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Red Recommendation

Hello Everyone,

My wife and I have recently gotten into making wine (back in January) and are in the process of building up our cellar (which we’ve found to be a much more linear process than brewing beer!). I was wondering if anyone could suggest a red that might be drinkable at around the six month mark. We already have a Tempranillo in the works, but were wondering if there were any other reds out there that were commonly known to drink well at 6 months or so while we wait for our other, bigger reds to mature. We can only drink so much white!

[quote=“Dan S”]Hello Everyone,

My wife and I have recently gotten into making wine (back in January) and are in the process of building up our cellar (which we’ve found to be a much more linear process than brewing beer!). I was wondering if anyone could suggest a red that might be drinkable at around the six month mark. We already have a Tempranillo in the works, but were wondering if there were any other reds out there that were commonly known to drink well at 6 months or so while we wait for our other, bigger reds to mature. We can only drink so much white![/quote]

  1. What are your other bigger reds to which you refer?

  2. How high can you go price wise?

  3. Which kit companies do you have available?

If you are talking winexpert there are some kits from every series known to show well young - but this is with respect to the pre-redesign.
All kits they make now are supposed to be drinkable at a younger age - even the highest end ones.

If it were me, I’d just go straight for the Eclipse series Cabernet. You would get the most out of it if you age for at least a year, but from my experience all of the Eclipse wines are better at 1 month of age than anything else on the market.

[quote=“Brew Meister Smith”][quote=“Dan S”]Hello Everyone,

My wife and I have recently gotten into making wine (back in January) and are in the process of building up our cellar (which we’ve found to be a much more linear process than brewing beer!). I was wondering if anyone could suggest a red that might be drinkable at around the six month mark. We already have a Tempranillo in the works, but were wondering if there were any other reds out there that were commonly known to drink well at 6 months or so while we wait for our other, bigger reds to mature. We can only drink so much white![/quote]

  1. What are your other bigger reds to which you refer?

  2. How high can you go price wise?

  3. Which kit companies do you have available?

If you are talking winexpert there are some kits from every series known to show well young - but this is with respect to the pre-redesign.
All kits they make now are supposed to be drinkable at a younger age - even the highest end ones.

If it were me, I’d just go straight for the Eclipse series Cabernet. You would get the most out of it if you age for at least a year, but from my experience all of the Eclipse wines are better at 1 month of age than anything else on the market.[/quote]
Thanks, Brew Meister,

  1. At this point we’re planning to age the Eclipse Cabernet & Eclipse Red Zinfandel that we’ve made for 2 years. We also have a Chianti that we made back in January that we plan to start drinking at the beginning of 2014.

  2. We’re able to do kits in the Eclipse price range

  3. We typically go to Northern Brewer (or sometimes Midwest) when in the Twin City area, so Winexpert and Cellar Craft (we’ve not yet tried CC)

So it sounds like you would recommend any of the Eclipse reds, then? Our original thinking was that we’d let those age for a couple of years to get the best return on our investment, but didn’t consider that they might also be the best bet for a quick turnaround.

All companies have kits that are designed for quick consumption. But lack of quality and very thin body tend to be what you get.

Once you have the intention of ageing for six months or more you get to the point where you might as well drink the best stuff a little young than lesser stuff at maturity.

  1. Polish off your chianti first to give everything else a little more time. This wine will improve over the next year or two, but not enough to hold on to. If it was the Selection Chianti save a few bottles for a couple of years to see how it turns out. Same goes with you Tempranillo. If these kits were Vintner’s or World Vineyard don’t bother ageing at all.

  2. Don’t wait 2 years for your 2 Eclipse. If you try to make a little more wine than you are consuming you should be able to catch up down the road and be able to age everything longer. But even now you should be able to save a good 6-12 bottles from each batch for longer ageing. You can always make more of the two you have.

  3. If you eventually want to try something other than the Eclipse wines a Cellar Craft Showcase wine might be a good bet. But these wines do tend to need long ageing. I would highly recommend their Rosso Fortissimo. But you can’t even touch a bottle until a year old and it shows best after 2-3 years.

Thanks again, Brew Meister – I like your plan. It’ll also be interesting to see how the wines that we drink a little younger will develop over time, which is something I’ve enjoyed doing with my beers. I’ll definitely put the Rosso Fortissimo on the list. Cheers!

What I tend to do with the high end stuff - even if I want to age a long time - is pull out a bottle every few months as it ages and try to detect anything new in the wine.

As I said, if you ever make the Rosso Fortissimo don’t even bother with this plan. Has nothing going on as it ages until it hits 1-2 years.

The other question you would want to answer for yourself is how old do you like your wine? Possible to get wines aged 4 or 5 years and find you don’t like old wine. So the best course is start drinking when you like it. Put aside some bottles for long ageing, but if you do this with every batch there will be plenty of older wines to choose from.

Rule of thumb…if your batch yields 28 bottles, pretend you only got 22-24. Those last 4 or 6 bottles don’t exist for another 3-5 years.

If you can get 6-8 months on your Eclipse wines that is a good starting point for now. A year will be better down the road.

And one more piece of advice… I don’t know if you would get access to Winexpert’s Limited Edition releases every year. If so, you should make a few (or all) from every vintage.

A little more hit and miss than the Eclipse becasue they are vintage dependant, but you can definitely find some brilliant wines and they are less expensive.

I’m just getting going making wine with a friend but we now have a whole pile of kits going. One thing we did to make it less wasteful when sampling is use some 375 mL bottles, we bottle 2 cases of 750 mL bottles and the rest goes in the smaller ones (getting anywhere from 10-12 375’s) The thought is we’ll be able to check in on the wine every few months over the course of up to a couple of years to see how the wine is progressing without ever having to touch 2 cases until it is ready to go.

coastal red is fast or possibly a pinot though it and they do get better with some age.

I am actually surprised more people don’t bottle a few 375s from every batch. Not just for sampling, but what do you do if you only want 1 or 2 glasses of wine, or need a cup of wine to cook with. I’m not one to drink oxidised wine, so if a bottle get’s opened I won’t touch it the next day - goes right down the drain. Very wastefull indeed.

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