Technique

Wonderful Wine in a Box

A few months ago, I decided to open a bottle from my collection of homemade wines. I selected an Austrian red and pulled the cork. The wine was healthy, almost vibrant. It had a soft but distinct Pinot Noir fragrance with a pleasant hint of herbs. The feel was velvety, with a fine thread of acidity. It was a wonderful wine. And I’d made it from a kit. Everyone knows that good grapes make world-class wine. But in recent years, the quality of kit wines has improved enough to impress even the most dedicated fresh-fruit purist. Besides offering first-time winemakers an easy introduction to the hobby, kits offer experts a chance to makes wines from grape-growing regions around the world. Some varietals simply aren’t grown in North America, or are grown in quantities too small to supply the home winemaking market. Would a vineyard have enough surplus Nebbiolo or Viognier to ship you a few cases? Doubtful. But high-quality varietal wine kits are available nationwide at any time of the year, sourced from vineyards in California, Australia, France, Italy, Portugal,