Wilkinson's Home Wine Starter Kit - Chardonnay

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Wilkinson's Home Wine Starter Kit - Chardonnay

Postby Frogfurlong » Sun Apr 06, 2014 11:21

This is the basic learn to make wine kit from Wilko's. I went with the Chardy because my better half prefers a white wine.
The plan is to follow the instructions exactly and see how easy they are to understand and follow.

I shall continue to update this as I go along to see if it is any good or worth it for the contents.
Without further ado:

Wilkinson's Home Wine Starter Kit - Chardonnay
Cost £20
Glass Demijohn
Bored bung
Plastic airlock (U-bend type)
Syphon tube
Wilko's Steriliser
Winebox & bag
Brewing sugar
Can of Grape Concentrate with yeast, nutrient, stabiliser and finings sachets.

First impressions, this kit is very basic. The sort of "what shall we get Uncle Dave for Christmas" type of thing.
The instructions appear to have been written with a word-budget. 7 steps to make the wine, the whole instruction set takes up less than a matchbook.
Now I know it isn't rocket science to make decent wine, but this does seem almost rude in the sparcity of instruction especially when considering this is designed for absolute beginners.

One niggle from looking at the kit, there isn't a sediment foot for the syphon tube.

Brewing day.

Following the instructions is a little confusing, there are two different sets. One set is printed on the packing box, this is the easiest to read and will probably be the first instructions followed.
Strangely the thing omitted from the box instructions about fitting the airlock

Brewing following the instructions:

I sterlilised all the equipment as mentioned in the instructions.
Then opened the can of goop (grape concentrate) and very very carefully poured it into the Demijohn.
It would have been easier with a funnel, but it wasn't mentioned in the instructions.
Then added the brewing sugar... again very very carefully.
Yeast and nutrient were then pitched (carefully...) from their handy labeled packets (a) and (b)

Now it's a waiting game, three days until the next step.

Day 3 has finally arrived, the fermentation is vigourous but not to the point of overflow.
My 9 year old son is facinated by the bubbles through the airlock and the yeast "farts"

Topped up to 4.5l as per instructions using cooled boiled water.

7 more days according to the instructions until the next step.


Well, finally put my kit to bed in its bag-in-a-box.

The kit says "Your wine is now ready to drink" - If you like the taste of battery acid

It's a little bit young with a harsh acidic top notes, but has reasonable backnotes. It'll never be a £10 a bottle wine, but it doesn't taste like a sub £3 wine.

SO looking back at the kit overall.

Marks out of 10 for;

Contents 8/10 - The addition of a sediment foot for the syphon and a funnel would have made it 10/10.

Ease of use 9/10 - Conflicting instructions on the box means a dropped mark, however the kit itself is an absolute doddle to make.

Do again? 5/10 - The wine kit (the goop-in-a-can) probably won't be repeated but the hardware will be reused time and time again.

Value for money 8/10 - A decent basic kit of parts but the lack of certain essentials for winemaking e.g. hydrometer and test jar, means more cash needs spending

It made for a reasonable Xmas glugging wine, It's not a premium wine by any stretch. It was drinkable and pleasantly so.

People assume that Brewing is a strict progression of cause to effect, but *actually* from a non-linear, non-subjective viewpoint - it's more like a big glass of wibbly wobbly... beery weery... stuff.
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Re: Wilkinson's Home Wine Starter Kit - Chardonnay

Postby supersteve » Mon Apr 07, 2014 20:09

I loved this kit, It got me into doing wine and the Girlfriend loved drinking it!

Made it in January and still got 2 bottles I'm hoping will taste even better now
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Re: Wilkinson's Home Wine Starter Kit - Chardonnay

Postby Blueface » Mon Apr 07, 2014 22:21

This was my first kit and its been in bottles for around 3 weeks now i'm going to give it 1 more week then try it. Brought a 2nd 'starter kit' on the weekend because of the 25% off deal. :thumb:

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Re: Wilkinson's Home Wine Starter Kit - Chardonnay

Postby art b » Sun Jun 22, 2014 00:07

just bought a 30 bottle kit.... :party:

Brew in a bag ....the darker side of the dark side ....
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