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Old 25-07-2016, 08:28 AM   #1
darrellm
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Default Red wine kit quality

Been making wine from kits for a few years (in addition to beer brewing), a variety of kits and a variety of wines. I'm really happy with the whites but not so with the reds, I can't seem to get close to a commercial red wine despite doing quality 30-bottle kits, giving them plenty of time in the FV and ageing for a long time (6 months). Which is a disappointment, as I can make beer and white wine better than I can buy in the shops, but not red wine.

The best description I can give to all my reds in "smoothe": not offensive, just no bite and character, and maybe a little sweet. I've made Shiraz, Merlot, Barolo from kits by Calf Connoiseur, Beaverdale and the more expensive Kenridge kits. They all seem to taste pretty much the same to me.

Any thoughts? Are my expectations just too high?
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Old 25-07-2016, 09:46 PM   #2
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Your not alone I to have tried to make a decent red wine to no avail. I've also tried similar kits and even with ageing for a year I agree with you they always seem to lack something and end up with 30 bottles wine no one wants to drink.
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Old 26-07-2016, 12:23 PM   #3
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Your tastebuds are letting you down!

To me, red wine tastes like red wine - so any red wine I make does just fine!
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Old 27-07-2016, 08:49 PM   #4
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Default Red Wine

Tried the Kenridge Showcase Shiraz just last week. Made in November, by my mother, drank in July, by me ... and it tasted pretty decent to me. And I live in France. Like for 25 years. In the Cotes du Rhone region. I wouldn't have been upset if I had bought it here in France and paid maybe 6 or 7 e$ for it. It's alright. If I wanted to be difficult ... well get back to me on that one.

A theory ... I reckon that cellaring is the major obstacle to making home-made wine, particularly if it is out of a tin. If you are storing your wine in your kitchen, with the variations in temperature, central heating perhaps, then it just doesn't stand a chance. Maybe think about investing in a proper wine-fridge ? And waiting ?

Just some thoughts ...
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Old 28-07-2016, 02:28 PM   #5
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I reckon you've hit the nail on the head Bodleigh. Whilst fermenting wine I keep the temperature constant in a fermenting fridge and when it's finished rack into demijohns and store in the shed to mature. Last week it was like an oven in there so obviously the temperature fluctuations are going to affect it more so red wine as it takes longer to mature. I'm such a div I reckon I must have ruined 20 gallons so far do you know what's the ideal storing temperature is?
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Old 28-07-2016, 02:44 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by darrellm View Post
Been making wine from kits for a few years (in addition to beer brewing), a variety of kits and a variety of wines. I'm really happy with the whites but not so with the reds, I can't seem to get close to a commercial red wine despite doing quality 30-bottle kits, giving them plenty of time in the FV and ageing for a long time (6 months). Which is a disappointment, as I can make beer and white wine better than I can buy in the shops, but not red wine.

The best description I can give to all my reds in "smoothe": not offensive, just no bite and character, and maybe a little sweet. I've made Shiraz, Merlot, Barolo from kits by Calf Connoiseur, Beaverdale and the more expensive Kenridge kits. They all seem to taste pretty much the same to me.

Any thoughts? Are my expectations just too high?
I think I know exactly where you are coming from.
As an alternative, ( sorry may not help), try picking some blackberries/elderberries (out soon) and and add these to a kit...which is what I did and the results were astounding, but more effort required.
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Old 28-07-2016, 03:44 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pete71 View Post
do you know what's the ideal storing temperature is?
Wikipedia says 10 to 15 degrees C. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Storage_of_wine
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Old 28-07-2016, 03:54 PM   #8
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cellar temperature ... a constant year long 10° to 12° C ... got any caves hanging around in your back garden ?
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Old 30-07-2016, 09:38 AM   #9
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Thanks for the replies. My latest Shiraz (didn't note which kit it was, but it was about 60 quid) was made up in Nov and I'm drinking it now. It's been stored under the stairs so a bit warm, I do have cooler storage available so I'll stick a few bottles in there and try them again at Xmas.
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