Big savings in DIY winemaking

Here’s my end-of-summer garden party nightmare: A brimming glass of thehost’s homemade wine and me attempting to keep the wince out of everysip. <br />

 

Here’s my end-of-summer garden party nightmare: A brimming glass of the host’s homemade wine and me attempting to keep the wince out of every sip.

 

One thing about a recession though, it opens your mind to what you didn’t think you would ever want to do or drink.

 

Early summer found me in the fruit-scented quarters of the Just Wine in Milton, Ont. I had driven by the place for 10 years and never once been tempted.

 

But I love my wine, and despite a reported glut of the good grape plus a global economic meltdown, wine prices haven’t declined perceptibly. So, I bravely ordered two kits, 30 bottles of the best Australian Chardonnay and 30 more of the Napa Valley Stag’s Leap District Merlot, part of the Selection Estate series distributed by Wine Expert of B.C.


Both claimed gold medals in some tasting or other and both were the most expensive of their kind available in the store. If you are going to do it yourself, buy the best available. Even so, the cost per bottle was less than $5 for the white and less than $7 for the red (that doesn’t include optional labels, 10 cents each, or bottles, $1.10. You can also supply your own.)


Six weeks later I spent a happy hour bottling the Chardonnay and two weeks after that, the Merlot. Tasting both during bottling surprised me. Drinkable!


If all works out, I estimate savings of at least $2,500 a year — enough to take hubby and I on a very nice wine-tasting holiday.


Stay tuned for full tasting results in a couple of months.