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TxBrew

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For those who bought a complete wine making kit what company and particular kit did you start with?
 

roxy10_2

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My first kit/brew

My first kit was a CELLAR MASTER from our SAVE ON FOODS grocery store. It was a Blackberry Merlot. It probably would have been a wonderful wine on its own, but the instructions weren't excellent, and my first time, I needed excellent. So, there was too much water added initially, then I had to add the syrup/flavor bag, and that put it 1.5 litres over the carboy. So, long story short, I fiddled, added Welches grape, it turned out very good. Now, I think I won't make a kit again, because my second batch (in carboy) is from juice and berries from scratch. Easier and a great feeling of accomplishment so far. I'm waiting for something to go wrong. Knock on wood.:D It was a good kit, just needed to do the math on amount of liquids involved.:)
 

Trubador

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I just purchased Winexpert Selection Merlot as my first kit. It says it comes with 15 liters of juice and concentrate.

Just curious, how does the selection series Merlot compare with the Winexpert Vitners Reserve Merlot which is cheaper and comes with only 7.5 liters of juice and concentrate.

I went with the more expensive one b/c I didn't want the resulting first wine to be weak and not as tasty as the Selection may be.

Any opinions on the two styles from this company?
 
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geocorn

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Most of the wine kits start with a concentrate base and then add some fresh juice. The concentrate is pasteurized and is used to give the wine kit shelf life. The down side of the concentration process is that some of the solids are lost and the solids are responsible for the body, aroma and flavor.

With that being said, the 7.5 liter Vintner's Reserve kits are mostly concentrate with some fresh juice. As you move up the line into the Selections, you get more juice and less concentrate, which give you more body, aroma and flavor. The downside is that more solids require more time for the wine to mature which is why most of the 15+ liter kits have a recommended minimum aging time of 6 months.
 

djamwolfe

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Mine was an RJ Spagnols Breezin kit -- very easy instructions, gave me places to write SG and dates down. Took a month to bottle and as it is a sweet wine, we can almost start drinking it right away :)
 

Dallas

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I bought a kit from my neighbor and it was put together by Austin Home Brewing ...... I'll let you know how I like it after this weekend.
 

Trubador

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Most of the wine kits start with a concentrate base and then add some fresh juice. The concentrate is pasteurized and is used to give the wine kit shelf life. The down side of the concentration process is that some of the solids are lost and the solids are responsible for the body, aroma and flavor.

With that being said, the 7.5 liter Vintner's Reserve kits are mostly concentrate with some fresh juice. As you move up the line into the Selections, you get more juice and less concentrate, which give you more body, aroma and flavor. The downside is that more solids require more time for the wine to mature which is why most of the 15+ liter kits have a recommended minimum aging time of 6 months.

THanks, perfect answer. I am glad I went with the Selections then. I am patient and don't mind waiting 6 months, I wanted a wine with some body and flavor, an extra 30 bucks seems worth it for the selections rather than the reserve.

How would you compare the resulting wine from selections premium merlot (15 liter kit); compared to say a low end Merlot like Woodbridge. If made properly, will the selections kit wine taste better, the same, not as good?
 

smurfe

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The first wine kit I made was a Wine Expert Vintners Reserve Italian Pinot Grigio. It came with my equipment kit I purchased from one of the above posters. It was a very nice wine. I feel the VR kits are under rated to some extent. The whites are quite nice.

When you look into the reds, George gave the perfect answer as to why the higher end kits are more suited. It boils down to the solids in the juice. The more solids, the more body and flavor the wine will have. The wine will have an aroma as a commercial wine. VR kits don't always have that same aroma.

The Estate series wines from Wine Expert are to die for. The Stagg's Leap District Merlot is as good as any commercial Merlot I have had. I have a Woodbridge Cabernet Sauvignon going as well. For those that want a really full bodies wine check out the Crushendo series. They have the grape packs in them. I wish my regular supplier carried the Cellar Craft grape pack kits (hint hint). I have made a couple of them and they have been my favorite to date but I am sure the WE Super Tuscan I have going will be just as good as the Cellar Craft kits.
 

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