Customer Reviews: Vino Italiano 4 Week Wine Kit, Moscato, 15.5-Pound Box
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on December 5, 2009
A very nice wine kit for the price. Makes a very enjoyable white wine. With kits in this price range (and perhaps all wine kits in general), the white wines tend to be ready to drink earlier and are closer to their commercial counterparts. As far as one viewer's complaint of it not including the necessary equipment ... c'mon. When you buy a brownie mix do you expect the pan to be included? It's got all the ingredients you need to make 6 gallons of wine. If you like white Italian wines this kit will make a nice table wine for less then $2 a bottle.
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on May 13, 2010
I am new to the wine making hobby and I really enjoyed these kits. I had a Mother's Day party and the wine was the hit. Everyone wanted a bottle to take home. Which was great, that was an easy inexpensive gift for lots of people. The price is unbelievable, and if you are a casual drinker, then you will never know the difference between this an a 10.00 bottle. I let it ferment a little longer, due to inexperience. I also added some sugar because it was drier than I liked. I boiled the sugar in water then slowly added it to the wine batch a little at a time, till I got the flavor I liked. Then I let is sit a few more weeks. It was great and easy. I am ordering two more today. Alcohol content was kinda high, but that turned out to be a good thing. It taste best with a little chill on it.
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on March 4, 2010
I had been looking for a couple weeks for a Mascato wine making kit and when I found this one I was cautous because it was so cheap, but I purchased it anyway. The wine is now made and bottled but I got to sample it before it was bottled and it was DELICOUS!!!! I loved it and I do plan on buying more for sure. Thanks Amazon for a great price!!!!!
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on May 6, 2011
When I read the bad reviews it made me leary to do this wine kit, but I said what the hay for 45 bucks you can always make mistakes.

So the kit came in the mail and I was a little shocked. Just a few things came in and I was wondering if I was missing some stuff. After looking around the net I found that was all that was needed.

So I read the instructions and they were pretty good but I am visual person. So I found some videos and it looked really simple. I was wrong. It was super simple. The instructions have everything you need.

I really liked the tips at the end. So I got my stuff going and dumped everything my carboy. I was sickened that it only took 30 mins. I was hoping for a 4 hour ordeal. Ohh well.

So after the primary fermentation it was time to move to secondary. I always wondered why the 2nd. Well I learned why and it made me smarter. I have this wine and it is cloudy as all get out. I degassed my wine and wondered if this was really going to clear.

Keeping the faith I added the last ingredients and put it in my fermentation fridge and set the temp to the low required side. After a few days that puppy was clear as water with a little color. I was amazed. So now it is close to the end and I am ready to bottle.

So my wife wants a sweet moscato. So we taste it and it is dry. So I pull 1 gallon out to sweeten to a point that we like without having to do the whole batch. We come to an agreement and decide to sweet just enough because they say it will get sweeter as it ages. So I make s simple syrup and get the wine sweetened. After all is done I still have ¾ of a gallon bottle of un sweetened wine. I go ahead and bottle that because I am interested in how sweet it really gets as it mellows out. So when the wine is young it has a little bit of hee haw. But it has since mellowed and is fabulous. We have a couple of commercial wines and I think I like mine the best. We will do a blind wine test to see who wins.

All in all a great wine kit. Make sure you have the tools. 2 - 6 gallon carboy, long handled (24 inches min) stirring device. A degassing whip (makes the degassing easy and fast) Corker, turkey baster (to pull samples) and bottles. A dedicated fridge to make sure the fermentation temp and the clearing temp is right on. That's it folks. In a month you will have a young wine with some great characteristics. In a month more this wine should be really really yummy.
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on January 27, 2010
I got a wine making equipment kit for Christmas and couldn't wait to make some wine. After browsing for hours, I came across the Vino Italiano kits. I was surprised at the price and what was included. I purchased the Moscato kit and have made it. It's not bottled yet, so I'm not sure how it tastes. The instructions are very easy to follow. As long as you have the proper equipment to ferment and bottle the wine, these kits are a breeze. I can't wait to taste it. I will surely purchase another variety! Can't beat the price! And free shipping, Are you kiddin' me?! Buy some now!
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on August 8, 2011
First off, this is a $35 kit. Don't compare it to the $70 kits you buy at your local wine shop.
That being said, I purchased this, made it (using my own equipment, of course), and love to drink it. I'm not the only one, my guests have appreciated this also.

I followed other members suggestion of only making 5 gallons from this kit. My father did the same kit and made the instructed 6 gallons. We compared the two and decided that my wine with more body and was more complex; the flavor tended to linger more. Next time, he will do 5 gallons.
I back sweetened w/ regular domino sugar. I don't remember the ratio, but it wasn't a lot.

Bottom line, i like it. This is my opinion. You may just not like this grape. I liked it enough to purchase a second box.
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on December 18, 2011
I bought this "kit" as a starter project. Me and my hubby have been interested in learning how to make our own wine. I am thankful I read through all the reviews because "kit" is a little misleading. I like the guy that related it to buying a brownie mix at the store, you still need bowls / spoons / and oven to make it at home. Note: it took us 6 weeks to get the wine to the bottling stage, not 4. But it did turn out GREAT!!! I think it tastes great as is, but we did sweeten half of it and my hubby is IN LOVE with the results.

**we used 5 gallon carboys because all the reviews said it produced a better tasting product**

Now for the process:

First you need the following to make wine with this kit:
-vino italiano kit
-2 (5 or 6 gallon) glass carboys (ie big glass jug) (approx $30 bucks each @ midwest)
-carboy bung (rubber stopper thing to put in top of carboy) (approx 2 bucks @ midwest)
-28 inch long stirring spoon (this is the "degasser") (approx 8 bucks @ midwest)
-airlock s-bubble (approx 2 bucks @midwest)
-funnel (@ target)
-6-8 feet of plastic tubing (approx 4 bucks at lowes)
-hydrometer (approx 10 bucks at amazon or midwest)
-turkey baster (approx 5 bucks at grocery store) or buy a wine theif
-corks (or "zork closures") (corks come in the kit but are a bitch to get into the bottle. zorks were easier and easy to put in by hand and have an 8 years shelf life)
-corker (if using real corks) (approx 10 bucks for the cheapest version @ midwest and it was a pain in the ass to get a cork in the bottle)
-bottles (5 gallons makes 25 bottles / 6 gallons makes 30 bottles of wine)
-vacuum pump / wine preserver (approx 15 bucks at target)
-Optional: carboy scrubber brush and cleaner (we just used dish soap but are going to get the "real stuff" on the next go round)

I found that [...] was the best and cheapest for the above products. They also sell pre-made kits that include most of the above. I think it sounds weird to make wine in a bucket so I opted to put my own kit together instead. Note: even the instructions use the bucket method. The instructions were alright, but we did have to search to fill in some of the gaps a few times. Here is what we did:

Day 1: Clean carboys. Boil 1 liter water and put in carboy. Add 1 liter filtered water to carboy ( now 2 liters of "warm" water are in your carboy). Added Bentonite (comes with vino italiano kit). Mixed until homogenous. Added bag of wine (from vino italiano kit). Added warm water to empty wine bag / swished / then added it to carboy. Added warm water to carboy to 5 gallon mark. Stir well. Poured in yeast (from vino italiano kit). Wait 10 minutes. Stirred again. Add distilled water to airlock s-bubble and put on bung and put on carboy.

Check Specific Gravity and write it down (should be 1.075 - 1.090). **you need the beginning (now) and ending (in 4-6 weeks) specific gravity to accurately determine the alcohol content of the finished product**

Day 2: Stirred AM / Stirred PM
Day 3: Stirred AM / Stirred PM
Day 4: Stirred AM / Stirred PM

**approx 5 days after START date start checking specific gravity. Needs to be between 1.020 and 1.000 to proceed to next step**

Day 7: Proceeded to secondary fermentation. Transfer wine to other carboy (with plastic tubing) and allow to splash as much as possible. Be sure to transfer ALL contents (sediment and everything). Stir well. Replace airlock and store room temp. Wait 8 days and start checking the specific gravity daily. It needs to be between 0.998 - 0.990 consistently for three days before proceeding to next step. We started secondary fermentation on 11/12 and it wasn't in the range consistently until 11/30... so 18 days!

Day 26: Degassing. Transferred (aka racked) wine to CLEAN carboy. Avoid transferring sediment. Used plastic tubing to siphon. Instructions say to use long handled spoon and stir like CRAZY and to do this until no more bubbles or foaming occur and that it should take 1 hour to 3 days. That is CRAP!! 10 days later we were still getting freaking bubbles. After a bit of research we found you can get a fancy stir attachment for a drill and mega stir that way OR vacuum pump out the CO2 with a little hand pump thing that is made for preserving wine bottles once uncorked. The vacuum pump thing worked like a charm!! BUT NOTE: you do need to add water to your carboy so that you are approx 4 inches from the top to get the correct pressure to pull out the CO2.

The wine vacuum is in 2 pieces (a corky type piece and the pump). Put the cork piece on the top of an EMPTY airlock (that is on the bung) and vacuum off the CO2 with the pump using the 3 piece contraption. Pump out CO2 and release valve periodically as to not implode your carboy and make a big mess. We did 30-40 pumps at a time and would release it when it stopped bubbling and repeat.

Note: Our wine was cloudy and we noticed yeast bits rising up during degassing and decided to filter the wine into another CLEAN carboy with coffee filters. It was very make-shift but once in the new carboy we only had to degas with pump a few more times before no bubbles!! yay!

Day 37: Finally no bubbles! Added Stabilizer (from vino italiano kit) to 1/2 cup water and stirred until dissolved. Added to wine. Added #5 Kieselsol pack (from vino italiano kit) to wine and stirred like mad for 1 minute. Wait 15 minutes. Add #6 Chitosan to wine and stir for 2 minutes. Top off carboy with water to within 4 inches of top. Put in cool basement until ready to bottle.

Day 37: Checked wine and it was now crystal clear! Even after filtering the additional time during degassing there is a huge pile of sediment on the bottom of carboy. We decided to carefully filter / pour off top trying not to stir up sediment into a CLEAN carboy leaving the bottom 1-2 inches of sedimenty wine behind. We then filtered again (optional by the way) and with coffee filters (in funnel) into the bottles.

We bottled 12 bottles as is so we can see how much the wine sweetens over time. Our specific gravity at this point was 0.996.

Then we sweetened the remainder doing the following: Boil 2 cups sugar (normal granulated sugar) in 1 cup filtered water. Cooled syrup solution in fridge. When cooler, added 1/4 cups at a time to our 2.5 gallons of wine in the carboy. I liked the taste after just adding 1/4 cup of the sugar solution. My hubby wanted it sweeter so we added another 1/4 cup (so totaling 1/2 cup sugar solution). Mmmm... Got 13 bottles of the sweetened half. Sweetened specific gravity 1.000.

I hope this helps the fellow newbies out there. :)
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on August 1, 2011
I have been brewing beer for a while, and this was my first wine kit. The instructions were probably the best instructions I have ever used for any kit. I know enough about beer that the taste going into the bottle is not the same as after you let it bottle condition. So, I just bottled and corked my wine 2 days ago, and I will not even try it for 3-4 more weeks. I figure the first time, I will make it exactly as directed without sweetening. I am new to the degassing and filtering process. I will certainly consider filtering my beer with my new filter. It clarified nicely even before filtering and I have 5 bottles I set aside unfiltered and filtered the rest, and the color and clarity is the same, but I will keep comparing. I have loved Moscato for years, and have had probably 30 different commerical brands but there are a few that I really love. Muscat is too sweet for me, but Moscato is more to my taste. I am worried about the carbonation level at this point though. I like the light bubbles from a normal bottle. However, I fear that I degassed too much and that my end product will be flat. If that is the case, I might try force carbonating with a Beer-Mix (75% Nitrogen/25% CO2) which makes smaller bubbles than regular CO2.
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on April 6, 2010
This is a very poor representation of a Moscato wine.. I still gave it 4 stars because it is a good tasting, very light white wine.. I backsweetened with 250ml of wine conditioner which took it just off dry. The taste, to me, is more like an un-oaked chardonnay, and I am very glad I backsweetened to add some body and flavor to it. Overall I am happy with the outcome of this wine, but it doesn't have the characteristic peach, orange flavors that the Muscat/Moscato wine has to it. I still think these kits are an unbelievable bargin considering corks, labels, capsules are included.. Won't be using the labels that came with this kit though.. Remember to keep your expectations low, and you will probably be surprised by these kits.. Do not be afraid to tweak them!
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on September 2, 2011
I was looking for a Moscato wine kit, and this was the only one I found. Wasn't to sure about it, but decided to give it a try. This is a wine kit, I already had my equipment, but some people think the kit comes with everything. It has all the ingredients and a few extras (corks, shrink capsules and Muscatel labels) Don't know if Moscato took the place of Muscatel. Instructions were easy to follow. Wine turned out great; off dry with good body, flavor and aroma. Instructions call for filtering, but rack it one additional time and it turns out fine. Instructions are given for sweetening, but it tasted fine when done. I would recommend this kit. It's a good deal.
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