Make wine like a professional with one of the easy-to-use dry wine kits available. Wine kits come with all the ingredients you need to make about 6 gallons of dry wine in your home.
About Dry Wine
Wine tastes, of course, are completely personal - one person may prefer a sweeter tasting wine, while another prefers a dry wine. What makes a wine taste dry? There are varying degrees of dryness, of course, and your personal taste may lie anywhere along that spectrum.
Dry wine is a result of the level of residual sugar remaining after fermentation. The level ranges from a full dry wine, where all sugar has been converted to alcohol, to a medium-dry wine that contains some residual sugar. An "off dry" wine contains a relatively small amount of sugar.
About Wine Kits
Wine kits have become an easy way for beginning winemakers to get a taste of success without expending a lot of money or effort. Traditional amateur winemaking depends on a variety of equipment, ingredients, and a basic knowledge of how to create your own wine. It also takes some time - something that may have many people ditching the idea entirely and heading to the nearest liquor store to have their wine without the wait.
Wine kits, on the other hand, provide all the ingredients you need to get started in one box and are available in a variety of types so you can produce your favorite at home. And yes, you will still need some time since you can't expect instant wine, but the kits make it monumentally easy to get started. Once you experience the success of making your own wine from a wine kit, you may find you'd like to try other types of kits or even venture into purchasing the ingredients separately for more advanced winemaking.
Dry Wine Kits
Once you have established what type of wine you'd like to produce, you can set out buying the right wine kit. There are a variety of places selling dry wine kits that produce wonderful tasting wine in as little as four to six weeks.
Beer & Wine Hobby
Beer & Wine Hobby has multiple wine kits ranging in price from about $75 to about $120. While some of these are sweet wines, you can also make virtually any type of dry wine you'd like, as well. Some to consider:
- Limited Edition Black Cabernet from Lodi: At around $150, this wine kit allows you to make a Cabernet Sauvignon-Gamay Noir blend. The Gamay softens the Cab to create a floral, earthy wine. It makes 30 750 mL bottles, which is about $5 per bottle.
- Grand Cru Malbec Red Wine Kit: Costing just under $75, this tannic wine has a satisfying dark color and flavors of black fruits and jam. This 4-week wine kit yields 30 750 mL bottles at under $3 per bottle.
- Cru International French Rosé Blush Wine Kit: If you like your dry wines on the lighter side, try your hand at this French rosé blush wine kit, which allows you to make 23 liters of unoaked blush wine in just over five weeks. It costs $95, or about $3 per bottle.
Home Brew It
Quality Wine and Ale Supply's Home Brew It has a large selection of dry red, white, and rosé winemaking kits that all cost in the $80 region and up for the full kit.
- Vintners Reserve Chamblais: This is a Chablis by another name. The wine is a blend of Chenin Blanc and Colombard grapes, and it yields about 30 750 mL bottles after just 4 weeks. Cost is around $80, or around $2.50 per bottle.
- Vintners Reserve Pinot Noir: If you'd like to try your hand at a Pinot Noir, then this is the perfect kit for you. It yields 30 750 mL bottles ready to drink or age, and the wine is ready to bottle in about 4 weeks. Cost is around $80, or about $2.50 per bottle.
- Vintners Reserve Shiraz: Make a jammy, heady dry Aussie style Shiraz with this kit, which makes 30 750 mL bottles in just over four weeks. Cost is around $80, or about $2.50 per bottle.
- Winexpert Australian Grenache Syrah Mourvedre: If you're ready to take on a wine blend, this is a classic. This Australian-style GSM is complex and aromatic. It yields 30 750 mL bottles and is ready for bottling in about five weeks. This is a wine that can then benefit from some age, and the cost for the kit is around $110, or less than $3.75 per bottle.
- Winexpert Italian Pinot Grigio: If you're looking for a refreshing wine perfect for picnics or summertime fare and enjoy Pinot Grigio or Pinot Gris, then this is the kit for you. At around $80, you can make 30 750 mL bottles ready for bottling in about 4 weeks, costing under $3 per bottle.
The Home Brewery
- Eclipse Italian Piedmont Nebbiolo: While $176 may seem steep for a winemaking kit, keep in mind that an average cost of a bottle of premium Italian Nebbiolo wine (Barbaresco or Barolo) is around $80, and this makes around 30 750 mL bottles at a cost of about $6 per bottle. The kit also contains grape skins, which will give the Nebbiolo structure and tannins that allow it to age, and this requires minimum aging of 6 to 9 months; longer if you can bear waiting.
- Vintners Reserve Chardonnay: For fans of an oaky yet crisp Chardonnay, try this kit, which costs around $80 for 30 750 mL bottles of wine (under $3 per bottle). It requires a minimum aging time of one month, but the French oak imparts lovely vanilla notes.
- Vintners Reserve Riesling: If you're a fan of the crisp acidity of the German Riesling grape, then this is the kit for you. It yields a dry Riesling without any oak notes to allow the flavors of the wine to shine through. Cost is about $70 for 30 750 mL bottles (just over $2 per bottle), and the wine is ready for bottling in about 1 month.
While wine kits yield perfect results every time and are very cost effective (creating wine for just a few dollars per bottle), you do have to pay a little extra at the start. Typically, wine kits produce six gallons of wine and take little time to mix. There are variations in timing and quantity, however. While most kits include the ingredients, recipes, and instructions for producing your own homemade wine, you will still need to acquire the necessary equipment.