August 2003 Volume1, Issue 3
This Month on the Vine
- Featured Article
- New Products
- Monthly Special
- Customer Appreciation Program
- Correction – To Oak or Not To Oak
Again, I would like to thank each one of you for visiting my site. I hope it was an enjoyable experience and you were able to find everything for which you were looking. As I indicated on our web site, we started this business just this year, so unlike big business, we are extremely flexible and nothing we have done so far is “etched in stone.” As a result, being an early user of our site and subscriber to our newsletter gives you the ability to influence the future of our site and company!
We want to know what you think about us. I will adding online surveys that will focus on obtaining information about the home wine making market and how you feel about our site and our company. In exchange for completing the survey, we will reward you with special discounts and promotions. Until then, we like to hear what you have to say about our site. Send your comments and/or suggestions to email@example.com.
FEATURED ARTICLE – Fresh Fruit vs. Kits
When I first starting to think about making my own wine, I knew absolutely nothing about it. I did not know where to start and I knew nothing about “Wine Kits”. I bought my first wine kit as a “doubting Thomas”. My rational was very simple. I wanted to save money and the only way to find out if it was a good as advertised, was to give it a try. I had absolutely no idea what I was going to get. So here is a little primer.
Wines made from fresh fruit are exactly that, you start with 100% fresh fruit. You clean, crush and press your fruit until you get as much juice from the fruit as possible. Then you have to balance the acid, PH and sugar. At that point you are ready to ferment.
With a kit, you start with a concentrate and, depending on the kit, you may get some fresh juice. The concentrate is made using a vacuum process to remove water. The sole purpose for this is to reduce weight of the product for shipping. But whatever you get, it is already balance for you. You do not have to worry with adjusting the acid, PH or sugar levels. Just pour the concentrate into the fermenting bucket, add the water and yeast and watch it go to work.
After you start fermenting, the steps to make your wine are basically the same whether you use fresh fruit or a kit, ferment, stabilize, age and bottle. The key to the difference is the word concentrate.
The concentration process removes most of the solids in the juice. As a result, your kit wine will probably not have as much body as a commercial wine. In addition, most kits have their PH balanced to the low end of acceptable levels to provide for early drinking. These factors prevent you from making an age worthy wine. If you get a kit wine to last 5 years, you have really accomplished a feat. The last factor regarding kits is cost; the better the grapes, the more they cost. In order to keep the cost down, the really good grapes from California, Oregon and France are not normally used in kits. (RJ Spagnols has just released a Chardonnay and a Cabernet Sauvignon with grapes from the Sonoma Valley of California. See new products, below.)
Kits also come with all of the additives you need to ferment, stabilize and clear your wine and they are pre-measured, so you do not have decide how much to add. If you want your kit wine to last more than 6 months, you should add some additional sulfites for protection against spoilage. Other than that, everything (except water) is included with the kit.
The reasons for using kits:
The negative side is that you will never make that “killer” bottle that you lay down for 10 years before you drink it.
The reasons for starting with fresh fruit:
1 You can use almost any fruit you like, peaches, raspberries, kiwi and even grapes,
2 You can modify it to your own tastes,
3 You can age it for a much longer period,
4 It is YOUR creation.
The primary negative is that it takes more time and knowledge to start from scratch.
As I mentioned last month, I am going to mention Christmas, again. If you want to give bottles of your wine for Christmas, now is the time to get started! Bottles of homemade wine make excellent Christmas presents. Put a nice label on the bottle. Stick it in a nice bag, and voila, you have a nice present for under $10 dollars. If you want to keep it under $5, just put a tag with a bow around the neck. Besides the fact it is a very nice gift, the recipient will think you spent a whole lot more than you did! In business, they call that a win/win.
CUSTOMER APPRECIATION PROGRAM
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