Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”- Mark Twain

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Making My Own Wine - Yummy, Fun & Money Saving!

I'm a wine drinker. Not too much, but I did tend buy a bottle of wine on Friday's after work, and tend to drink it either Friday or Saturday evening. I decided a few months ago, that since I'm trying to save money in all other areas in my life, this also needed evaluation.

Say I bought one bottle a week, four times a month, at $14.00 per bottle (I never said I bought the fancy stuff, lol). This is $56.00 per month I am paying for alcohol. $14.00 doesn't sound bad, but $56.00 does.

My other half has tried his luck at making his own beer for a few years now (usually his luck doesn't win, LOL). Anyways, since we had all of the equipment, I decided I would try making my own wine. I dug all of my wine bottles that I had out of recycling, and hit up some friends for theirs, to make my bottle count 30.

When I was in the city, I went to the Noble Grape wine store (which is amazing by the way), and picked out a Valpolicella red wine, which is my favorite to buy in the NSLC. The kit was on sale (yippee!) for $54.00. I took it home, and got started right away.

The instructions were detailed, and the work was minimal. About once a week the wine had to be transferred to a clean carboy, and sometimes have a packet stirred in. Sterilizing the equipment and bottling the wine at the end of the four weeks was about the hardest part, and that really only took about an hour and a half. I had bought the labels and the shrink wrap, so we made them look very authentic.

We let the wine "age" for a few weeks, and decided we couldn't wait any longer. I was skeptical I admit, because I had tasted some very bad homemade wine from different friends making it over the years. We uncorked the wine, and poured a glass. To my amazement, the wine was DELICIOUS!! It is very VERY similar to the
Valpolicella wine I buy in the liquor store. I couldn't believe it! From this point on, I have been an avid wine maker. It's a fun hobby, and I am saving myself money in the long run by doing it. It's also a great present for friends, which costs you next to nothing.

My wine kit cost me $54.00, corks were $4.00, labels & shrink wrap were $5.00, and other misc equipment was approx $10.00, but lasts multiple kits (sterilizing agent, sweetener, etc). Total $73.00, or $82.50 with taxes. Each kit says it will make 30 bottles, but ours made 28. Not too bad. $82.50 divided by 28 bottles is $2.94 per bottle!

I make sure to only go through no more than 4 bottles of wine per month (unless some are gifts here and there). My total spending on wine per month now is $11.76, versus $56.00 previously. This saves me $44.24 per month, or $530.88 per year! (Which I of course put in my piggy bank).

If you don't mind not having a selection, Costco sells wine kits, either Chardonnay or Merlot, in a 2-kit box for $60.00. Sometimes these go on sale for $45.00. This is a great deal, because you are getting two kits for what you pay for one, in a wine making store. This takes the price of $2.94 per bottle, way down.

I'm not sure I'll ever go back to buying the majority of my wine in the liquor store ever again! This is amazing!


  1. Congratulations on making you batch of wine.

    I would love to get started on this.

  2. It was so easy! When I started I was worried it was going to be a difficult process, but it really wasn't...and it was fun! :)

  3. I would love to do a blog post on this on groceryalerts.