Pricing and Description of Juice Qualities

White Grape Concentrates

Grape concentrates are made by boiling grape juice at reduced pressure to eliminate about 75-80% of the water naturally present in the fruit.

Several qualities for which grapes might be valued in winemaking, especially fragrance, color and varietal character, are largely lost during the concentration process.  This is why wine made from inexpensive (or sometimes expensive) grape concentrates never tastes the same as wine made from 100% grape juices.  Given a choice always choose the 100% juice over concentrates to get a more full bodied, longer lasting wine.  For the extra $1.00 per bottle, you can’t make a better choice.

Many concentrates suffer from a variety of deficiencies. The grapes used to make the concentrates are not always quality grapes.  Commercial winery representatives and jobbers, who are often present during harvest and select the soundest, ripest and sweetest grapes, will naturally select the best grapes. What is left is then available for making, jams, jellies, concentrates and raisins.  For this reason the quality of the final product can vary widely and may not be as ‘full bodied’

The majority of the “do-it-yourself” wine shops carry a large stock of concentrate kits on their shelves.  In order to do that, they would need to use something called 'inverted sugars'; not the best thing for wine making kits, but if you are after a very inexpensive wine, (in both cost and flavour) then the end result will match that expectation. (Note:  Vintner’s Cellar does not have any juices, concentrates or other, made with invert sugars.)

"Today, home wine making is seeing another resurgence, especially in Canada, and gaining steam in the United States. This resurgence has been fueled in part by the desire of consumers to produce wines made without the use of questionable farming techniques and without the use of sulfites. It has also been made possible by the introduction of the boxed “wine kit”. This is a box usually (but not always...be sure to check the ingredient label) containing a plastic bag filled with concentrated viniferous grape juice and packaged with all the other necessary ingredients to make 6 US gallons of viniferous wine. These kits have made it possible to produce wine of a particular style, fairly easily; thereby, essentially bringing the vineyard to wine drinkers who don’t live in the growing regions.

A caveat emptor warning – With the explosive growth in demand for home wine making kits has come the inevitable introduction of questionable products. What should you look for in a wine making kit? First, all products are required to list ingredients. You will find that the second ingredient listed in many kits is “invert sugar”. While invert sugar is great for baking, and may be needed in “country wines” made with strawberries or dandelions, it has no place in good quality viniferous wines. Invert sugar will make your wine taste thin and give it a “tart” aftertaste. And to compensate for the color lightening characteristics of invert sugar, some producers have taken to adding dies to the juice to re-darken it. Second, try to ascertain where the fruit used in the kit came from. If you want a Chilean chardonnay, then by all means you should get a Chilean chardonnay. But if you want a French Chardonnay, make certain the packaging doesn’t say, “made in the style of a French Chardonnay”. That’s a sure fire giveaway that that kit probably contains a cheaper, inferior grape. And if the price of that “Australian Shiraz” kit seems too good to be true, it probably is. Australian grapes are very expensive. And of course, you are not going to get the best quality product at the cheapest price".

What is very important in the above, is the simple fact that wine made from a concentrate will never taste as good as wine made from juice or a juice with original real sugars.

Having explained the process above, many people are still quite happy with the wine produced from grape concentrates at Vintner’s Cellar and it does provide for a very inexpensive bottle of wine, especially when you compare the quality of the final product some wines which can be purchased at the LCBO.

Average price per 29-30-bottle batch of wine - $112.00  ($3.75 per bottle)

Taste comparison to a bottle purchased at the LCBO  $7.00 to $12.00

 

Sources
http://winemaking.jackkeller.net/concentr.asp
http://www.cascadiabrew.com/winekit.htm

Other Sources/Articles
http://www.home-winemaking.com/winemaking-4.html

 

 

White Wine Concentrates Souce
AUSTRAILIAN CHARDONNAY  Australia
FRENCH COLOMBARD California
SEMILLION CHARDONNAY California
WHITE ZINFANDEL  (Blush) California
BRISE DE MER France
BOURDAILLES BLANC France
CHAMBLAISE France
CHARDONNAY France
CHENIN BLANC France
HOUSE CUVEE SPECIAL France
GEWURTZTRAMINER France
MANOIR BLANC France
PINOT CHARDONNAY France
RUISSEAU BLANC France
SAUVIGNON BLANC France
WHITE BOURGERON France
SOAVE Italy
VERDICCHIO Italy
PINOT GRIGIO Italy
LIEBFRAUMILCH Germany
MOSSETTE  Germany
PIESPORTER Germany
RIESLING Germany
JOHANNISBERG RIESLING South Africa

 

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