Last updated 2000.
The drink, not the command...
I now like very few store bought wines. Homemade can be MUCH better. After over
100 batches of wine, some from kits and some from scratch, I have some very
definite opinions of my favorites. All below have been rated as "excellent" and
"best of class " by at least 90% of my friends, so you KNOW you're gonna like
A hit at ANY party - Piesporter made from "European Select", no oak, let age at
LEAST 6 months from start of fermentation. Perfect by 18 months.
A smooth red: Beaujolais made from "Grand Cru", no oak, let age a LEAST 8
months from start of fermentation. Perfect by 18 months.
Rasberry wine - a tart, smooth drink, 12% alchohol. Terrible before 18 months ,
but by 24 months is excellent. Make with sweet red raspberries.
Peach wine. A sweet, lite, after dinner or appetizer drink, lovely by itself in
front of a cold fire or around the bar-be-que in summer. Don't attempt to drink
before 24 months, it needs the time to age.
Cherry Brandy made from "Condessa". A strong (22% alchohol) sweet succulent
drink . Reaches perfection at 30-36 months. Make 5 gallons at a time - it's
hard to keep in the cellar once aged. If you taste it before 24 months and
think it's terrible - send it to me, it'll be fantastic in another few months.
Serve about 2 oz in a tiny wine glass. (OK, so a proper connoisseur would know
the correct name of these glasses)
Champagne. Designed to be perfect for the millenium: Jan 1, 2001. Made in the
"Champagne" style. We tried some for the faux Millenium party (Jan 1st, 2000.)
It was a year too early, but it seemed like a fun idea to try it anyway as the
999's rolled over to 000. It is showing how good it is going to be when it is
done, and it still tasted quite nice as it was. I used the traditional "best"
mixture of 3 parts pinot noir and 1 part chardonnay. To the best of my ability,
everything was done the way it is done in France. Some people prefer the
cheaper "white" champagne, made out of just chardonnay so I think I'll try it
next. (It is cheaper because the chardonnay grape is more prolific, not because
there is anything particularily wrong with it.)
I have a half dozen more that will probably make this list, but I have no kits
old enough to be SURE yet. They will be added as they prove themselves. In the
mean time, if you make wine at home, follow this advice - don't EVER drink a
wine less than 6 months old - you won't BELIEVE the difference if you wait.
(Valapochella sp ? is one exception - it is best 2-6 months old)