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Wine on a Budget


If you’re enjoying wine on a budget, now might be a very good time to consider making your own. Read on to find out why.


Climate Change

I know everyone is feeling climate change fatigue, but it’s a real concern.

After each wildfire season, which gets worse every year, the vines suffer from smoke taint. I recently had a wine of a more recent vintage than I’d had before and could taste the smokiness. For me it was unpleasant so I won’t order that one again. It’s great when you make your own wine because your vintages will always have consistent results.

The recent extended deep freeze in BC also wreaked havoc on the grapevines owned by commercial winemakers. Some growers have been hit with nearly a total loss of this year’s crop, which means BC wine is going to be scarce and therefore more expensive. Additionally, more wines will need to be imported from other regions that haven’t been hit so hard. Imported wines are usually more expensive because they are subject to duties and taxes.

Transportation issues during wildfire and winter seasons can also be compromised. This might mean a shortage of supply of wines. Again, an increase in imports, which leads to an average increase in the cost of commercial wines. You’ll see this when you go out for dinner and want to order a bottle of wine.


Wine on a Budget

To manage drinking wine on a budget takes a bit of planning because making your own wine takes time. For example, when you start your wine, it will take 4 to 8 weeks to ferment. After you’ve bottled it, depending on the wine you chose, it may need to be aged for up to 6 months.

You’ll need a place to store your wine as well so you don’t want to have too much on hand if you live in a small place. This is where forming a wine club works tremendously. Say you have 4 wine-loving friends. You can form a wine club, make 5 batches of different wines and take 6 bottles home of each. Therefore, you have some variety in your wine cellar. Each time you bottle your wines, it’s time to start more.

Our wines stand up against commercial wines in blind tastings, often placing first or second. One of our customers regularly wins national and international awards.


Doing the Math

The cost of making your own wine is incredibly low and there are options from Bronze to Silver to Gold to Platinum. Bronze wines take 4 weeks to ferment and are drinkable at the time you bottle them. Silver wines take 6 weeks to ferment and need a little aging after bottling, especially the reds. Gold and Platinum wines take 8 weeks to ferment and need more time to age after bottling. The quality of wine is good at every level but the depth and complexity increase as you move up the ladder.

When you make your own wine, there’s very little tax to pay. In fact, there’s no tax on the wine itself because you are manufacturing it. All you pay is tax on the winery fees, corks, shrink caps and labels. If a batch of Platinum wine costs $250 plus just under $3 tax, you can do the math to figure out how much 30 bottles costs. These days, you’d probably only get 10 bottles of commercial wine for that price and it may not even be as good!

Each time you make a new batch, you re-use your bottles so it’s also environmentally friendly.


Hobby or Lifestyle

We’ve been making our own wines since 2000 and love them! They have less preservatives so they are healthier to drink. We tend to make wines in the Gold and Platinum categories and in some cases, we prefer them to some of the more expensive commercial wines. We’ve had a lot of fun doing pairings and tastings and also learning more about varietals, regions and wines in general. It’s no longer just a hobby but it’s a lifestyle.

So if you’re looking for a new hobby that allows you to enjoy great quality wines on a budget, this is it!  Happy Winemaking!



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