Wine Making Kits - A Near Full Proof Way to Make Amazing Wine

I love creating wine from wine making kits!

The precisely measured ingredients, the well tested instructions, and the high quality juices create an environment where anyone can make a delicious homemade wine.

Some would say that the wine made from a kit isn't any good, or that it's not really making wine, but I disagree. Winemaking from a kit is easy, the variety is nearly endless, and I personally have made some stellar kit wines.

Wine that I would put up against a commercial bottle any day of the week!

What is a Wine Making Kit?

A wine making kit is simply a package containing all of the ingredients that you need to make a batch of wine. With a kit in hand, you simply need to break out your equipment, unleash your spirit, and make some wine.

Traditional kits are designed to produce 6 gallons (approximately 30 bottles) and the dessert wine kits are designed to produce 3 gallons.

What Comes with a Wine Kit?

A wine kit typically comes with the following :

  • The juice that matches the varietal you are making
  • Yeast
  • Bentonite
  • Potassium Sorbate (to arrest fermentation)
  • Potassium Metabisulfite (to keep your wine free from harmful organisms)
  • Fining agents to aid in clearing your wine

Some of the higher end wine kits will also come with the following:

  • Oak chips or powder to add depth
  • Grape skin packs for added body and flavor
  • Raisin packs for body and flavor

Why a Wine Kit?

There are a number of reasons to make wine from a kit:

  1. Tthe variety of wines available in kits covers the gamut. Whether you love a bold California style Cabernet, a spicy and floral Gew├╝rztraminer, or a Chilean Malbec, there is a wine kit for you.
  2. Wine making kits are a great way to get started in home wine making. Kits come with all of the ingredients you need as well as tested instructions that will take you from pitching the yeast to bottling.
  3. Wine kits are extremely affordable. A 6 gallon (23 liter) kit will produce 30 bottles of wine that will cost between $1.85 - $7.00 per bottle usd.
  4. You can make wine any time of the year! No need to wait for the grape harvest. Instead just pick out the kit you want (spring, summer, winter, or fall) and start making wine!

But is the Wine Good??

Don't be fooled by the low cost to making wine from a kit. The wine you make can be very, very good.

I routinely taste test my wine against commercial wines in the $20-$30 range, and nearly always find that my kit wine is just as good or better. Often times, a lot better!

Pairing a good wine kit with your creative spirit will yield an outstanding wine. One that you will be proud to share with your friends.

Types of Wine Making Kits

When choosing wine kits, there are two primary considerations.

The first consideration is the type of wine that you would like to make. Nearly every grape varietal is available in a kit, not to mention a myriad of interesting blends.

You can readily purchase kits for traditional grape wines (red, white or rose'), dessert wines (port and sherry), and wine coolers.

Don't be afraid to branch out and try things you might not have considered in the past. I have always loved big, bold red wines, but have ventured into a variety of other things since discovering kits. White wines and dessert wines have become a favorite to make, and wine making kits have made the discovery process fun and easy.

The second consideration is the amount of juice that comes with your kit. Kits come with 23L, 18L, 16L, 15L, 12L, or 10L of juice. The less juice that comes with your kit, the more water you will have to add.

The volume of juice in your kit will determine the following:

  • Kits with less juice will produce wines with less alcohol. 10-12 liter kits will make a wine with an alcohol content in the 10%-13% range, while a kits with 16-23 liters of juice will produce a wine with 12.5%-14% range
  • Kits with less juice are ready to bottle sooner, come to maturity faster, and are drinkable in a much shorter time frame. The 10-12 liter kits can be enjoyed about 3 months after you start your wine. The higher liter kits will typically take 6-12 months before they are ready to drink
  • The higher volume of juice in your kit will typically translate to a better quality wine. The wines that I've made, from the 23 liter kits, have had more body, flavor, and an overall better quality finished wine

One of the best kit wines I ever made was a 23L (all juice) Chilean Malbec. It was delicious (I still have about 15 bottles aging) and the cost was about $4.00 per bottle. I was amazed at the richness, body, and taste of this wine, and planning on making several more bottles.

What You Don't Get with a Kit

Wine making kits don't typically come with the equipment you will need. As noted, the kits come with just the required ingredients. To actually make the kit wine, you will also need wine making equipment.

There is also one primary drawback in making wine from a kit. Since the kits come with premeasured everything, you may not learn as much about wine making as you would making a country wine or making wine from fresh grapes.

Learning the science and art of wine making can be a lifelong process. If you are really interested in learning to make wine, I would encourage you to take the time to really understand what your kit ingredients are and why they are important to the process. I would challenge you to really understand the steps in the process.

Kits I've Tried

There are many wine kit manufactures out there today. In fact, there are so many that it might feel overwhelming knowing which one to choose, and where to start. To make your choice a bit easier, I have narrowed the list of wine making kit makers to just four, and will provide reviews and experiences as I make wine from kits produced by these brands:

Have Fun and Don't Be Afraid to Experiment

Kit wines are designed to give you the best opportunity to make a quality wine. If you follow the instructions, you are virtually assured success.

With that being said, I would encourage you to stretch yourself a bit and experiment. Add some oak when the instructions don't call for it. Blend a couple of wines together and invent something completely new and unique.

Follow your heart and your instincts, and take your kit wine to a whole new level.

Good luck, and I look forward to hearing about your successes in kit wine making!