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Wine kit that makes $15-$20 a bottle equivalent

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DanielW

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Looking for a wine kit that can make the equivalent of a 15 or $20 bottle of wine. What do you have for me? Wife likes "red blends" and "malbec" something semi-sweet.

Not really looking to modify the kit, just open it up and follow the instructions.

Thanks,
 
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Putterrr

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If you follow the kit instructions then you may not get what you are looking for. Also taste is subjective. One mans $20 dollar wine is another mans plonk. By instructions, I mostly mean timeline. It has been my experience that buying a quality kit and letting it age for up to 2 years will give good results. $20 dollars a bottle, that's up to you to judge.

cheers
 

sour_grapes

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It sounds like your wife would like the WineXpert Enigma: http://www.homebrewit.com/enigma-wine-making-kit-by-winexpert/

Enigma Wine Making Kit by Winexpert (Think Apothic Red) - The zing of Zinfandel, dark fruit of Syrah, bold flavors of Cabernet Sauvignon and suave sophistication of Merlot. Intense fruit aromas and notes of black cherry, coffee, chocolate and vanilla. Full bodied with a smooth, round finish. Food friendly, this wine pairs well with everything from pizza to pasta and is a great match for meats like ribs or chicken with sweet and sticky marinade. Sweetness: OFF-DRY | Body: FULL | Oak Intensity: NONE. - 16 LITERS/4.22 GALLONS - MAKES UP TO 23 LITERS/6 GALLONS. APPROX. 30 - 750ML BOTTLES. READY TO BOTTLE IN ABOUT 6 WEEKS.
Now, IMHO this will not equate to a $20 bottle (unless you live in Canada, where "a $20 bottle" means something different due to high liquor prices). But on the other hand, I don't know of too many $20 semi-sweet red blends in commercial wines.
 

Noontime

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The key to really great kit wines is time IMHO. I'm willing to bet the $20 bottles of wine you want to compare to have spent at least 2 or 3 years in the bottle. Get a kit with skins and let it age a few years. I've tasted many good kit wines that were a year or less old, but they really need a year or 2 to integrate and mature. Best biggest red kit I've made was the Cellar Craft Showcase Red Mountain Cabernet, but I added a bunch of heavy toast french oak. It was crazy oakey the first 2 years, but then smoothed out into a delicious wine I would be happy paying $20 a bottle for. In my opinion, red wines are just harder to make well, and kit wines are even more so. Living in Southern Florida we've noticed we drink a lot more white wines these days, and I think making a beautifully delicious white wine that can compare to $20 to $30 commercial bottles is a lot easier.
 

CryptoStorm

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Totally agree that age makes all the difference.

The first wines I ever made wern't very great to start.. But I didn't really know what I was doing, and I was making it from grape (No instructions). I My wife opened one of my originals just the other day and it was actually pretty good. Although much sweeter than I prefer now.

That is certainly something to keep in mind... Your tastes may change by the time it's ready to drink..

I now age a year at the very minimum for grape wines. Preferably 2-3..
 

Elizajean

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The key to really great kit wines is time IMHO. I'm willing to bet the $20 bottles of wine you want to compare to have spent at least 2 or 3 years in the bottle. Get a kit with skins and let it age a few years. I've tasted many good kit wines that were a year or less old, but they really need a year or 2 to integrate and mature. Best biggest red kit I've made was the Cellar Craft Showcase Red Mountain Cabernet, but I added a bunch of heavy toast french oak. It was crazy oakey the first 2 years, but then smoothed out into a delicious wine I would be happy paying $20 a bottle for. In my opinion, red wines are just harder to make well, and kit wines are even more so. Living in Southern Florida we've noticed we drink a lot more white wines these days, and I think making a beautifully delicious white wine that can compare to $20 to $30 commercial bottles is a lot easier.
I prefer whites. David, which kits would you recommend for a higher quality delicious white wine, on the drier side?
 

Elizajean

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It's hard to build a nice supply if you are just starting and wait two-three years.
 

CryptoStorm

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Totally agree. Basically you need to make more than you think you want the first couple years so that after several years you will have a supply of older wine.. it is difficult for sure..

I would suggest making your kit and then also making some sort of fruit/berry wine. Those don't require aging nearly as long.

I've personally never made a wine kit, but I can say that Riesling is hands down my favorite wine grape. Second would be Chardonnay.
 

lilvixen

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I don't think you would go wrong with any of the 16L whites.

Six months ago, I made the WE Selection Luna Bianca (Chardonnay) and put half the f-pack in during primary and half as flavoring/backsweetening, which added 0.003 to the final SG, keeping it relatively dry. I bottled it two months ago, and we enjoyed a bottle with dinner this week. At this point, it's comparable to the $10-12 chardonnays I've purchased, and I expect it'll only get better.
 

CryptoStorm

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I would suspect that Probably 80%+ of wines you purchase at the supermarket are likely about 1 year old.
 

Noontime

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I prefer whites. David, which kits would you recommend for a higher quality delicious white wine, on the drier side?
Mrs. Noontime has a bit of a sweet tooth, so we tend to make WineExpert late harvest riesling (which takes on that sautern like flavor after a few years) regular riesling and moscato. Angel Blanco really shines after a few years and is not too sweet. As lilvixen said, you can make it as dry or sweet as you want, that's the beauty of being the winekmaker.:h All of them are completely enjoyable early as well, but save a few to enjoy every 6 months; it's a wonderful education to see how wines mature and the changes that can occur. We can't store our wine properly, so nothing we have lasts more than 5 years or so. It's 80 in the house all year round, so that bell curve is pretty steep and we increase consumption of ones that start going downhill (usually 3.5 to 4 years).
 

Noontime

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Totally agree. Basically you need to make more than you think you want the first couple years so that after several years you will have a supply of older wine.. it is difficult for sure..

I would suggest making your kit and then also making some sort of fruit/berry wine. Those don't require aging nearly as long.
For sure it takes some time. When my wife got into winemaking as well, we had one year we made one kit after another, as well as "Dragon Blood" Skeeter Pee", and a bunch of my own concoctions (mojito wine, sweet potato, frozen fruit concentrates), and a few meads. Within a couple of years we had over 600 bottles of wine. What's really funny was how we went from "What should we drink, we only have x many?" to "What should we drink, there's too many to choose from". :h
 
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