What wine kit would you suggest?

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JLS

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I have been using the WineExpert kit for over 5 years, but, for the last 12 months, I don’t know what I’m doing wrong but the wine is not what It was before, If I would like to change, what wine kit would you suggest? Thank you and stay safe.
 

cmason1957

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Before switching kits, not saying that isn't a worthwhile thing to do, consider giving your equipment a really good cleaning and sanitizing. Perhaps replacing all hoses. Make sure you are doing both steps in cleaning, clean them really well with an Oxyclean Free type of powder and sanitize with a proper sanitizer, either a kmeta solution, Star San, or maybe and Idophor solution.

RJS wine kits are among my favorites as a side note.
 

JLS

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Before switching kits, not saying that isn't a worthwhile thing to do, consider giving your equipment a really good cleaning and sanitizing. Perhaps replacing all hoses. Make sure you are doing both steps in cleaning, clean them really well with an Oxyclean Free type of powder and sanitize with a proper sanitizer, either a kmeta solution, Star San, or maybe and Idophor solution.

RJS wine kits are among my favorites as a side note.
Thank you cmason1957
 

ali_emamy

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I found the RJS kits slightly better than Winexpert kits, honestly I made 15-18 batches of red wine from Winexpert premium kits in 3-4 years, realized all of the kits are identical, guessing the kit manufacturer put them in a box with different label. Since then I stopped making any wine from kits.
 

bkisel

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I like both but have a preference for RJS over WE kits.
 

ali_emamy

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I made few RJS kits, few years ago; Australian Shiraz and Cab Sav, Spain Grenache,& Tempranillo and Chile Carmenere, they are okay, for sure much better than Winexpert kits.
 

Swedeman

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honestly I made 15-18 batches of red wine from Winexpert premium kits in 3-4 years, realized all of the kits are identical, guessing the kit manufacturer put them in a box with different label.
Really?
 

Doug’s wines

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While I respect ali_emamy’s opinion, I don’t personally believe that all the winexpert premium kits are the same at all. In the last week I’ve opened an eclipse Forza, LE17 petite ruby cab, and staggs Merlot. All three were very different in taste, color and aroma. IMO Each fit the labeled varietal.

I will say that kit taste is strong to me very early in all kit wines (including RJS) which imo makes them all smell / taste the same when young. I’m finding at about 2 years, I can decant the wine for 30 minutes and the aroma of the base wine comes through and the taste is what it should be.
 

WinoDave

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While I respect ali_emamy’s opinion, I don’t personally believe that all the winexpert premium kits are the same at all. In the last week I’ve opened an eclipse Forza, LE17 petite ruby cab, and staggs Merlot. All three were very different in taste, color and aroma. IMO Each fit the labeled varietal.

I will say that kit taste is strong to me very early in all kit wines (including RJS) which imo makes them all smell / taste the same when young. I’m finding at about 2 years, I can decant the wine for 30 minutes and the aroma of the base wine comes through and the taste is what it should be.
Agree, excellent point. 👍
 

ali_emamy

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It's a personal preference; a couple of years ago I made wine from one of Winexpert kits called Eclipse -Sonoma county Pinot Noir. Anyone who tried the Pinot noir even once, knows that the Pinot noir color is light ruby, looks like raspberry, but the Winexpert finished wine was quite dark ruby and same as other kits that I made before. My understanding is that they are using the name of well-known wine producing regions to sell their kits.
 

sour_grapes

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To be fair, styles of Pinot Noir vary a lot with growing region, and California in general provides a fuller expression than most: https://www.wine.com/content/media/jc70ljquxrra/3ac36UBhxSsqy6k2soMm4k/d069db35dfb9d43ae31819526baf3413/Explore_Pinot_TastingMat.pdf

And here is something about Sonoma County in particular:
In Sonoma County, the warmer Russian River Valley produces fruitier styles of Pinot Noir, while Carneros and the Sonoma Coast are known for cooler-climate, lean but sunny styles.
 

Doug’s wines

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I drink a lot of Pinot as it is one of my favorites varieties and there is a wide range of colors, flavors etc. i find Pinot has the broadest spectrum of taste from earth to fruit, color from brick to violet and integrity from light to heavy. This is mostly driven by time on skins, time in the barrel, the amount of rainfall, terroir, etc. California Pinot Noirs are bigger, lush and more fruit-forward than most in the world with flavors ranging from sweet black cherry to black raspberry and secondary aromas of vanilla, clove, coca-cola, and caramel. One of my favorite pinot producers used to be Patz and Hall (in Sonoma) and each Pinot was far different in color density with one being very dark ruby and quite jammy while most of their wines were lighter colored and earthy (probably Carneros fruit). Oregon pinots tends to be very light colored, but again wide variety (I am a Ken Wright fan and all his pinots are very different, even different each year!)

Here’s an interesting article Assigning Color to Pinot Noir is a Challenging Job | The PinotFile: Volume 10, Issue 16 on Pinot colors.

I have not made the Sonoma Pinot kit, so can’t comment on that kit, but I will say that wineexpert has had some quality control issues. For example I’ve recieved the wrong labels with one kit, and was missing the “included skins” with another. While they’ve always made it right for me, I’m wondering if you could have gotten the wrong juice in your Pinot kit :?. I’m curious how long you aged it, and what the primary flavors you were getting.
 
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Swedeman

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I have done that kit and while it's darker than the ones I have done from other growing regions, it's kind of what I expected from a kit labelled "Sonoma county" - as in darker and fruitier. A very nice pinot noir nonetheless. The three different Pinot noir I have done from WE are all different.
 

ali_emamy

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I have not tried WE Pinot noir yet, it's about two years old, overall I found the home made kit wines in terms of fruity smell and aroma strong , but honestly I don't see the rich characteristics and bold taste in none of WE kits. That's the reason I decided to switch from making kits to real grapes and fruits.
 
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