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on February 13, 2013
I gave this wine a chance for the first time a few months ago, and I was definitely impressed. It's semi-dry and very smooth. I believe it of a higher quality than the vino italiano brands on amazon. It's worth the extra 10 bucks or so for sure.
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on July 27, 2011
I've been making wine from kits for almost 10 years now and these kits are very nice. With the discount for "Subscribe and Save" you can't beat them. I've purchased several of them now and have had no problems at all. They come complete with real corks, labels, and foil caps packed into a plastic bucket. Note: The bucket is not a food grade container and can't be used as a fermenter so don't make that assumption. I'm sure they only ship in a bucket because if they shipped in a box they would get destroyed due to the weight. Great kits and a great deal.
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on March 17, 2013
In a general way I think all wine kit manufacturers fudge the imaginary speed with which their products can be ready to serve to guests. And the universal fault of new wine makers is impatience.

I've been making wine for 3 years now & begin to have a decent reputation among friends. I offer the following advice in hopes that more experienced wine makers will add to or correct it. And hope beginners will find it helpful.

Wine making is insanely easy! You just buy the best juice you can afford and ferment it without contaminating it. But the cardinal sin is to drink it too soon. According to my brief experience the following are apropriate:

Apple wine - bottle between 1-3 months after start of fermentation & age 6 months more before drinking.
Cherry blueberry elderberry etc. - bottle @ 6-9 months and begin to consume after 1 year.
"4week" white wine kits - purchase at a discount & pour directly into sink as they're unfit for decent people.
"6 & 8 week" white wine kits - bottle at 3-4 months and begin to consume after 1 year. These can be good.
"4 week" red wine kits - bottle at 6 months and begin to consume after 1 year.
"6 & 8 week" red wine kits - The Best! Bottle at 1 year. Set aside in a cool place for another year. Tell your lazy son to stay out of it. Then slowly begin to enjoy.

Someone with 10 years or more experience please chime in!

UPDATE NOV 29: Further experience with premium white wines demands bottling around 9 months. The reason is gas. A soda would go flat overnight. But wine has miraculous gas retention capability. Even if sparklingly clear it might be gassy - which effects taste and visual impressions. I cannot stir it all out with the drill mounted agitator & really don't think it's right to agitate too vigorously. So I got more carboys and wait...
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on July 18, 2013
The kit is good. My wife and I drink a lot of Pinot Grigio at meals, etc and this one came out pretty well. I say pretty well because I think I discovered something with a subsequent kit....the chitosan and kielesol used to clarify the wine leave a chemical taste. I used it in the first batch of this wine and we can taste it, but the wine itself is very good.

I say first batch because I am buying another kit and using something else for finings...possibly will experiment with gelatin or something. The reason? Right after doing this kit I did another kit and decided to try leaving out the chitosan and kielesol and the wine came out really REALLY good....2 1/2 cases evaporated once my friends tried it. So I think I will either leave it out in the future or try gelatin, bentonite, or something else.

Back to this kit....

I ran the initial fermentation for 3 weeks, then secondary for 2 weeks. I then fined it and let it sit for about 3 more weeks. I then ran it through my Vin Brite filter into bottles, and went out of town. My wife called me to say, "Not bad!", and liked it enough to drink it relatively soon after bottling.

So it passes muster for the grapes and kit in general, but I think I want to either use something else for fining or try letting it settle for a month and then filtering it into the bottles. This after, of course, initial and secondary fermentation with transfer to a carboy once or twice to help clarify it some.
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on August 1, 2009
I am very pleased with this product. Delivery was quick and there were more items in the box than expected. Came with juice, 30 corks.30 labels 30 gold foil caps, additives and instructions. Some of the bottles I used were large and some were small, but we ended up with 29.5 bottles. I let the wine sit a little longer than the instructions advised so it took 32 days from opening the box to popping the cork on a chilled bottle. The wine came out a little dry but still very tasty. We are planning to buy the same kit and make another batch but add a little sweetener at the end. Out of 29.5 bottles a week ago we are down to ten. Time to start another batch. This was my first try at making wine and I am very pleased.
Mike
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on October 29, 2012
Have been making wine for forty years, both from grapes and from kits. If you want a decent table wine for daily consumption, this kit does a good job. Not very good right after bottling, but after it ages a little (few months) it is respectable. As the price is very good compared to others, I will make this frequently. Not as full bodied as cab made from the grape, and a little green when consumed too early after making, but decent.
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on April 4, 2011
1 year old. A nice medium bodied drinker. I did make this to 6 gallons and used some cabernet skins, 2nd run, to give it a little help. Very pleased.
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I have made more than a few wines from kits and even more from scratch. Almost all of them have turned into pretty decent drinking wines. The one less than perfect one I think I bottled too soon, before the wine had fully degassed and before the wine was given enough time to age properly. I think my success with wine comes more from being patient than from using some awesome winemaking skills (which I do not claim to have).

These kits are billed as "4 week" kits. In my opinion that is too fast. They are also billed as a 6 gallon kit. I do a few things differently. I only add water to make 5 gallons which gives the wine a noticeable change in body. I also leave the wine in a carboy, my secondary fermenter, for at least 6 months.

I normally rack the wine to a clean 5 gallon carboy after about 2 months, or when the wine is looking very clear. This allows me to get the wine off the lees at the bottom of the fermenter. I have left a batch of wine on the lees for a full 7 months and had no noticeable issues with it, I just do it because I like my wine sitting in a clean, pretty bottle.

Now in order to keep from getting impatient and trying to drink my wine too soon, I start multiple batches. I normally start at least one batch a month. That means I always have a few different types of wine in the pipeline. After you do this for a while you will find it is easy to leave a wine in the carboy for closer to a year, or even longer. Trust me on this, letting your wine sit for more than 6 months gives you a better wine, letting it sit for closer to a year and you will be getting into the range of a really good wine that you will be proud of.

Aging is more important than technique. Patience really pays dividends when it comes to wine making.

Enjoy the wine making process. These kits are great for getting a person started. Experiment too. Once you start getting comfortable try something new. I created a carrot wine last year that turned into a really great dry white wine that all my friends raved about. Too bad I only made a three gallon batch. But as soon as I can find a good batch of sweet tasting carrots (its winter here now) I will be making another, larger batch of the carrot wine.
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on May 27, 2012
I'm starting this wine tomorrow. It looks like its all juice and will produce 6 gallons of wine without adding any water. If it turns out like I expect, it will be a winner. I've recently purchased other wine kits from Amazon and so far they've all proven to be great hits.

Great wine, , great price, no shipping charges, no tax ........ priceless. Join the subscription and get another 15% off.

I'll update you in about 7 weeks. I'm predicting great results.

UPDATE: 7/2/2012
I did a secondary racking yesterday. I did a taste test also and my wife and I loved it. My wife is the expert and she said it's better than anything she buys. Will bottle 7/12 and update again.

UPDATE: 7/25/2012
I've bottled this and have handed it out to friends that are serious wine drinkers. They think it's very good and my wife said order another...
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on April 10, 2013
We've been making kit wines for a couple of years now and have only just started experimenting. The RDC Aust. Semillon Chardonnay is a good kit on it's own. The wine is drinkable in a very short amount of time and gets better with a little age. It is semi-dry and crisp but has the complexity to offer more of the chardonnay with a little experimentation. To me,when the kit is made as is, it's more like a Sauvingion Blanc and pairs like one. We are in process of making our second batch of this kit and this is the first kit I can say that about. We plan to continue purchasing this kit and expanding on it by adding oak, berries and fruit juices in future batches. All in all, whether you are just getting into making kit wines or a serious enthusiast, I would highly recommend this kit.
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