5 day Pinot Grigio - Cantina
Sometimes you see a claim and think "nah - that cant be true".
The box said 21 litres of Pinot Grigio ready to drink in 5 days - thats 28 x 75cl bottles at £1.23 each - there has to be a catch.
Of course, the catch is that its a wine kit and you have to ferment it yourself but if each bottle of finished Pinot Grigio costs about £5.00 per bottle in the supermarket thats £140 of wine for £34.50! Now the bank manager in me likes the look of those numbers - providing the quality is acceptable.
So a kit was acquired from the Homebrew Boat and the 5 day challenge accepted. Would it be a winner or a plonker....
We have all experimented with home made wine, or had it inflicted on us by well meaning friends and the results are usually far short of palatable. So how would this fare? Barry, the Homebrew Boat expert pointed out that wine kits have come a long way over the years and much care and attention is put into formulating the grape concentrate so the all you have to do is add water and the yeast, wait five days and then bottle / drink. All the extra cost goes to the Exchequer in the form of a tax on the brewing process, that and the bottling / transport cost. Do the fermentation yourself you you get the same wine at a fraction of the cost. Sounds plausible.
So on Tuesday evening the bag of grape concentrate and sugar was added to water in a fermentation bin and mixed. An airlock was added and the tub left alone. By Wednesday the airlock was bubbling like fury an thats the way it stayed till Friday evening when the process came to a sudden stop and the hydrometer confirmed it has reached the magical 1000.
Saturday evening saw the wine siphoned to a second brewing vat and a stabiliser added which stopped fermentation and the CO2 was stirred out. Then in went the first and second sachet of finings which dropped the sediment to the bottom and eight hours later the wine was ready to be bottled / drunk. Including the bottling the process took me maybe 1.5 hours and used the kit I already own for beer making.
End result - also reusing the kit bag for a 7ltr wine box.
But what about the taste?
The box said "With the typical light straw colour, the delicate frutiness and crisp acid, this is a bestseller of the Medium Dry whites." And I couldn't put it better myself. It will improve with a couple of weeks in the bottle, but first impressions are excellent - a blind tasting says it stands up to the shop bought "real thing" but for a fraction of the price.
Great fruity white wine and over £100 saved - the bank manager is smiling!