11 Best Wine Making Kits: Guide and Review 2020

For the longest time, wines were expertly crafted in the hands of traditional vintners - who picked their juicy grapes fresh from their vineyards, fermented these with celebrated techniques and family secrets, and left these to age to perfection. 

Over the years, however, winemaking kits piqued the interest of wine lovers from all over the world. These DIY kits not only saved money as compared to buying your typical bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon but became an enjoyable activity for pros and hobbyists alike. It gave each winemaker absolute freedom to personalize his or her drink, to adjust the requirements, and modify the ingredients to best please the palate - all in the comfort of home!

Homemade wine kits can be fun and are worth a try. Although, navigating through catalogs of winemaking kits may seem overwhelming to a novice, self-taught winemaker. Luckily, this article put together a guide, FAQs, and some of our recommended kits to help you decide on your purchase!

Before reading any further, sign up to our free VIP club to avail of our exclusive rebate program as a way of thanking you for checking this article. 

Buying Guide

Nowadays, besides local wine stores, winemaking kits are sold online. Some of these are outstanding kits that may live up to the expectations of any master vintner's, while others are outright disappointments. With that, here is a compilation of six factors to consider carefully before purchasing your first winemaking kit:

Taste

What kind of wine do you fancy? Is it the rich, dry red wine, or the bubbly, fruity white? Perhaps, a sweet-tasting dessert wine? Whatever your taste buds prefer, you have to make sure you're going to love the taste of the wine. You'll be making gallons of the same wine with just one pack! Cross your fingers, you never get sick of it.

Type of kit

Educate yourself with the various kinds of wine kits. Currently, there are four types of wine kits available that are commonly used.

  • A blend of concentrated and unfiltered grape juice
  • 100% pure grape juice
  • Absolute-concentrated grape juice
  • Partly concentrated grape juice

For the last two kits, you need to add water to produce about 5 to 6 gallons of wine enough to fill up 19-23-liter bottles. Once you purchase these kits, they will be delivered to you, usually along with other ingredients like tannins, and yeast acids. However, the equipment that you need to properly store the wine (such as bottles and corks) are not included. You need to purchase them separately.

Complexity

This factor refers to the overall process. Depending on your skill level or experience with crafting your wine, you would want the process to be easy to follow. If you are an entry-level vintner, instruction manuals and online tutorials could only so much if you're stuck at home without any professional guidance when things go wrong. Be realistic with your expectations and take baby steps - you'll get a hang of it later.

Time

Wine tastes better as it ages. That is why time is a very important factor to consider when crafting your wine. A lot of winemaking kits require four, six, and even eight weeks to prepare. As for aging, it depends on the producer. Some kits benefit more when aged for longer periods of time. 

Here is a tip: greater format wine kits with bigger boxes are best for wines that you wish to age for a long period of time, on the other hand, smaller kits are better for making wines on short notice. Smaller boxes tend to have a higher percentage of concentrate than juice - concentrate kits don't require a lot of time to age.

Price

It is also very important to research prices and set a budget. Cheaper kits are recommended for first-timers to explore the beauty of winemaking. However, certain kits cost more to ensure that the wine is better overall. When shopping for a wine kit, check out the price tag of the bottles rather than the kit itself. You will notice that the price of each bottle is way cheaper than buying similar bottles in wine shops.

Quality

Ensure that your equipment is lightweight, durable, and high-quality to stand the test of time. Purchasing carboys with large capacities may yield more wine, albeit, it's a pain to move around. Likewise, check for premium ingredients and additives - particularly the yeast. Expired yeast can spoil an entire batch of wine.

Top Picks

  • Best Price: Master Vintner 1-Gallon Wine Making Starter Kit (Cabernet Sauvignon) 
  • Best Equipment: Winemakers Depot 3-Gallon Glass Wine Making Equipment Kit 
  • Best Ingredients: Wild Grapes Premium DIY Wine Making Kit (Italian Pinot Grigio) 
  • Best Set: North Mountain Supply 1-Gallon Wine from Fruit Complete 30pcs Kit
  • Best Present: Craft A Brew Home Winemaking Kit
  • 11 Best Wine Making Kits

    1. Best Price: Master Vintner 1-Gallon Wine Making Starter Kit (Cabernet Sauvignon) 

    Pros

    • All-inclusive package
    • Hardware is reusable for beer brewing
    • Easy to use
    • Quickly shipped
    • Professional packaging

    Cons

    • No diagrams of equipment provided with instructions
    • Glass fermenter may come with a leak
    • Wine bottles are not included

    What customers are saying about the product: 

    One Amazon user under the account name “Kindle Customer” (left photo) said that it was the best wine kit! The user added that family and friends thought it was fun to do. On the contrary, another buyer with the account name “misty” (right photo) could not find the instructions manual helpful, as there were no diagrams to indicate which piece of equipment was which. 

    Why we think this is a great product: 

    Compatible with all winemaking processes, this product is an affordable introductory package to the fermenting craft. Its small batch is a foolproof and attainable feat for nervous beginners and ensures minimal room for mistakes and messes. Moreover, unlike several of its competing wine kits, spares no expense for its quality glassware.

    Who should buy it: 

    This particular kit comes with a recipe for Cabernet Sauvignon – always a perfect and familiar selection for entry-level brewers. If you want to give winemaking a try – this is a manageable way to get started. Prepare yourself for that “fresh from the vineyard” taste.

    2. Home Brew Ohio Deluxe Wine Making Kit - Amazon’s Choice w/ instructional CD 

    Pros

    • Prepares up to six gallons
    • Includes an instructional CD guide
    • Great value
    • Excellent equipment quality
    • Fast delivery

    Cons

  • Written instructions are not included
  • May not come with recipes – must be searched via the web
  • May not last long
  • What are customers saying about this product: 

    A pleased customer, Paul thought the item was of great value. Although he noted you are pretty much set to go with the kit, it would have been a nice addition to include recipes with the product. Similarly, Brenda reported that her kit arrived quickly and that she just uncovered a new hobby because of it!

    Why we think this is a great product:

    Proudly selected as Amazon’s Choice for the “winemaking equipment kit” category, this deluxe set is everything it flaunts itself to be. Compared to competing for winemaking kits in the market, this product offers two additional accessories namely: an easy-to-use bottle filler and a 1/2 inch auto siphon pump. 

    Who should buy it:

    Given its large capacity and various equipment and accessories, this winemaking kit is NOT recommended for complete beginners – as it may seem complicated and overwhelming to figure out. Rather, this product is a better option for those already experienced in the subtle art of winemaking.

    3. Midwest Homebrewing and Winemaking Supplies Starter Equipment Kit - Innovative, lightweight, “Better Bottle” carboy design w/ double lever corker

    Pros

    • Makes up to 23-30 bottles of wine
    • Included double lever corker and “better bottle”
    • Easy to use
    • Lightweight 

    Cons

    • May not arrive with intact
    • Feels cheaply made
    • Lacks juice, instructions, and chemicals

    What the customers are saying about this product: 

    Aymee (photo below) reviewed the product as easy-to-use and lightweight – which is a major plus in her opinion. However, it is too bad the hydrometer was damaged upon arrival. Terry commented that it was a great package and has everything you need to brew your homemade wine.

    Why we think this is a great product: 

    Its “Better Bottle” is constructed with high-end, BPA-free polytetrafluoroethylene – a plastic carboy that is lightweight and durable, convenient for lifting your six gallons worth of fermenting wine with ease. 

    Who should buy it: 

    As the product name states, this set solely comprises of brewing equipment – no chemicals, juice, or in-depth instructional CD to help out the novice in his or her kitchen. Be sure to purchase this if it is truly the equipment (and not the experience) you are looking forward to – or else you’ll be in for a meltdown!  

    4. Best Set: North Mountain Supply 1-Gallon Wine from Fruit Complete 30pcs Kit

    Pros

    • Available with Winemaker’s Recipe Handbook
    • Comprehensive
    • Instructions are easy to understand
    • A substantial quantity of additives
    • On-time delivery

    Cons

    • Components may arrive broken
    • Some parts may be missing upon arrival

    What are the customers saying about this product:

    Julie (photo below) purchased this as a Christmas gift for her boyfriend, and he adored it! While it did arrive with a damaged hydrometer test jar, she commended customer service for sending her a replacement fast. As a self-proclaimed “super novice” Suzette, another happy customer, recommended it for any new winemakers like her. 

    Why we think this is a great product:

    This is probably the largest and most comprehensive wine kit available in the market! You just need fruit (fresh, canned, or puréed) and loads of wine bottles to hold your precious brews. Best of all, you have over a hundred wine recipes to select from in the handbook – including vintages. 

    Who should buy it:

    For those who want to play with variety, experiment, and create tons of fruity, country-styled concoctions – this product may signal the start of your newfound, lifelong hobby!

    5. Master Vintner Wine Making Equipment Starter Kit - Featuring open-mouthed bubbler for easy cleaning

    Pros

    • Comes with a foolproof instructional CD
    • High-quality materials
    • The first batch is ready in 28 days
    • Fast shipping

    Cons 

    • Recipe kit not included
    • Not well-packaged

    What customers say about this product:

    Francisco (left photo) remarked on the product’s amazing equipment quality – from the bottling to the sanitization. He is convinced there is nothing more a beginner winemaker could ask for. Claudia (right photo) on the other hand, shares that the 6-gallon glass carboy is extremely heavy when filled up – and may pose a serious threat to the back. She admits the wine kit is wonderful, but that fellow customers must beware of her concern.

    Why we think this is a great product:

    No buckets here! A proclaimed winemaking authority, Master Vintner promises easy cleaning with their two premium fermenters – a bubbler and glass carboy – with its innovative wide-mouth feature. Moreover, this product advertises that your wine will be ready in no more than 28 days – an oddity any impatient winemaker could appreciate.

    Who should buy it: 

    Due to its strikingly short fermentation time, any novice will find it simple to follow along the winemaking process. Nevertheless, this too is highly recommended for expert crafters, and longtime wine lovers – as a chance to fully immerse in all aspects of their favorite alcohol.

    6. Best Ingredients: Wild Grapes Premium DIY Wine Making Kit (Italian Pinot Grigio) 

    Pros

    • Makes up to 30 bottles or 6 gallons
    • Wine is ready in four weeks
    • Directions are easy to follow
    • Affordable

    Cons 

  • May be missing additives upon arrival
  • Yeast in the packet may be old – wine won’t ferment
  • Not returnable

  • What customers say about this product:

    Before mistakenly ordering Grigio instead of Noir, Mike (left photo) wasn’t as fond about white wine – that is, until he received the delivery and tried it out anyway. He thought it turned out great and proceeded to make a whole stash. Meanwhile, Micah (right photo) reviewed that Wild Grapes had perfected its white wine recipe and that she'll be giving out her homemade wine as gifts.

    Why we think this is a great product:

    The box may be small but it still packs a strong punch! With its solid concentrate made from fresh, premium ingredients, you no longer have to start from scratch as the winemaking process is sped up for you! Also, this kit includes thirty labels (as depicted in the customer’s review) - which you can freely get creative with and add decorative touches – making each bottle of wine unique in its way.

    Who should buy it:

    KEEP IN MIND: this kit does not come with any winemaking equipment whatsoever, but with a base, yeast pack, and fining agents only. So if you’re looking for a quick, hassle-free, foolproof option to winemaking – this kit has got you covered for easy-made Italian Pinot Grigio! 

    7. Best Present: Craft A Brew Home Winemaking Kit

    Pros

    • Supplies up to 1 gallon
    • Easy and simple to navigate
    • Requires minimal time
    • Perfect as a present

    Cons

  • Pieces may be broken or damaged upon arrival
  • Does not come with Zorks, as advertised

  • What customers say about this product:

    Katie (left photo) thought the kit was easy to use and fun at the same time and was delighted by her purchase. She gave this out as a gift, then it turned out to be a couples activity! Additionally, Sean (right photo) liked that the instructions weren’t simple to follow, and how it was the right size for someone new to winemaking – he recommends purchasing a hydrometer and mini auto-siphon to go with it.

    Why we think this is a great product:

    For starters, admire that elegant packaging! This kit comes with not only the tools but the necessary ingredients and fermenting agents to get started as a beginner in the craft – it only takes four easy steps to delicious wine! We also appreciate that the guide briefly explains what each ingredient does to the wine for the customer to be more informed.

    Who should buy it:

    Do you recognize a wine enthusiast in your life? If so, this product would make a lovely gift for him or her on a birthday or over the holidays. A gift that person with an at-home brewing experience that is sure to last longer than any bottle of wine in the pantry.

    8. Best Equipment: Winemakers Depot 3-Gallon Glass Wine Making Equipment Kit

    Pros

    • Inexpensive
    • Fast shipping
    • Bucket is large
    • Versatile
    • Good quality materials

    Cons 

    • The jug is smaller than the bucket
    • Not a full set-up
    • Lacks detailed instructions
    • Glass components may be damaged upon arrival

    What customers say about this product:

    An Amazon customer under the account name “Starttrolltraveler” (left photo) commented that the products were nice, and showed up in pristine condition – although he suggested watching a couple of tutorial videos first should you decide to buy this. Meanwhile, Karen (right photo) said that most of the items inside the kit arrived intact; her only issue is that the airlock came cracked.

    Why we think this is a great product:

    Several customers agreed that this kit’s glass carboy was fabulous – as it was a manageable size and was constructed from thick glass. Not to mention, the fermenting bucket is shipped pre-drilled, for no hassle on your part later on. For its affordable price, this kit offers a sweet deal!   

    Who should buy it: 

    This kit is for someone who is strictly after the equipment, and who did their winemaking homework and conducted thorough research beforehand – as it contains no instructions or recipes whatsoever. 

    9. Midwest Homebrewing and Winemaking Supplies WineExpert Chilean Malbec - Delectable black wine recipe, supplies up to 32 bottles

    Pros

    • Supplies up to 32 bottles
    • Instructions are easy to follow
    • Great-tasting wine recipe

    Cons 

    • Does not come with labels
    • May not be able to ferment

    What customers say about this product:

    Having tried plenty of wine kits in the past, one customer with the account name of “wrs1974” discloses that this product ranks as one of the highest in his list. It’s a solid kit and would buy from the company again in the future. A fellow purchaser by the name “C.Sutton” shared that he re-ordered the product – it doesn’t seem to disappoint at all.

    Why we think this is a great product:

    WineExpert recipes have always resulted in fine, delectable wines – this Chilean Malbec is no exception! Its strong concentrate will free you from the tediousness of having to extract the juice of the fruits manually – even better, it packs more citrus flavor for less work! 

    Who should buy it: 

    Looking to spice up your wine palate with something new and exotic? This kit will transport you to the lush vineyards of Chile with its captivating black wine Malbec recipe – taste the bitterness of licorice, spice, plums, blackberries, and tar – as you are drinking an unsweetened espresso. 

    10. Master Vintner Fresh Harvest 1-Gallon Small Batch Fruit Wine Making Kit - Includes Wine Recipe Handbook with tons of fruity recipes

    Pros

    • Supplies up to 15 1-Gallon batches
    • Includes Wine Recipe Handbook with tips
    • Basic set-up
    • Affordable

    Cons

  • Instructions aren’t suitable for beginners
  • Complicated process
  • Yeast may be expired upon arrival

  • What customers say about this product:

    Writing his review in Spanish, Wilson (left photo) disclosed that his wine fermented excellently and that he found manual helpful. Another wine enthusiast, Ronica (right photo) fell in love with the product - as she’s had so much fun with it and saved lots of money on wine! She suggested buying a yeast energizer and utilizing the recipes in the handbook.

    Why we think this is a great product:

    With a handbook brimming with inspiring recipes, you can effortlessly craft colorful, fruity concoctions to add to your wine rack. Some fruit wines mature faster than grape wine, this means, you can enjoy succulent flavors for a fraction of the time! Best of all, this kit supplies a large batch of wine – up to 15 gallons’ worth. (It’s about time to expand your selection!)

    Who should buy it: 

    This kit assumes you know what you are already doing, and won’t befit entry-level vintners expecting a step-by-step instructional guide – as it is a complicated process. If you’re a seasoned or expert vintner, this kit will yield fresh, mouthwatering wine straight from your orchard.

    11. ABC Crafted Series Wine Making Ingredient Pak (Merlot) - Premium Merlot concentrate great for gift-giving

    Pros

    • Inexpensive
    • Quick and easy to use
    • Smooth, balanced, piquant flavor
    •  Includes labels for bottles
    • Supplies up to 5 gallons

    Cons 

    • Produces low volume

    What customers say about this product:

    A delighted customer on Amazon, under the account name “Sikk” (left photo), remarked that this kit was an outstanding product, as the instructions were super helpful; thus, resulting in a full-bodied Merlot. “Abiyahu” (right photo) would recommend this to a friend. Her wine turned out delicious, and she commended the company’s support team for assisting her when she encountered a problem with fermentation.

    Why we think this is a great product:

    You can’t possibly go wrong with this product’s price point! This ingredient kit ensures the whole winemaking process unfolds smoothly and effortlessly. Moreover, countless customers reported being happy with their resulting Merlots, as this particular wine recipe yields a luscious taste, aroma, and color – as if its store-bought!

    Who should buy it:

    This kit would make an enjoyable DIY project at home for any wine enthusiast. Not to mention, you can hand out your finished wines as homemade gifts for friends and family – no one would ever suspect you crafted this by yourself. 

    FAQs

    Q1. How do I start making my wine at home?

    You must possess the necessary ingredients and equipment to start the process. 

    Firstly, extract the juice from the grapes and pour this in the primary fermenter. Add the wine yeast and let it ferment 7 to 10 days. Afterward, carefully transfer the mixture to the secondary fermenter and separate the sediments from the liquid using the siphon hose - do this for 2 to 3 months. The process is called “racking”. 

    After that period, transfer the wine to clean bottles and cover them with corks. Store them in an upright position for the first 3 days, then on their side in the following days, at 55º Fahrenheit, ideally.

    Q2. What equipment is needed to make wine at home?

    Here is a list of the basic equipment that you ought to have to start brewing wine at home:

    • Primary and Secondary fermenters/carboys (Either plastic or glass)
    • Airlock and rubber stopper
    • A long stirring spoon
    • Siphon Hose and Racking Cane (for transferring your wine from one fermenter to the other)
    • Wine thief (used for taking a small amount of wine from the fermenter to testing)
    • Wine hydrometer (used to test the gravity of the wine to check its completion)
    • Acid test kit
    • Wine bottles and corks
    • Cleaners or sanitizers

    Q3. Is making wine from home cheaper than buying?

    The answer is yes and no. When you decide to make homemade wine, there is a certain number of equipment and ingredients that you ought to purchase. Moreover, time is a factor when it comes to fermenting wine. But once you already covered the upfront costs of the equipment, then there is no doubt that making your wine is a lot cheaper than buying.

    Q4. How soon can you drink homemade wine?

    It takes a minimum of two months for your homemade wine to be ready to drink. But remember, wine tastes a lot better as it ages!

    Q5. How can you increase the alcohol content of a wine kit?

    You can increase the alcohol content by adding more sugar during the fermentation period. Each pound of sugar that is added to the wine kit increases the alcohol content by 0.8%. However, there are things that you need to follow to do this properly. First, you must make sure that the sugar gets dissolved immediately and that it does not remain at the bottom of the fermenter. Also, there is an alcohol limit that wine yeast can ferment. With the help of a wine hydrometer and yeast profile charts, you can hit your specific alcohol content target for your wine with no problem.

    Conclusion

    We hope this review depicted a helpful description of the home winemaking experience, provided an outstanding list of products, and equipped you with enough information and a checklist of things to watch out for during your upcoming buying experience. Feel free to do a little more research on winemaking kits, but most of all, have fun experimenting! 

    If you happen to like giving wine kits as presents to your loved ones, here is an article featuring 50 gift ideas for the wine lovers in your life - which they are sure to love!

    Don’t forget to sign up for our free VIP club to avail of our exclusive rebate program. No credit cards are required. No need to purchase anything. We just want to thank you.


    Older Post Newer Post


    Leave a comment

    Please note, comments must be approved before they are published

    Related Posts