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KAndr97

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Anybody else get this from their family and friends all the time? Whenever I mention my latest brew, everyone asks me how much I'll sell it for or why I don't set up a stand at the market. I'm just not that committed. Plus, I like to drink my wine. I don't get this response about any of my other hobbies, but everyone seems to think that basement hooch is a huge cash cow.
 

dralarms

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Yea, I get it all the time. Too bad it’s against federal law. I like my wine and freedom to much to get started on that
 

Scooter68

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Plus they don't understand what "Selling" involves in terms or business and possibly Liquor licenses, not to mention health department standards. As you said, I do it for my enjoyment and I share freely with people who appreciate the varieties I make. IF they, on occasion, want to contribute to the cost of supplies for a new batch - I'm open to that but I never ask for it.
 

Boatboy24

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I get that as well. Or "can I buy a bunch of this from you?". When I start to talk about licensing, taxation, etc. I lose them pretty quickly. LOL!
 

ibglowin

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I get it as well. When I tell them I would want $15-20 a bottle they usually say Oh........ It's like they think because you made it it should be cheap/almost free.
 

skyfire322

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All the time! While it'd be nice to earn a profit from my favorite hobby, I tell thim I don't want to go through all the hoops to get a license and don't want to break the law. I will admit that a few Alexander Hamilton's have magically appeared in my "winemaking fund" jar, though.
 

Obbnw

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That's why I don't share my wine :)

But seriously how could anyone make any money at it? I'm a cheap spanish wine guy, so my average wine purchase is $10/bottle and the wine I make is at best $10/bottle quality so it will be years before I just recoup the money I have spent (with all my time being free).
 
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I’m not saying selling wine for $5/bottle to friends in college (mist varieties, cost about $2 got bottles for free and people brought them back) paid for a lot of my partying, but I’m not saying it didn’t.
 

cmason1957

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I’m not saying selling wine for $5/bottle to friends in college (mist varieties, cost about $2 got bottles for free and people brought them back) paid for a lot of my partying, but I’m not saying it didn’t.
Selling wine without a license is something that the feds look very poorly on. I wouldn't say anything about it anywhere. And yes, they do investigate things like that. Is it worth the $10k and two to three years, plus the cost of a lawyer?
 
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Scooter68

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The Wine I make you cannot buy in any store (Its fruit wine and 100% the fruit on the label not a hidden blended). Not looking down on blends but for me this is what I like.

I make wine as a hobby and because you can't buy what I make.

Even if I was crazy enough to 'get legal' for selling - It wouldn't be worth my time and effort. Folks that suggest selling homemade with are often the people with the "Get Rich Quick" schemes and no concept of what it really takes to do it right.
 
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Selling wine without a license is something that the feds look very poorly on. I wouldn't say anything about it anywhere. And yes, they do investigate things like that. Is it worth the $10k and two to these years, plus the cost of a lawyer?
For clarity I’m not suggesting it, we all do stupid shit in college and I knew plenty of people doing much stupider things. Just an amusing memory looking back.
 

Scooter68

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Cassandrafallon - Agree - Think that it was just a reminder to all. We do get some 'free thinkers' on here from time-to-time. The occasional bottle 'sold' to a friend is one thing but a regular sale of your wine to various people another matter.

A similar comment should be considered about the volume of wine we make as well. Federal and most state laws set a limit at 200 gallons of wine per household per year (Assuming at least to adults in residence) A quick check of numbers shows that to consume that much wine in a years time each of those two adults would have to consume at least 35 ounces of wine per day every day of the year. So the federal limits are really pretty lenient. Aging and various small give aways aside I really doubt that most folks on this forum consume that much wine every year. Point is that while the Feds aren't going to be out looking to detect someone selling a few bottles here and there or someone exceeding the limits on production, but IF you are going to do either frequent selling or large scale production of wine, it would wise to 'get legal' in the eyes of the law. As cmason stated, the costs of getting caught in a blantant or flagrant disregard of the laws can get pretty steep. So exceeding those limits by large amounts is getting pretty flagrant. Some states by the way are more stringent on both production and even the 'free' distribution of wine. (Alabama I believe has a limit on the books of 5 gallons per year for home wine production.)

I know this is belaboring issues the majority of us don't face but again, there are those who appear on here who lean toward those 'get rich quick' schemes, sometimes without realizing the potential costs.

I happen to have a nephew of that sort who will see me having made something and suddenly he's telling me I can make a lot of money by selling whatever it is. Of course he has tried a number of schemes, unsuccessfully and I just tune him out whenever he starts talking about such things.

Making wine has become a fun hobby for me, one of several I can indulge in now that I'm retired - and I intend to stay retired - making wine to sell.... that's work.
 

BernardSmith

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Forget about regulations for the moment. To make a living selling wines that you make means that you need to sell enough to bring in - what? $50,000 a year? That means you need to cover fixed costs (your winery, storage, and the like ) and variables like labor and raw materials, so you are talking about - what? $100,000 .00? At say, $10.00 a bottle - selling price (I am ignoring taxes) that means you need to sell 10,000 bottles (ignore breakages, catastrophes with temperature , with cleaning and sanitation, with leaks etc - That means you need to make -what? 15,000 bottles a year (to have a pipeline) . That's about 1,250 cases - and that's about 24 cases each and every week or more than 800 bottles a month. Of course if you viewed a salary of $50,000 as too high then you could afford to sell fewer... but it strikes me - and I am not a business person - that the idea of becoming a commercial wine maker - no matter how good your wine might be - sounds like a recipe for anxiety. As a hobby home wine making is a joy. As a business for someone just staring off it must be close to a nightmare.
 

Ron0126

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Forget about regulations for the moment. To make a living selling wines that you make means that you need to sell enough to bring in - what? $50,000 a year? That means you need to cover fixed costs (your winery, storage, and the like ) and variables like labor and raw materials, so you are talking about - what? $100,000 .00? At say, $10.00 a bottle - selling price (I am ignoring taxes) that means you need to sell 10,000 bottles (ignore breakages, catastrophes with temperature , with cleaning and sanitation, with leaks etc - That means you need to make -what? 15,000 bottles a year (to have a pipeline) . That's about 1,250 cases - and that's about 24 cases each and every week or more than 800 bottles a month. Of course if you viewed a salary of $50,000 as too high then you could afford to sell fewer... but it strikes me - and I am not a business person - that the idea of becoming a commercial wine maker - no matter how good your wine might be - sounds like a recipe for anxiety. As a hobby home wine making is a joy. As a business for someone just staring off it must be close to a nightmare.
I agree 100% ... and yet ... there's a guy just down the road from me that set up his own winery, licensed, legal, and making a ton of wine. He started just by making some kits and fruit wines but loved doing it so much he kinda took it a step further. Every Saturday (that's currently the only day they're open) there are dozens of people coming to tour his place -- it's in the basement of his personal home.
https://cat-n-bird.com/
He actually gave me about 150 empty bottles because regulations won't let him wash and reuse them. WIN!

He hasn't quit his day job but he has it going on full bore.
 

BernardSmith

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But your last line is the clincher. He hasn't quit his day job.. so whatever he makes and sells is cherry on the cake unless of course he is running that business as a non profit (Not a not for profit).. :b
 

Scooter68

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Agree Bernard - Once you invest in the license and health department certifications you are going to be investing a significant amount. A dedicated room or whatever is required by your local and state codes. It turns a hobby into a lot of effort, even if you have another primary income, just breaking even on your investment is going to be a effort.

On the other hand today I had some work done on our house. The two guys doing the work didn't know it but after they finished I walked them up to our other house where they are going to do some more work in the next week or so. That 'other house' is where I make my wine. They left with big smiles on their faces and two bottles of wine each. Peach for their lady and a Tart Cherry and a Black Currant for the guys. I think they will be coming back to do the rest of the work soon. Oh and they got to taste some young unsweetened Tart Cherry and they were hooked. I might end up coaching one of them through wine making 101.
It's a fun way to reward those who do good work for me.
 

Ron0126

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But your last line is the clincher. He hasn't quit his day job.. so whatever he makes and sells is cherry on the cake unless of course he is running that business as a non profit (Not a not for profit).. :b
They’re hosting weddings, conducting multiple private corporate events, and selling a ton of wine (check out their website). Matt’s been making wine for a long enough time to have oak barrel aged his reds for 3-5 years. It’s a full fledged business and from what I’ve seen, is highly successful. Plus his wine is really, really good! He is a sales manager for a software company and he’s pretty successful at that too.

I think it all boils down to how badly do you want it to happen. Matt and Robyn want it and they’re making it happen.
 

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