What would you make?

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vinny

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I am just over 2 months into this hobby and I have been bitten hard. I started with frozen raspberries from the garden and have made a decent list so far.

White Grape
Skeeter Pee
Dragons Blood
Hard Malt Lemonade
Pinot Gris
Shiraz
Merlot
Diablo Rojo

The last 4 are kits. I just racked the last 2 and I am starting to think about what to make next.

I know tastes are very subjective, but I am curious if anyone has any recommendations of something they thought was exceptionally good. I'd like to break out of the standard wines I default to buying. Shiraz, Cab Sauv, Merlot, Pinot Grigio, Riesling, Chianti, etc. These are not out of the question if you have a great suggestion, but I'm interested in broadening my experience.

I don't have access to FWK, but would love to hear any other suggestions, kit or otherwise.
 
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Sorry to say, but that's the first time I can definitively argue that your answer is wrong.
Fair enough. I have 4 answers for you:

1) Go to WE, make a list of 5 kits that you have NO idea what they are, and buy 2.

2) If I was picking kits, I'd pick 2 from the following 5:
Amarone Style, Italy
Enigma, California
Gewürztraminer, Germany
Grenache Rosé, Australia
Vieux Château Du Roi, France

3) If I had no background and was looking to expand myself, I'd pick 2 of these:
Amarone Style, Italy
Gewürztraminer, Germany
Grenache Rosé, Australia
Traminer Riesling, Australia
Vieux Château Du Roi, France

4) Having background, but looking to go in an odd direction, I've pick 2 of these:
Carmenère, Chile
Enigma, California
Grenache Rosé, Australia
Luna Rossa, Italy
Traminer Riesling, Australia

I tend to make decisions like this at the last moment, on gut feel, as I have too many likes and interests. If given 2 minutes to decide which 2 kits to buy, I'd have a dozen changes of mind in the last minute.

The Grenache Rosé, Australia is an odd choice, as I'm not fond of rose. Since it's in all 3 lists, I'd buy it. If THAT doesn't confuse you, nothing will!
 

BigDaveK

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I am just over 2 months into this hobby and I have been bitten hard. I started with frozen raspberries from the garden and have made a decent list so far.
I started in October of last year and made 13 1-gallon batches of various fruits to see which would stick to the wall, metaphorically speaking. Unfortunately they all stuck. And early this year I added Skeeter Pee and Dragon Blood. Bitten hard? This endeavor has become a passion. It's science! It's fun! And it tastes good!
I found my direction - fruits, vegetables, and the unusual. Surprisingly grapes are at the bottom of my list.
"Broadening your experience" is a great plan. Make a variety. You'll find your calling. We all may have different tastes, certainly different opinions, but I think we'll all agree that WMT is a fantastic site and this is the best damn hobby ever!
 
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Sorry to say, but that's the first time I can definitively argue that your answer is wrong.

I was asking YOUR opinion. ☺

You didn't ask me, but I'll throw in a few. I am a big fan of RjS En Primeaur wine kits, I almost always have two of the Amarone going in the basement (I think they are availablein Canada) . For Winexpert kids, the Two Luna wines are both very good and drinkable quickly (Luna Bianca mostly Chardonnay, Luna Rossa mostly ???) I also find the Stags Leap Merlot very tasty, lightly Oaked.

Many folks find that tweaking the Costco wine kits can produce something drinkable son, I haven't ever tried them.
 

Tim3

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I’ve made loads of kits. My experience has taught me that red wine kits don’t compare to quality commercial red wines. That said I’ve never made a FWK. However, most of the white wine kits out there are very good, and will compare to some great commercial options available. Unfortunately price = quality when it comes to kits. So think about what you like and browse the available options. Wait for a deal and buy several. If you don’t know what you like go and try a CA oaked Chardonnay (dry and oaked) any muscat (sweet and aromatic), and a varietal old world white (dry and fruit driven).
 

vinny

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This endeavor has become a passion. It's science! It's fun! And it tastes good!

All my interests involve being able to break things down, tweak, enhance, push to the limit, or just make something simple cause, well that's what I need right now. All those things are here, plus more.

I agree this is a hell of a site with great members. As far as a great hobby, I hope so. I don't wanna look back and think is were it all went downhill. I think I can reign it in, though.
 

BigDaveK

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I agree this is a hell of a site with great members. As far as a great hobby, I hope so. I don't wanna look back and think is were it all went downhill. I think I can reign it in, though.
Yes, first we have to develop patience while everything matures. Then we have to deal with restraint, slowly and responsibly savoring our home made nectar. Well, at least most of the time.
 

FlamingoEmporium

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Yes, first we have to develop patience while everything matures. Then we have to deal with restraint, slowly and responsibly savoring our home made nectar. Well, at least most of the time.
Well said Dave. And then buy a chest freezer and plant two or 3 times as much and fill that freezer.
 
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I assume you mostly order kits over picking over what is available locally?
Nope -- when I buy a kit, it's what's available when I want it, or I'll ask the LHBS owner to order for me. There is a 15% discount on kits every Wednesday, so when I'm in the market for a kit, I go on Wednesday and snag whatever looks best. Since my tastes are broad, I have no problem finding something interesting.

My answers are in reaction to your question for things that are not typical, which IMO is a good idea.

Before making 6 gallons of wine, download Vivinio for your phone and use it in the wine store to choose bottles. Look to expand your horizons, 1 bottle at a time, which will give you the personal knowledge to purchase kits that will work for you.
 

Vlabruz

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I am just over 2 months into this hobby and I have been bitten hard. I started with frozen raspberries from the garden and have made a decent list so far.

White Grape
Skeeter Pee
Dragons Blood
Hard Malt Lemonade
Pinot Gris
Shiraz
Merlot
Diablo Rojo

The last 4 are kits. I just racked the last 2 and I am starting to think about what to make next.

I know tastes are very subjective, but I am curious if anyone has any recommendations of something they thought was exceptionally good. I'd like to break out of the standard wines I default to buying. Shiraz, Cab Sauv, Merlot, Pinot Grigio, Riesling, Chianti, etc. These are not out of the question if you have a great suggestion, but I'm interested in broadening my experience.

I don't have access to FWK, but would love to hear any other suggestions, kit or otherwise.
I'm in your boat. I started in January. I've made WE classic Cabernet, WE reserve pinot gris, WE chocolate mocha dessert, skeeter pee, vikings blood, traditional mead, cider, and "redneck" wine. ( fermented fruit punch from costco)
To add, I went and bought random bottle of stuff to see if there was anything I liked. I now have a FWK petit syrah in the fridge to do this weekend
 

FlamingoEmporium

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Well I’m definitely going to be making mango wine. I have several trees, not to mention I get extra from my brother. I’ve already got multiple pounds in the freezer.

my second ever wine (I call it light mango, since I didn’t use more than 2 lbs, is crystal clear right now and about 3 months in. I may rack and bottle this weekend (backsweeten if necessary) if all goes well, and then off to storage.

i will use the space for another batch with more fruit this time. And the coconut wine experiment appears to be going well at this point so I should probably strip the tree of coconuts before hurricane season and get another batch of that going. The passion fruit will be flowering any day so another batch of that is probably going to happen in a few more months. Then we will be deep into fresh mango season. Dehydrate a lot, freeze some and ferment some.
 

vinny

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I was just informed that there is likely around 20 lbs of carrots in the root cellar over what we will eat, and I am permitted to have my way with them. Last year was a crazy carrot year. I canned more than ever, gave plenty away and still have WAY more than we can eat.

I might have to try a few different batches.
 

FlamingoEmporium

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I was just informed that there is likely around 20 lbs of carrots in the root cellar over what we will eat, and I am permitted to have my way with them. Last year was a crazy carrot year. I canned more than ever, gave plenty away and still have WAY more than we can eat.

I might have to try a few different batches.
Carrot cake with some carrot wine ?
 

Tipsy

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I am a big fan of the RJS En Premier kits. I like the big reds best. I just finished tasting the Malbec and even at only 15 months aging its really good. The Super Tuscan is also excellent and the Amarone is very good. All RJS En Premier brand. I am also from Canada and we can get all the RJS, Winexpert and Vineco kits as well as a few fresh grape kits.
 

Neb Farmer

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My basic rule in winemaking is ... make wine that I like to drink. I started out years ago with a red wine kit that did not impress me, and later gravitated to buying grapes and making wine with them. THAT was a big improvement for my winemaking. ( sangiovese , riesling , nebbiolo , syrah ) . I did make a batch of rhubarb several years ago , which turned out well. Other than that , again , make what you LIKE. That way at least somebody is happy!
 
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My basic rule in winemaking is ... make wine that I like to drink.
Generally I agree with you -- I make wine that I or someone else wants to drink. OTOH, @vinny sounds adventurous, so trying different kits without knowing for sure what the result will be, may be up his alley.

For most people, I'll expand upon my previous advice -- do research on varietals and types (e.g., Bordeaux), and buy 3 bottles that research indicates are good value. Pop the corks and do a tasting. If the wines are good, look for grapes, juice, and/or kits.

I'm on the adventurous side and have liked every red vinifera I've tried. There are a few whites (e.g., Pinot Grigio) that don't do much for me. OTOH, I don't like Muscadine & Scuppernong, but periodically I'll stop at an eastern NC winery (Muscadine, Scuppernong, and hybrids out of FL are what grows) and try the wines. So far I've not found a wine I liked, but ya never know, some day I might. :)
 
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