Technique

Picking the Right Wine Kit

The modern wine kit, with its gleaming plastic bag in a jazzy-looking box, didn’t start out as a miracle of modern technology. Arguably, the first wine kits were actually used in ancient Mesopotamia. People of the first civilization in this area would store a mixture of sprouted, crushed grains and dried dates against future need. When the time came, they would crumble this concentrated source of sugar into water, and allow it to ferment with the natural yeast present on the dates. In effect, it was the first wine kit, although you’d be hard-pressed to find one on the shelves today. Modern wine kits first began appearing in the 1970s. They featured cans of pasteurized grape concentrate and packages of acid, nutrient and yeast. While complete, and capable of fermenting into a wine-like beverage, they were actually pretty bad. Awful, really, but at least they made an alcohol-containing beverage. Modern kits still follow the format of ready-to-dilute-and-ferment stuff in a package, but they’ve come a long, long way. There are three common  types of wine kits. There are five-liter (1.3