Suggestions for making your own wine

I am thinking of making some wine. This will be done through one of those make your own wine stores. I have done this once before, and the wine, well it was pretty tasteless. I will be making a Red wine, thats bout all I know at this moment. Any suggestions about what would be a good type of wine to make that will be okay for consumption sooner rather then later (like out of the barrel)?

I think this will do better over in the forum where the [del]winos[/del] foodies hang out.

Moved from IMHO to CS.

In one of my favorite blogs, “Steve, Don’t Eat It!”, our host Steve takes us through the process of making “prison wine”:

Geez, I never get the forums right.

I would recommend Charlie Papazian’s book, The Complete Joy of Home Brewing to anyone starting out. While the focus of the book is on beer, it has good information on wine and on brewing in general. I’ve been following variations on the mead recipes, in particular, for years with good results.

Few traditional wines will be very good “out of the barrel”; they generally need at least a few months to mature. Mead is drinkable as soon as it settles, but even it improves over the course of about a year (and it takes a long time to ferment, so you won’t be drinking it soon, regardless).

The best advice I can offer is: Pick a recipe that sounds tasty and go for it. It’s not that hard, and the worst that can happen is that you waste some ingredients. Oh, and keep your equipment scrupulously clean and well-sealed.

I second the mead. I made one batch that even my wine snob neighbors liked.
Clover honey is best. Orange blossom was tasteless and buck wheat tasted like pan cakes. Honey is rather expensive right now though.

Hmm, Mead. I don’t even know what mead is. I thought it was the drink people drank in fantasy novels, and middle ages based movies. People today drink it? Well I suppose they do, as demonstrated above, still mead? Really?

Mead is honey, water and yeast. I made some a while back and basically winged it. It wasn’t bad. :slight_smile: I’m actually trying again with a “quick” mead recipe I was give here.

Since you’re going to be doing this at one of those Brew by You type places try for a Shiraz. They tend to be fruity and flavorful so you’ll likely have something nice. That or maybe try a Pinot Noir or Merlot. Go for a 6 week kit as apposed to 4 weeks. They tend to have more juice as opposed to juice concentrate. You will have to wait longer for the final product but I find the wine is better.

Oh, one more tip. Letting the wine age is in some ways more important than if it’s a 4 or 6 week kit. Wine really does age and you’ll find that it changes even week to week as you move through your new stockpile

Really. All mead is is honey wine. If you can find a honey wholesaler, you can get your honey cheap. Mix with water, add yeast and nutrient, place in a sterile container for 6 months or so (until it clears), then drink. Wonderful stuff that lends itself to experimentation. Fruit juices yield melomels. Herbs and spices will give you a metheglin. Apple juice makes a cyser (my favorite). It ages extremely well, but is drinkable from the moment it clears. Recipes upon request. :smiley:

Holy crap silenus I barely know what you are taking about. Melomels? Metheglin? Cyser? I have never heard those words before in my life. I have no idea where to find a honey wholesaler, but I will look around. I may hit you up for some of those recipes :).

Thanks Grey for the suggestions, it is appreciated, as are all of the rest. I am going to a place to do it, not at home. However the idea of turning a basement into my own liquor factory does intrigue me.

Just words you’ll find upon reading Chaucer and the like. Really only homebrewers use them these days. Just wanted to show you some of the variations you can make from a basic mead, to fit your own tastes. You can also make still or sparkling meads. I made a sparkling ginger mead once that was better than champagne. :smiley:

Light, dry meads for sipping over ice as a cooler in summer, or heavy, sweet meads for sipping by the fire in winter. Mead is very adaptable.