Homemade Wine 2012: The New Trend

Have you been tired of paying retail prices for wine? Have you thought, “I can make wine just as good as this wine I just paid $14 + tax for ! ” … “Why am I paying so much for a bottle of wine anyway ? ”    Have you bought a Make-Wine-From-Home-Kit? Have you gone to the Vintner’s Circle, or Corrado’s, or another place that can help you really make your own wine?  Do you want to make your own wine?… Then this post is for you… (sales pitch over)

I have a good buddy (who’s name will remain a secret in the off-chance it creates a little suspense)… This buddy makes his own wine and beer alongside his father(who will also remain unknown to protect his investment… because once you tasted it, you’ll want to drink it all !!!)… so I must assume his dad has been making both for much longer than him.   Anyway, about a month or 2 ago, my buddy gave me a bottle of 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon he himself made from scratch without his father’s help.  It sat in my cellar untouched, though I almost drank it a few weeks ago, but I wanted to wait until I could really sit down and analyze it.  So  I decided to pop it open today.  I’ve had nothing to do all day but take care of my wife, and enjoy the weather… and I can’t tell you how much I’ve enjoyed that time!   I also took care of a few loose ends that I’ve been putting off for a while, and though there are still more things to accomplish, all I want to do is write this blog post… so here it is !!!

So I’m drinking this bottle of 2008 Cabernet from “My Buddy’s” Cellars  (By the way I’m already working on that label, so if you have one or are thinking of making one FOR US, make sure you send it to me first, OK!?!, this is my copyright! you can’t have it without my permission… I like doing things the old school way, OK ?)…  I can’t tell you it was the “Best” wine I ever tasted, but, I also can’t tell you it was like any other Cabernet I’ve tasted, and I especially can’t tell you that you’ll get ever get a chance to taste this profoundly interesting bottle of homemade wine … So what can I tell you?  Well…

I can tell you that for a home made bottle of California Cabernet, made by a  25 year old  apprentice wine maker, raised in Northern New Jersey… this was a Damn good bottle of wine!  While not perfectly balanced, and not exactly my favorite style of wine, I wouldn’t be surprised if Robert Parker himself gave it  87+ point score in the first 10 minutes of tasting it for it’s over the top fruit forward style, and drinkability!   Sure 87 is not the best score, but when you think about the expenses involved in making wine, and you think about all the potential this young winemaker has yet to realize, I think RP and Advocate, Spectator, Tanzer, and even Enthusiast should jump on board, if not now… maybe in a couple of years (just let me know)…!!!   This wine offers unobtrusive, rich and typical yet simple Cabernet Sauvignon fruit aromas, with some gamey notes and a slight alcohol burn on the nose. On the palate, it is light, fruity and pleasingly balanced, with a warm slightly tannic and earthy finish.   There are no sign of serious fault, and so far I didn’t die from drinking it….  After a few hours of being opened, I realized that although it is still very drinkable, it is not meant for long term aging.  However,  it’s impressive for a homemade wine from 2008 !  Thanks A….Awesome Wine!!!    I almost said his name!  I am no good at keeping secrets!!  Anyway,  I’ve tasted wines from established California winemakers that were just as good as this bottle, which makes me wonder, is making your own wine really the way to go?  Could it be cheaper?  Could it be better?   Could it be worth it?


I admit, I have tasted wines that I know is too good to be be reproduced by making them myself (or even asking my buddy and his dad to make them)…partly because the best wines in the world are made from the “Best” grapes.(period). which always come at a premium, and are usually bought up by the richest and thus most prestigious winemakers and producers in the most expensive and fancy winemaking regions, if they can even convince the intelligent and talented growers to part with them!   These days, grapes are growing everywhere, but certain grapes definitely grow better in certain areas, climates, and soils, and of course the summer weather always plays a part in just how well they ripen.  Where you get your grapes from, and who you get your grapes from are THE Single most important decision you will make when you choose to make your own wine ( unless of course you grow your own grapes)…  So again I ask, do you still want to make your own wine?

If the answer is yes, more power to you! I think now more than ever, good quality grapes are offered at “Make-Your-Own-Wine” Institutions, so if you want to give it a shot, go for it! There is nothing quite like the feeling of creating your own product and enjoying the “Fruits of your Labor”.   Make sure you are prepared for an adventure and expect to be disappointed in your own skills, no matter how great you think you are… I assure you, you will never get the Best Grapes that way, and even though you may make a good quality bottle of wine that you can proudly share with family and friends, chances are slim that you will win any awards. That said, I do believe this 2008 Homemade Cabernet either did or should have won some kind of medal.  So thanks again buddy! 🙂

Now if you like drinking the finest wine (which I’m sure you are a part of the very small percentage of the wine drinking population that actually appreciates it), I would say don’t waste your time trying to make your own wine, and find a trusted source (like Notable Wine ;-)) to get advice from and purchase good quality, fairly priced wines made by tried and trusted Wine Producers, from your favorite local or online retailer.  You will have a better wine drinking experience, spend less money, and likely run into a neighbor or colleague you can share your experience with.  That’s one thing I love about this wine business…  Every year there is something new to expect, and and something great hope for!

Well I hope this post was fun and informative for you, if you enjoyed it… or even if you hated it, can you act like you give a shit?  Write a comment, the shorter the better ;-)… unless you have something intelligent to say…  Thanks for Reading and thank you for being so interested in the wonderful world of NOTABLE WINE !!!!!!!

September 2, 2012 at 6:40 PM 2 comments

Homemade Wine


September 2, 2012 at 6:32 PM Leave a comment



Livermore Valley, California $15.00

Concannon Winery was founded in 1883 by James Concannon,
an Irish immigrant whose goal was to create world class wines
from his home vineyards in Livermore Valley, California, just 35
miles east of San Francisco. Here, the rocky soils and ideal
climate yield grapes that ripen perfectly and produce wines
with intense fruit and flavor.

The new Conservancy label has just been released to the market
over the past year. The Conservancy is dedicated to protect
prime California vineyard land from urban development as all
Conservancy growers have placed their land into a legal trust
that ensures it will remain vineyard land forever. It now has
over 3100 acres under protection.

Crimson & Clover is a rich, full bodied and fruity, yet dry
red wine made from a blend of 50% Petite Sirah, 25% Cabernet
Sauvignon, 15% Syrah and 10% Zinfandel. Although it is a
big wine, it has a soft feel in the mouth and a long, pleasant
finish. It’s an excellent wine to serve with any grilled meats,
beef, chicken or pork and also with medium to full flavored

This is truly a winner and a wine not to miss!


Tony Caristi

Wine questions? Email me: a2zwineinfo@gmail.com

June 12, 2012 at 7:41 AM Leave a comment

Notable beer…


June 10, 2012 at 8:12 PM 2 comments

FINE WINES FOR LE$$ – Ferrari-Carano Fume Blanc 2011


Ferrari-Carano Fume Blanc 2011
Sonoma County, California


Greetings Notable Wine-ers,

It is always a pleasure to taste a freshly
bottled, high quality Sauvignon Blanc when
it arrives at the perfect time for the warm
days of spring and early summer.

Ferrari-Carano Winery has been producing
delicious white wines for more than 25 years
and the 2011 Fume Blanc is now available at
fine wine shops in New Jersey this week.

This incredibly crisp and refreshing wine is
made from Sauvignon Blanc grapes grown
in Alexander Valley, Dry Creek Valley and
Russian River Valley. Aromas of citrus,
melon and fresh fig lead the way to a
full bodied flavor with just the perfect
balance of fruit and acidity. 65% of the
wine was fermented in stainless steel
with the rest done in aged French oak
barrels. Truly a superb Fume Blanc!

And truly a Fine Wine For Less !!!


Tony Caristi

Wine questions? email me:a2zwineinfo@gmail.com

May 3, 2012 at 7:43 AM Leave a comment

Revelry Vintners…The Winemaking Process.

I had the fortune of meeting the winemaker of the Revelry wines last week, tasted some of their fantastic wines and really enjoyed how well this video was put together, so I thought I would share it with you all. If you like Merlot… Definitely check them out. The Reveler Blend is always a crowd pleaser… and if you are able to get your hands on the Reserve Blend or the Single Vineyard Cabernet…they are very well made wines! Cheers

April 29, 2012 at 5:55 PM 2 comments

Have You Made “The Immortal” Zin yet? Confess Here!

This wine comes from 113 Year Old Vines in Lodi California. A Sinful Creation from none other than the Peirano Estates, this Zinfandel packs a ton of bang for your buck! For under $15 this Old Vines Zinfandel will make you feel like you are truly committing theft! The Aromas are very subtle, but don’t be fooled, this wine definitely has some guts. It will go great with your summer BBQ, Steak, Burgers, Ribs, or just pour yourself a glass and enjoy the pleasant fruit of The Immortal Zin… a wine you must try before you die!

Feel free to Confess your “Zinful” Thoughts in the Comment section… Cheers!

March 27, 2012 at 5:43 PM 2 comments

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