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Reign

Junior
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New wine maker here. I have made wine a couple of times, mostly white. I am currently making the 7 L Costco wine kit. I realize the wine isn't that great, but I am wondering about higher priced kits. I see at our local wine shoppe a 10 L, 12 L, 16 L and 18 L kit. Does this mean the more concentrate you get in the kit, the better the wine? I went to a BYO wine place and we paid $150.00 for a Chardonnay and it wasn't much better than my Costoc wine. I don't remember the wine maker though.

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GaDawg

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Usually the more juice you get the better the kit, but you should drink what you like! If a $150 Chardonnay is no better to you than your Costco kit you are a very lucky man!
 

JamesGrape

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Check out the tweaks you can do to the kits - custom additions, reduced water additions, sweetening, etc. You can buy the cheapies if you wish and customize to your specific tastes and those you gift to. There is tremendous experience and support here.
 

Doug’s wines

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Price of a bottle of wine is dictated by scarcity and demand more than so than taste. Usually an expesnive bottle will have more depth and character with a broader flavor profile which is irrelevant if you don’t like those flavors. I’ve tasted many expensive bottles I didn’t like and many more that were wonderful. Generally the expensive bottles are made from better fruit, handled differently during the winemaking process and aged longer, but none of that is necessarily part of the pricing mechanism. It’s all about scarcity and demand.

Sacristy and demand does not have nearly as much to do with wine kit price ranges although it can bump the prices within the ranges. More expensive kits are generally high quality juice and less concentrated which should give the winemaker a product closer to a fresh juice product. Thus it “should” have more depth and character then something that has been processed more. It also usually requires a longer aging period to be drinkable, can generally be aged longer overall, and might adapt more to intervention (ex:eek:ak).

It’s all about what you want, but the more expensive kit in general should produce a better final product after at least a year or two of aging, while the less expensive kit is often ready to drink earlier and can also taste good. There are many $20 bottles of wine I like to drink as well as many $100+ bottles.
 

Reign

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Thanks for the replies. I think I will slowly make my way up in price to see what I like best. I do think at least for now I will stick to the kits. One thing I have noticed is there is a lot of different wine kits to choose from :)
 

Reign

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Usually the more juice you get the better the kit, but you should drink what you like! If a $150 Chardonnay is no better to you than your Costco kit you are a very lucky man!
I just don't think the price was worth it for what I got. Most of the BYO wine places here in Ontario are expensive, that is just the way it is. That experience made me want to make my own at home.
 

sour_grapes

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I just don't think the price was worth it for what I got. Most of the BYO wine places here in Ontario are expensive, that is just the way it is. That experience made me want to make my own at home.
This is just idle curiosity talking: When you say "BYO," you mean "Brew your own," aka ferment-on-premises, right? (Or did you mean a "Bring Your Own" restaurant, which here we call "BYOB.")

And when you say "$150 Chardonnay," you meant a bottle from a kit that cost $150, right? Or did you mean a bottle of wine that retails for $150?
 
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tjgaul

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I go both ways . . . small kits and large. I feel more freedom to tweak the heck out of a kit that cost under $60, whereas I'm more likely to follow the rules (mostly) when working with a kit in the $125-$150 range. However, it's easy for me to rationalize spending more when I figured out that even the "BIG" kits are still around $6 per bottle at the end of the day and drink like $20+ bottles from the store.

I think the big considerations are 1) how much interaction you want to have with the kit and 2) how long are you willing to wait to drink it? IMHO the big kits are worth the money, but they do require extra time aging to reach their potential.
 

Mismost

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I think the bigger kits make better wine...kind of a you get what you pay for deal. They are good early and just get better with time. With time, they can become WOW wines. Like tjgaul, I tend to run these kits pretty close to instructions...maybe swap out yeast, temp control, SG bumb...but minor stuff.

I love tweaking the cheap kits and have made some very nice wines. I will throw the kitchen sink into a Fontana kit!! They are decent early and get better with time. The Island Mist kits tweaked are hard to keep in stock, cheap but enjoyable.
 

Reign

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This is just idle curiosity talking: When you say "BYO," you mean "Brew your own," aka ferment-on-premises, right? (Or did you mean a "Bring Your Own" restaurant, which here we call "BYOB.")

And when you say "$150 Chardonnay," you meant a bottle from a kit that cost $150, right? Or did you mean a bottle of wine that retails for $150?
Brew Your Own wine place. I paid $150 and 5 weeks later my wife and I bottled it all up. Good wine, but I think I can do just as good at home. I don't know if it was a kit, 23 L of juice etc. I don't remember because it was a couple of years ago. There are a lot of these BYO places in my town. I make my own beer so I thought why not give wine a try. I am enjoying it a lot.
 

Doug’s wines

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Ah. Now that is a big difference kit versus an expensive bottle:ib.

More expensive kits generally take longer to mature so don’t drink as well early. I can’t tell if $150 was the price of the kit or the wine making experience, what kit was it?

Regardless the explanation on the differences of high versus low price kits remains consistent.

Doug
 

Reign

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Ah. Now that is a big difference kit versus an expensive bottle:ib.

More expensive kits generally take longer to mature so don’t drink as well early. I can’t tell if $150 was the price of the kit or the wine making experience, what kit was it?

Regardless the explanation on the differences of high versus low price kits remains consistent.

Doug
I don't remember the name of it.
 

GaDawg

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I generally do an early drinker (cheep kit) then one to age.
 

LouisCKpasteur

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There are a couple of these make your wine on premise places here in Michigan. Never been, but the two in my area post their prices online. Typically, say, an Eclipse kit which might retail for 169 cost 230 to make on premise. Needless to say, if you're really into wine and really enjoy the experience you are not going to frequent these places. However, they do have their place- lots of people will drop that kind of money for a one off experience. They have no intention or desire of getting into the hobby. From the entrepreneur's perspective, you have to mark up the wine kits and even then unless you got a solid volume of customers it seems like a hard way to make money.
 

meadmaker1

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I dont do kits. But at home you can leave in bulk far beyond 5 weeks before bottling.
Time to tweek, oak, clear, and simply age.
I would expect this alone to make a noticable improvement.
If I did a kit and im certain I will, it will be to get the juice. yeast , sg ,acid , neutreants, bentonite ect. Will be per me and I cant imagine bottling sooner than six months.
 

Sunsanvil

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I went to a BYO wine place and we paid $150.00 for a Chardonnay and it wasn't much better than my Costoc wine. I don't remember the wine maker though.
The question for me is : what did you pay for the service vs. the kit? If, hypothetically, they charged you $80 for the kit and $70 service fee, then the wine may well have been on the lower end of the spectrum. A $100/$50 split is probably more likely (typical out here in Atlantic Canada anyway). Just thought it should be pointed out that $150 at a u-vin doesn't mean one gets a $150 kit.
 

Reign

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The question for me is : what did you pay for the service vs. the kit? If, hypothetically, they charged you $80 for the kit and $70 service fee, then the wine may well have been on the lower end of the spectrum. A $100/$50 split is probably more likely (typical out here in Atlantic Canada anyway). Just thought it should be pointed out that $150 at a u-vin doesn't mean one gets a $150 kit.
Yes, I agree. We just asked for a Chardonnay and this was the price we got. We left, came back 5 weeks later to bottle. Done.
 

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