I Won’t Take a Wine Class from my Local Homebrew Store

February 4, 2010

Let me give you a little background to my local homebrew store. The owner quit his job as a electronics salesman and started up the store in 1992, catering to beer makers. Then he realized that wine was a growing industry, so he moved the store and opened up a winery next door. He has great staff if you are making beer, but if you are making wine, cider, mead, etc, they all have to get out manuals, cheat sheets, and whatever else. These people don’t know what they are talking about, and I’ve gotten in a few arguments with them and left without purchasing anything. Unfortunately, my husband, who makes beer, is also frustrated with them. Quite often they are out of products, so he finds himself quite often substituting ingredients in his recipes, and it makes him nervous.

Now the winery next door allows you to make your own wine using their facilities. I have to tell you, I’ve been tempted. It would be nice to have some hands on experience using industry equipment, but I won’t because the process is that you pick out the wine you want to make from a kit, and then come back in eight weeks to label the bottles. Whoa! What happened to checking the airlock, racking, bottling, and all that other stuff that happens in that time? Those are great learning experiences!

However, if all you want is a customized wine, don’t want to invest in equipment, and/or don’t want to monitor the production, this is a good route to take, and I know of at least one other place that does this, and one beer brewery that does, too. But this isn’t for me.

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