweeten to my taste . Ive also used less water and made it with more flavor and around 12 percent other than 10 percent. Not everybody is the same you can tweek it to your taste. Good Luck!

I can't make up my mind if I'm gonna start it or not. Reviews for the most part are not positive and my past experience is not good but that is partly because of my lack of experience. Now things might be better for me.

One positive is your post mentions "back sweeten to my taste" and over the past couple of days I've watched numerous videos and read several posts on backsweeting wines. I've had no positive results from back sweetening but I was doing it wrong too.

Really, I don't have much to lose but my time and the cost of the wine base. Thanks for the post and insight.
 
I can't make up my mind if I'm gonna start it or not. Reviews for the most part are not positive and my past experience is not good but that is partly because of my lack of experience. Now things might be better for me.

One positive is your post mentions "back sweeten to my taste" and over the past couple of days I've watched numerous videos and read several posts on backsweeting wines. I've had no positive results from back sweetening but I was doing it wrong too.

Really, I don't have much to lose but my time and the cost of the wine base. Thanks for the post and insight.
This is my process on backsweeting works weii for me im a ole beer drinker so i like sweet. when i put on the vintners kit i put 2 and half teaspoons of yeast nutrient if kept at a warm temp it will work off in 2 weeks at this time i rack and put sorbate and potassium met. takes mine 2 weeks to clear then i rack back in the bucket i put a couple cups of water on heat on the stove to disolve the sugar . I place 3 pds of sugar in the water let it dissolve put it in the wine to taste i use all of it you may want to or not,but all my beer drinking buddies like it . Then i go ahead and bottle it ,can drink right then or let it age some.
 
I can't make up my mind if I'm gonna start it or not. Reviews for the most part are not positive and my past experience is not good but that is partly because of my lack of experience. Now things might be better for me.
Knowing what you're doing does change things, just a tad. ;)

You're not gonna get better without practice. Might as well start your new day with the Apple!

My backsweetening process is simple -- with clear wine (typically at least 3 months of bulk aging, up to 12), I add sorbate (according to pkg directions) and K-meta (1/4 tsp for 5/6 US gallons), and stir well. I prefer dryer wines so I go with smaller sugar increments.

I add typically 1/4 cup white sugar at a time, stirring very well with a drill-mounted stirring rod in between, and tasting after each addition. When I think the wine needs just a bit more, I stop. Keep in mind that it's far easier to add more than to take some out.

In the past I did bench testing with small amounts, and scaled up for the full batch. I found that things didn't always turn out as I thought they would. If there's too little sugar, it's easy to fix. If too much? Nope.
 
Knowing what you're doing does change things, just a tad. ;)

You're not gonna get better without practice. Might as well start your new day with the Apple!

I'm taking this advice to heart and started my Vintners Best - Concord today. Its a 5 gallon batch. I paid a little over $30 for the one gallon fruit base, add 4 gallons of water plus 2 cups of sugar to raise the SG to 1.076.

The worst that can happen is losing $30 on the fruit base and a few months of waiting but I'm actually encouraged this will turn out much better than my last attempt. I've said it ten times this month "I want to be a better wine maker" so I need to continue to make new wines.
 
You already lost the $30 months ago, not like you can return it. You made the right choice.

You can always play around with it. You could add raisins or other fruit to give it a bit more life.

I hope I haven't said this yet! The best advice that I ever got here was 'your wine is done when it tastes good'. Meaning if you bulk aged it for a month and love it, drink it. If in 3 months you taste this batch and think it is no good, make changes. Some members here are still tweaking their wines in the bottle. Open it up, add something to see how it works. Then you can decide if you want it as an ingredient in a whole batch.

if you don't like this wine in 3 months you can give it more time. You don't have to bottle it! You can do bench tests with juices and other ingredients and add them to a glass. You can blend with another wine. You could make another wine just for blending with it if you can think of something that would compliment it. Maybe this will work well mixed with DB, who knows till you try it? Playing around is what will make you a better wine maker.

I think it is good that you are branching into DB and using raw ingredients, it will give you a lot more understanding. Wine is like food, and one thing to consider is that it is only ever going to be as good as its ingredients. If you want to make good wine, start with a solid base. Sure, it's only 30 bucks and if you don't like it you're not out much, but DB is cheap and fun, too. You can make any variation you want as well. Maybe the freezer aisle is a better source for future inspiration!
 
The worst that can happen is losing $30 on the fruit base and a few months of waiting but I'm actually encouraged this will turn out much better than my last attempt. I've said it ten times this month "I want to be a better wine maker" so I need to continue to make new wines.
follow the process -- it will come out fine!
 
Vintners Best concord has been in bulk aging sine Nov 2022, and in April started the Vintners Best raspberry but added 1 liter of red concentrate along with some sugar to up the SG and constitute to 6 gallons. The smell of the raspberry was amazing and after a little back sweetening its now sitting in bulk aging.

When I ordered the raspberry, also ordered a Vintners Best black cherry .... shipping cost for the extra base was an added $1 so it just made sense. This week I started fermenting the black cherry with a 1 liter white grape concentrate to 6 gallons plus a little sugar for a 1.090sg. Its bubbling away in the bucket and also smells pretty darn good.

I have three of the Vintners Best going and three of the FWK in bulk aging at the moment. All my eggs are in two baskets but these are exciting times for me in wine making. I appreciate the help.
 

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The Vintners Best Concord I started on Nov 5th 2022 is in the bottle and it doesn't suck .... mediocre wine right now but doesn't suck.
I'm curious If you've made frozen concord concentrate wine before and how it compares to Vintners. I made concentrate once when I first started. It was quite decent. I think it was aged at least 8 months and had several heavy top offs from several other kits and odds and ends at bottling.
 
I'm curious If you've made frozen concord concentrate wine before and how it compares to Vintners. I made concentrate once when I first started. It was quite decent. I think it was aged at least 8 months and had several heavy top offs from several other kits and odds and ends at bottling.

I have not made frozen concord concentrate but this is the second time for the Vintners Best concord. The first time wasn't so great and I decided it was time for another try. Mine was topped off with 19 Crimes Pinot Noir ..... again, not horrible but not great. I've got 24 bottles left and over the next 2 yrs I'll drink it. Best of luck.
 
I’ve made the Dandelion wine twice with 2 pounds of sugar added and everyone seems to love it, made the Concord grape and added 3 jars of Welches grape jelly to it and it came out good also. Making peach and strawberry now.
 
I'm curious If you've made frozen concord concentrate wine before and how it compares to Vintners. I made concentrate once when I first started. It was quite decent. I think it was aged at least 8 months and had several heavy top offs from several other kits and odds and ends at bottling.

I’ve made the Dandelion wine twice with 2 pounds of sugar added and everyone seems to love it, made the Concord grape and added 3 jars of Welches grape jelly to it and it came out good also. Making peach and strawberry now.


I do have the Vintners Best Black Raspberry bulk aging at 2 months and Black Cherry is clearing at week 3. I added 1 liter of Global concentrate & three cups of sugar, and reconstituted to 23 liters for both. I have several six gallon carboys vs five gallon.

I'm not sure what my expectations are. Made the concord twice, and this will be the last time mainly because there are so many other kits I want to try. Raspberry in bulk aging has the potential to be special but the black cherry is not promising. It's early for the black cherry and time will tell.
 
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I do have the Vintners Best Black Raspberry bulk aging at 2 months and Black Cherry is clearing at week 3. I added 1 liter of Global concentrate & three cups of sugar, and reconstituted to 23 liters for both. I have several six gallon carboys vs five gallon.

I'm not sure what my expectations are. Made the concord twice, and this will be the last time mainly because there are so many other kits I want to try. Raspberry in bulk aging has the potential to be special but the black cherry is not promising. It's early for the black cherry and time will tell.
I was unimpressed with the cherry as well. After reading through the tweaking cheap kits thread I added toasted cocoa nibs and instant coffee to try and add some chocolate flavour or at least make it less one note. After a few more months I added chocolate flavoured Torani which kicked off a little fermentation. Eventually I back sweetend with more Torani and bottled. I wouldn't make cherry again but I definitely enjoy it now. Still no mistaking it for anything but cherry.
 
I was unimpressed with the cherry as well. After reading through the tweaking cheap kits thread I added toasted cocoa nibs and instant coffee to try and add some chocolate flavour or at least make it less one note. After a few more months I added chocolate flavoured Torani which kicked off a little fermentation. Eventually I back sweetend with more Torani and bottled. I wouldn't make cherry again but I definitely enjoy it now. Still no mistaking it for anything but cherry.

Hats off to you for trying to make it better or change the VB Cherry.

Tonight I had friends over for a celebration .... its Monday! We opened a bottle of the Concord I bottled a few days ago and everyone thought it was really good. After several glasses I thought it was pretty good too but I also thought I was faster than a speeding bullet, more powerful than a locomotive, able to leap tall buildings in a single bound. ;) The VB concord will only get better I'm thinking!
 
Hats off to you for trying to make it better or change the VB Cherry.

Tonight I had friends over for a celebration .... its Monday! We opened a bottle of the Concord I bottled a few days ago and everyone thought it was really good. After several glasses I thought it was pretty good too but I also thought I was faster than a speeding bullet, more powerful than a locomotive, able to leap tall buildings in a single bound. ;) The VB concord will only get better I'm thinking!
Island Mist makes a tasty Cherry Wine kit.
 
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