Wine kits on sale

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Brian55

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That was one I purchased as well. Short the water a bit, EM for at least a month, and let it age for 3 years or more before you start tasting the occasional bottle.
Don't be afraid to over-oak it as well. within reason.
 

Khristyjeff

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I've got a lot of Italian style wines going so I purchased the En Primeur Winery Series - Winemaker's Trio Red. We're drinking their Trio White now and really enjoy it so decided to go for it. Thanks @Brian55 for the tip!
 

MHSKIBUM

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Occasionally Costco puts its Argentia Ridge wines on sale. I bought a double (60-bottle) kit of Chardonnay and another of Merlot in-store for $64 CND each. That's about 50 US bucks for a 60-bottle kit.
I've been making the Argentia Ridge wines for some time. The initial 6-gallon batches I made precisely following the supplier's instructions weren't awful but I wouldn't serve it to anyone who I wanted to keep as a friend.
I now make them in five-gallon rather than the six-gallon batches and find that they produce acceptable every day wine equal to a $10 commercial bottle.
Since participating in this blog I've been experimenting with adding, depending on the wine variety, sugar, raisins, dried grape skins, tannin, glycerine and different yeasts.
The Chardonnay is pretty good just with the reduced water content. The kit comes with oak. I found my tweaks either did little or made the wine worse except, to my tastes, when I added a 1/2 cup of sugar and 1/2 cup of raisins. Others couldn't tell the difference.
The reds are a different story. The Argentia Ridge Merlot is my least favourite red but at that price? The addition of dried grape skins made the Merlot a much better wine, richer colour and to my taste a deeper plum flavour.
As you've guessed by now, I'm always looking for a bargain. The dried grape skins cost almost $15 with tax. Thanks to Joeswine's suggestion I tried adding black table grape skins.
Since I was already in Costco, I bought a $5 bunch of black sable grapes, destemmed them and crushed them. I drank the juice with my breakfast and plopped the grape skins with a bit of residual pulp into my fermenter with the kit ingredients just before adding the yeast.
It's now cooking in its second ferment. I was astounded that the flavour jumped out from a small sampling without significant sweetness nor any harshness in a more profound way than the dried grape skins. I am super eager to see how this batch turns out.
 
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