Posted by Tim Stobbs on August 10, 2009
Ooh, thirty bottle of wine in the rack, thirty bottle of wine, take one down, drink it down, 29 bottles of wine on the rack.
It’s a good thing you can’t hear my voice on this blog. I’m a horrible singer so be thankful you don’t have to hear me singing the above text. Anyways yesterday I finally got around to bottling my latest batch of homemade wine and got thirty bottle that will be ready to drink at the end of the month.
So it occurs to me that I haven’t discussed this hobby of mine all that much, so some of you might not be familiar with it’s a good way to save cash on wine if you can accept certain things. Notice the “if”, this is important.
- It is a Hobby. Wine making if you don’t enjoy it is silly. There is a bit of labour involved and yes you can ruin an entire batch if you are not careful (I wrecked my first one). But to me being a chemistry geek, I enjoy the challenge of finding out what additive provide what flavours and slowly working my way to a better bottle of wine.
- It is Homemade Wine. Your first few batches will likely be wine, but not good wine. It will likely be ok wine. It takes time (4 to 8 weeks per batch and then aging for another 4 to 8 weeks) and effort (about 4 to 5 hours labour per batch) to work down to creating good wine and of course money. So there is some cost savings in the long run, but you have to recall that if you want better wine you need to spend more to get a better kit and the correct additives to create a wine you like.
- You need the Proper Equipment. Don’t try to cheap out and not buy certain pieces of equipment, you will regret it. A good way to get your feet wet so to speak is find someone who already makes wine and ask to help out and pay for part of a batch. That way you can get the feel for it without having to spend a lot of cash up front to find out you hate it. Also try looking for used equipment, some people don’t follow that advice. They buy it all make one batch and then sell all of the equipment. I know my equipment is mostly second hand.
So with those disclaimers out of the way, what’s the cost savings? It depends on what you use for a kit and what if any additives you use. Overall costs are can vary from $2 to $6 per bottle so compared to $10/bottle retail there is a bit of potential savings if you are willing to accept that you will get about 28 to 30 bottle per batch. Keep in mind people often share their wine by giving it away to friends so don’t panic about having that much wine in the house.
Oh yes, one last disclaimer. Bad homemade wine is common because people often share their first few attemps at it, which you really shouldn’t do unless you are willing to call it cooking wine. It takes practice to get a good batch done, so if you have had bad homemade wine in the past, don’t assume they are all this way. Good wine is possible with pratice and a good kit.