Making your own wine can be fun and rewarding
Imagine having friends over and serving them a bottle of your own vintage, with your own custom label, and then soaking up the compliments. It doesn’t cost a fortune to have your own little mini-winery up and going, in fact you can actually save money with average costs under $5 a bottle once you have the equipment. You can enjoy your wine in 4-6 weeks in most cases, but a lot of winemakers think the fun is in the journey and not just the destination.
Below we will show complete packages that have been highly rated, since it’s easier than buying what you need in a bunch of separate pieces, and it’s great to have everything you need in one place. We are assuming that you are a beginner so we will also show you where to get grape concentrates that produce great results to get you started. With this equipment you have a good base to progress to extracting your juices on your own when you if you choose to later. Choose an option from each step number to complete your setup.
Step #1 Choose a Kit
This is a great kit for someone that has never make wine before. It makes 6 gallon batches and includes all of the gadgets, including a wine thief, plastic paddle for mixing, and a floor corker (great for one person to easily cork bottles). Make sure you get a sanitizer like BTF Iodophor too, around $5. Choose from a plastic or glass carboy. The kit starts at about $190, but a glass carboy is recommended totaling out about $200 not counting shipping.
This is also a six gallon kit, but comes with a glass carboy standard, which is great. It also features an oversize 8 gallon fermenting bucket to reduce spills. It comes with everything you need including a twin level corker, transfer hose, bottle filler, corks and sanitizer. Everything you need in one kit and an instructional DVD to get you going on your first batch. This kit is a good value at about $170.
Step #2 Choose your first wine
This is a matter of taste, but a well rated and popular kit from Winexpert is a recommended choice. You can see their product offerings on their site but they don’t sell online, so try Northern Brewer or Amazon. Kits can range between $45-$120 to make a 30 bottle batch.
Here is an introduction about their Selection International kits
Step #3 Get your bottles and corks
Six Gallons will make about 30 bottles of wine. Bottles come in cases of 12 so you should get at least 3 cases for your first batch. If you want to have more than one batch going, are making whites and reds, or don’t feel like cleaning bottles as often then you may want to get extras. Make sure you get the proper glass for the wine color. Dark glass for red wines, light glass for white wines.
750 ml Emerald Green Claret/Bordeaux Bottles
For reds, about $37 for 3 cases + shipping.
750 ml Cobalt Blue Glass Claret/Bordeaux Bottles (Reds, a classy blue bottle for looks)
For reds, a classy cobalt blue bottle if you want to jazz up appearances, about $63 for 3 cases + shipping.
750 ml Clear Glass Claret/Bordeaux Bottles
For whites, about $40 for 3 cases + shipping.
#8 Straight corks 7/8″ x 1 3/4″
These will fit the above bottles correctly, about $10.
At this point you can make wine, but you may want to have some flashy labels with your family or business name (great for giving your wine as a gift) and you may want to have some additional reading on wine making as you go along.
Step #4 Get a custom label
You can go to Labeley or BottleYourBrand for creating a label online with their uploaders and text editors. You don’t have to label your whole batch, but you can do a case for about $12. Or if you want to go the professional route for design on your labels, contact Helix Creative Services.
Step #5 Get some additional education on wine making
To get familiar to feel comfortable with terminology and to answer any questions as you go through the different processes, it might be handy to have a well respected guide. Try The Winemaker’s Answer Book: Solutions to Every Problem; Answers to Every Question for about $10.