Frugal drinking

When I am able to drink I do love a glass of red wine with dinner especially on the weekend. Perhaps it is a romantic dream, but Mr W and I still wish that we could have a small vineyard here on the island one day. I know it is a lot of work, but making wine can be tricky and fun, it is a good challenge.

A few years ago I bought the basic wine kit making equipment and have made wine on and off since. But Mr W and I have never made wine together so we decided it was time to try. Kits can take anywhere from a few weeks to a few months from start to finish. Generally speaking the better quality the kit the longer it takes to make the wine. Shorter kits contain concentrated grape juice, often a mix of juices from different regions. Longer kits have almost pure juice (no concentration) from a specific region.

We decided on an Australian Carbernet-Shiraz. We did our homework and found out which kit was rated well from WineMaker magazine. We bought the kit locally for $116. This works out to less than $4 a bottle since you make 30 bottles of wine per kit. Here in Canada you can't buy any drinkable wine for that price! Low end wines start at $9 a bottle. We usually drink in the $10-12 range.

We started the kit a month again, and have 2 more weeks to go. Mr W is much more patient and meticulous than I so I leave all the equipment cleaning and maintenance to him. He is also pretty good about checking the wine every couple of days when necessary to make sure it is the right temperature and working as it should. We tasted today while racking (putting it into a clean container to clarify) and there are some nice flavours in there, although it needs to age at least six months before it is ready.

I think we will start a white one in 2 weeks once the red is in bottles. That way we will have 30 bottles of each in our "cellar" and in 6 months to a year will have a good stash. I like buying different wines but making our own is certainly going to allow us to cut our alcohol costs in half over time. I plan on breast feeding for at least a year so won't be imbibing like Mr W, but previous to baby this would have saved us upwards of $30-40 a month or $360-$480 a year!


  1. centsprout said...
    would be great to hear some recommendations of affordable but good wines! i'm not much of a wine connaiseur, but i do like the 2007 Cono Sur Pinot Noir. i found it at the bc liquor store for around $10. not bad for the price!
    Esme said...
    Me and my co-worker were just talking about these wine making kits. I thought it would be fun to give as gifts. But I had no idea it's a cheaper alternative to store bought wine.

    Great to know!

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