A Tiger Barn Cattery Wine Recipe

Kit wine is often sniffed at by consumers and winemakers. My opinion is that a kit wine is a great way to experience wine making and enjoy a glass of quality wine while you wait for your own to mature. All you need do is decide who's selling the cheapest kit and which wine you want to try.


Before I used the freezer to control when and what fruit I used, I was restricted to the growing seasons. Katriona always suggested that I make kit wine in the downtimes like late winter that would in effect be drinkable through to June if you had a mind or need to ... though storing it to the following winter to June is always going to be a better bet.
You can pick up kits in any hop shop, I make so few that there's never a bottle kept 'for the cellar'. Kit wines are always nice but I do suggest storing it for the year rather than the drink immediately or in 3 months that the labels suggest. It's a fairer comparison after a year to all the Supermarket wines. I'd say that a nicely aged Beaverdale was the equivalent of a £5-8 New World Supermarket bottle because a lot of kit wine uses a lot of high quality grape juice in their cans.
There's only one difference I can see between working with grape wines and fruit wines and that's that grape wines need a degassing stage. Fruit wines need calmness ... one last point is that if you took kit wines to be a 'normal' way to produce alcohol in the home you also have to accept the addition of a several unavoidable chemicals to get it to work in three weeks.
I only have one other thing to say about a kit wine and that's that if you don't have access to fruit, it's the cheapest alternative to buying a Hungarian Red in Aldi.

Anyways, my records on these two kits are limited but should give you an idea about the different approaches of two company's and their kits.

Beaverdale Chateau Du Roi Kit Wine

Sunday 4th August 2011 3 PM

Grape Juice, Water, Oak Chippings, Red Wine Yeast

Monday 22nd August

SG: 0.994

Add Stabilizer sachet

Degas over 3-4 days by stirring every few hours

Add Keiselsol

24 hours later Add Chitosan

To start clearing leave in a cool place for up to a week.

29th August 2010

Siphon off and bottle


Connoisseur Shiraz Kit Wine

Sunday 4th August 2011 3 PM

Grape Juice, Water, Bentonite, EC-1118 Lalvin

11th August

Siphon into another Demijohn

Monday 22nd August

Siphon Again
Add Potassium Metabisulphite
Stir for one minute (shake)

SG: 0.993

Stir every few hours for 2 days

25th August

Add Potassium Sorbate to 60 ml of warm water, mix and add to wine
Add fining agent to the wine and stir

1st September

Siphon & bottle


All 12 bottles are aging