We know where wine comes from, right? There’s a vineyard in Spain or in France. They grow some grapes like Tempranillo, Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot. The grapes are harvested and go to the winery, where they’re sorted and crushed and turned into wine through various fermentation processes. The wine might be aged in oak, though might not, and ultimately gets bottled and shipped around the world. That’s the traditional way, at least. That’s the way we like it, for the most part: Leave the production to the professionals and we’ll do the drinking!
There is another way, though. There is a small minority of wine drinkers that make their own wine at home, with a red wine kit or white wine kit. There are even kits to make Port, Sherry and other styles of wine, too.
What is a red wine kit?
Red wine kits are kits that you can buy in order to make wine at home. Generally speaking there are four types of wine kits:
- Pure juice red wine kits
- Fully concentrated grape juice wine kits
- Partially concentrated grape juice wine kits
- Red wine kits that combine both juice and concentrate
Fully or partially concentrated red wine kits have had the liquid fully or partially removed from the grape juice. As a result they are lighter and usually cheaper than kits that have pure grape juice. Pure juice kits are heavier and will be more costly in terms of transport and storage, as the fresh juice will need to be kept refrigerated. Combinations between the two can offer a compromise.
Buying red wine kits
You can buy red wine kits online or in specialist stores. They are available in many different styles and can produce many different types of wine. Prices can vary widely depending on the quality and origin of the kits – grape juice or grape juice concentrate from a quality, named region or producer in Spain or France will be more expensive than a kit that is generic and offers non-specific information about its origin such as “European wine” or “EU-grown grapes”. Shop around, and you may find red wine kits from about €20 to €150.
Making wine with red wine kits
Each red wine kit will come with its own instructions and specifications, so there are no catch-all rules. If you do buy such a kit, read the instructions carefully to ensure you get the best possible result. Generally it is a relatively straightforward and clean process that is relatively easy and approachable.
Learn more about making red wine with wine kits here.
Red wine made from red wine kits
What does red wine made from kits taste like? In truth, it varies. Some will be fantastic, some will be awful. Where you buy your kit and the extent to which you follow the instructions will influence the taste of the final result, certainly. Ultimately, a good kit wine will depend on the quality of the kit itself and how well you make the wine. As such, it’s a little risky. As a hobby or pursuit, by all means make wine at home. If you’re entertaining guests, have a special dinner or are presenting an important gift, however, we suggest that you don’t take the risk and instead consider an already-bottled wine, from a quality region and quality producer!
What to drink instead of kit wine
Why not take that cash you would have spent on a red wine kit and instead buy a quality red wine from an established producer? We like the Ribera del Duero region (producer Vega Sicilia) as it offers excellent quality at different price points. Instead of an entry-level kit, try the top-selling Pesquera Crianza from Bodegas Alejandro Fernandez Tinto Pesquera, or at the higher end look at Pago de Carraovejas Reserva 2004, which will not disappoint!