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Wine Snob Buddies

Posted: Mon Oct 12, 2015 1:38 pm
by bstein
I wanted to get into wine making because some good friends introduced me to some phenomenal cabernets that they have been cellaring for a couple years. They typically drink $60-80+ wines and I wanted to make something in the same neighborhood but for much less money. The Cabs they drink are ZD, Ramey, David Aurthur, and Duckhorn are a few of their favorites.

Do I even stand a chance at making something in that caliber of wine with the high end must kits? Or am I dreaming? I have been a beer brewer for over 10 years and think that wine should be easier.

6 months ago I fermented the Cellarcraft Red Mountain Cab that came with skins and oak, but it does not compare yet. Do I need to let it age longer? The aroma of this wine knocks my socks off, but from the glass it is just OK. I followed the directions to a T when I made it. I want to do another kit, I may let this one bulk age in the carboy longer before bottling.

Any suggestions?

Re: Wine Snob Buddies

Posted: Mon Oct 12, 2015 3:21 pm
by BonneauDickson
It might improve a little with age but probably not very much.

You might try adding some oak chips to it to increase the "oakiness".

Yes, you can make a cab that is comparable to the $60 bottles. Keep trying, even if you do not achieve this every time.

Re: Wine Snob Buddies

Posted: Mon Oct 12, 2015 7:17 pm
by bstein
I think following the directions to the T and diluting to volume without checking the sugar levels really was a big mistake.

Re: Wine Snob Buddies

Posted: Thu Oct 15, 2015 12:15 pm
by pclemon
In my experience with wine kits (I made probably 20-30 wine kits over a ~4 year span) you can make some very good wine but nothing that would be an equivalent to a $60-80 bottle of commercial wine, unless that wine were dramatically over-priced. At the time I was doing it, high end kits at my LHBS were in the $110-130 range. Assuming a 30 bottle yield and the cost of corks/bottles it worked out to about $5.50/bottle. I would have equated the quality of that wine with a $20-25 commercial option.

Commercial wineries are going to be much more sophisticated in their selection, processing, fermentation, analysis, ageing, blending, etc. than we can be doing this at home.

Re: Wine Snob Buddies

Posted: Wed Oct 21, 2015 11:46 am
by thetooth
My experience is the same as pclemon's. You can make passable wine, but not great wine from kits. I believe part of the reason is that wine is a much less stable agricultural product. It changes drastically with weather, soil, when it is picked, etc...

The phrase that sticks with me is that "great wine is not fermented, it is grown." Farming is as important, or maybe more so, than the creation of the wine... whereas beer is made from the same stable malt crops, whether you are a professional brewer or a homebrewer.

All that said, I believe you can make some fantastic wine at home. I just think you need to start with grapes from a good source. I have not done this myself yet, but I intend to dive into that sometime in the future.

Re: Wine Snob Buddies

Posted: Mon Aug 29, 2016 9:00 pm
by tennee
You might try adding some oak chips to it to increase the oakiness. 8)
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