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Time Frame for Drinkable Wines

Hello everyone, just made my first wine yesterday. Had an enjoyable time making Cellar Craft’s Pinot Noir. I was hoping to have something drinkable by Thanksgiving / Holidays but it looks like the recommended time-table for drinking will put this into the new year. Looking for some opinions on how long to wait? Is two months of bottle aging too little, or would you give a shot? Coming from a home brewer I wasn’t quite prepared for the long wait, but I don’t want to serve a bad wine.

I am wondering if all wines and kits take around the same amount of time to become drinkable? i.e. Do the reds take longer than the whites? I’ll have an empty wine bucket in 10-12 days, wondering if I can work a white wine through before the holidays?

Thanks in advance…

I’m on my second batch so by no means an expert but I think big complex reds take longer compared to whites. That’s why I did the red first and then tossed in the white so I can bottle them roughly around the same time. The only way you’ll know if it’s ready is to crack one open. I had a friend who had some tiny little wine bottles and bottle a few of those as test ones.

Whites will be ready before reds and will not store as well in the long term. I would give a white a good 3 months of bottle aging before sampling, but 6 months would be even better. Most big reds greatly benefit from a year or more of aging.

This is the reason you have to make lots of wine. It keeps you from drinking anything too early. I’ve found three or four year old bottles tucked away in my cellar. What I usually do is put the two cases away out of sight somewhere and use the extra six as testers. After about three or four months I pop the first one and see how it is. Then, about every month or so, I’ll open another one. By the time I’ve gone through the six odd ones the main batch is usually ready to drink. Works for me pretty well. :cheers:

Thank you all for the responses. They certainly change my expectations…in the right way. I’ll be patient and keep brewing. I like both ideas of small testing bottles and stashing a few cases away. Need to remember that unlike making beer and targeting a few months from start to empty. Making wine is to be enjoyed years…

Thanks again, I’m sure I’ll be back.

I don’t know if it’s up your alley or not, but if you want something drinkable by the holidays, you may want to look at the island mist kits. They are lower abv, and sweeter/fruitier than a ‘typical’ wine. The non-beer drinkers in my family like semi-sweet whites, etc. and have been big fans of the island mist kits. They are basically drinkable at bottling.

I’ve done the pom zin kit, and the strawberry merlot; and both have gotten great reviews by the wife and sisters. They chipped in to buy a couple more kits for me to brew for them when the carboys don’t have beer in them.

Also, the strawberry kit I added a few cups of white sugar to bump the abv closer to 9%-10%. The sweetness of the kits can definitely handle the extra alcohol.

Not sure if that’s helpful, but I thought I’d chime in, since I’ve dabbled in both beer and wine.

DMR,

That is very helpful, thanks for the suggestion. I am going to look into this for sure. My wine bucket is empty and I have decided to give the red I made a proper amount of time to age. It would sure be fun to have a little something to share.

Thanks again!

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