Vineco What's your take on Island and Niagra Mist kits.

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vinny

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I was in the LHBS the other day and I was offered a sample of a Vineco Pina Colada kit. Gotta say, very drinkable. Nothing I would ever branch into on my own, but there was just a hint of pina colada, and otherwise it was just a nice easy drinker. I could see it being hard not to disappear it on a hot sunny day.

The shelves are loaded with these kits everywhere, so people are obviously making them. Any trusted favorites or warnings?
 
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I find that if they are made to instructions, they are sweeter and much lower alcohol than I would drink. But, if you bump up the alcohol level to 10-11% abv and only add the flavor pack to taste, they make a very drinkable wine. Served well chilled on a hot summer day. Peach Apricot (Chardonnay) is among my favorite.
 
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I agree with Craig, the "fun wine" kits are too sweet for my taste. Consider adding 1/2 the F-pack at fermentation time, add sugar to produce table wine strength, and let 'er rip!

I'd target 11-12% as the wine will be diluted by the remainder of the F-pack. If it turns out that 1/2 pack doesn't sweeten enough or if the acid is a bit sharp, you can backsweeten with sugar.
 

vinny

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they are sweeter and much lower alcohol than I would drink.
I don't like wasting my time either. 😄

The sweetness is my biggest concern, and I guess why I was so surprised. This one really wasn't. I might give one a shot and just sweeten to taste. After bumping the ABV to a respectable level, of course.

the "fun wine" kits
I think this is why I was naturally put off of them. The colours of the packaging alone are enough for me to identify it is not for my personality. Fun sparkly people buy that stuff. I can do fun, but I am not sparkly. :cool:


It might be nice to have to offer on a hot day day, chilled as Craig says. just something to mix things up.
 
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I think this is why I was naturally put off of them. The colours of the packaging alone are enough for me to identify it is not for my personality. Fun sparkly people buy that stuff. I can do fun, but I am not sparkly. :cool:
So you might be a werewolf, but definitely not a vampire. Noted. ;)

IMO these wines are marketed at the "not a wine snob" market, younger professionals who are not into the dry red and white Vinifera. However, there's absolutely no reason others can't enjoy them. I like every one that I've made or had.

However, in my case, I may enjoy a glass or two, but I've learned I don't want a carboy of 'em. That's among the reasons my port kits last so long -- I like 'em but don't drink them often. [This actually works in my favor as they are good for years!]

Do you have an audience for a fun wine? If you do, make one. It appears you like sweeter than Craig or I do, then make it according to directions, except bumping the ABV up to your table wine target. If it's not sweet enough, backsweeten to taste.

I had an Apple-Riesling last 7 years, so shelf life on the wine (if bumped up) should be good for at least 3 years.
 

vinny

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Do you have an audience for a fun wine? If you do, make one. It appears you like sweeter than Craig or I do, then make it according to directions, except bumping the ABV up to your table wine target. If it's not sweet enough, backsweeten to taste.
I have neighbours that will drink anything! 😄

For the most part I hate sweet. Rich, all day long, but not sweet. 6 Gallons was my biggest concern. That's a lot of fun wine, but what I tried wasn't that sweet.

I'm going to ask if the directions were followed and how long it aged, not much point in a summer wine if it will be ready in December.

It's been 2 weeks since the last batch, it just seems like it's time for another. 😏 I'll never get a properly aged wine if I don't keep filling up the carboys.
 

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I’ve made almost every island Mist and orchard Breezin wine kit and all of them have come out pretty tasty. I add a 4 pound bag of sugar and I buy from label peelers online a bag of their white grape OR red grape concentrate to toss in. The sugar bumps up the alcohol % and the concentrate juice adds a little more body and mouth fill. I normally get 28 bottles of it per kit. Drink about 10 bottles myself and then give away some as gifts or someone buys a few bottles from me. I’ve found over the years there is far more sweet/fruit wine drinkers than the dry red wine drinkers so I’ve never had a issue of too many sweet fruit wines in my cellar. I always add the whole f pack in secondary, gives the wine a true fruity flavor but I guess it’s all to your own taste buds. I’ve entered some into wine competitions and they score pretty well. It’s good stuff for the price. My favorites are the Cherry, White Cranberry, Peach, Apple, Coconut Yuzu, Black Raspeberry and Pomegranate.
 
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For the most part I hate sweet. Rich, all day long, but not sweet.
That's what I thought, so I misunderstood your comment above.

Sounds like you have an audience for the wine, so I suggest making as-is and bumping the sugar, and adjust any future batches according to what you learn. For this first one I'd skip @WinoDave's suggest to add grape concentrate, as you want the wine to age quicker.

However, as a general rule I like his idea and used grape concentrate to extend Vintner's Best concentrate, which dilutes to 5 US gallons, to 6 or 7 gallons.
 

WinoDave

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That's what I thought, so I misunderstood your comment above.

Sounds like you have an audience for the wine, so I suggest making as-is and bumping the sugar, and adjust any future batches according to what you learn. For this first one I'd skip @WinoDave's suggest to add grape concentrate, as you want the wine to age quicker.

However, as a general rule I like his idea and used grape concentrate to extend Vintner's Best concentrate, which dilutes to 5 US gallons, to 6 or 7 gallons.
It needs to age maybe a month at most, normally ready to drink in 2-3 weeks. I think adding the grape concentrate makes the wine better And well worth waiting the extra couple weeks. Everyone taste buds are different, I’ve done them both ways and they are still tasty.
 

WinoDave

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Do you bulk age beyond kit recommendations, or just run the 4 weeks and bottle, giving the couple weeks to a month to mellow in the bottle?
I bottle in 4 weeks. Let age in the bottle maybe another month and drink. I will admit there are a couple of the kits I have to let sit longer like 3 months but most are ready to drink in 2 months.
There’s really not much Liquid in those boxes of white/red grape concentrate that Label Peelers sells online. I’ve entered island mist wines in competitions before just to get feedback on how good they are, if I DON’T add the grape concentrate then the judges comments come back good but a little thin, the judges comments is what led me to always add the grape juice concentrate. I’ve won a few medals with island mist kits before. They can be doctored up some to be excellent wines.
 
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It needs to age maybe a month at most, normally ready to drink in 2-3 weeks. I think adding the grape concentrate makes the wine better And well worth waiting the extra couple weeks. Everyone taste buds are different, I’ve done them both ways and they are still tasty.
Based upon my experiences (Island Mist kits), I'd say the kits need more aging. However, I won't argue with your results.

@vinny, considering Dave's feedback, start a kit now, and bottle in a month or so. Even if you don't think it's ready to drink a month after that, it's likely your audience will. If not, bottle age longer. It's a no-lose scenario for you.

If it sounds like I'm changing my answer? Nope, I'm remembering a truism in winemaking -- there's no one right answer. Every wine is different, and trying to shoehorn all into a single path is a mistake.

I have wines in my cellar that were fully drinkable at 6 months, and others that are coming into their own at the 3 year mark. I like variety, so every year I make reds that will requires at least another year of aging, and other wines intended to be drunk young. Variety is the spice of life!
 

WinoDave

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Based upon my experiences (Island Mist kits), I'd say the kits need more aging. However, I won't argue with your results.

@vinny, considering Dave's feedback, start a kit now, and bottle in a month or so. Even if you don't think it's ready to drink a month after that, it's likely your audience will. If not, bottle age longer. It's a no-lose scenario for you.

If it sounds like I'm changing my answer? Nope, I'm remembering a truism in winemaking -- there's no one right answer. Every wine is different, and trying to shoehorn all into a single path is a mistake.

I have wines in my cellar that were fully drinkable at 6 months, and others that are coming into their own at the 3 year mark. I like variety, so every year I make reds that will requires at least another year of aging, and other wines intended to be drunk young. Variety is the spice of life!
Couldn’t agree more, everyone taste is different and so is every wine made. 👍
 
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