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 kit cheapest and which wine you want to try.

We decided that we'd do five gallons that would be drinkable by Christmas or better still, next summer. We also decided that 5 gallons of one flavour would be too much, especially if it wasn't that good so we plumbed for 5 different Connoisseur wine kits.

From their collection we chose five reds:

Barolo - Grape Juice, Water, Bentonite, Lalvin EC-1118 & Toasted Oak Chips

Cabernet Merlot - Grape Juice, Water, Bentonite, Lalvin EC-1118 & Oak Chips

Pinot Noir - Grape Juice, Water, Bentonite & Lalvin EC-1118

Rioja Tinto - Grape Juice, Water, Bentonite & Lalvin EC-1118

Shiraz - Grape Juice, Water, Bentonite & Lalvin EC-1118


You can pick up these kits in any hop shop in person or online. 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. You will end up with a comparable to supermarket bottle in the £5-7 range because kit wines use 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 patience & calm ... One last point is that if you took kit wines to be the '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.

My records on these kits are very limited but should give you an idea about the timing and what little is involved.

26th July 2012

If SG is 1.010 Siphon into another Demijohn
All 6 wines siphoned off lees.


6th August 2012

Siphoned Again
Added Potassium Metabisulphite

Barolo - SG: 0.990
Cabernet Merlot - SG: 0.990
Pinot Noir - SG: 0.990
Rioja Tinto - SG: 0.990
Shiraz - SG: 0.990

Stirred for one minute (shake)


Stir every few hours for 2 days


8th August 2012

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


1st September 2012

Siphon & bottle