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Costco's Vino Europa


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#1 Mark Duddridge

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Posted 21 March 2006 - 09:43 AM

In a moment of weakness I just recently ended up buying one of the twin-kit Vino Europa kits sold by Costco. In my defense they were $12 off, which brought the total price to $48 ($24/kit) including labels, corks, and shrink caps.

Until now I haven't made a lower quality kit then a Selection International (15 litre) or Cru Select (16 litre), and I realize my newly acquired Vino Europa kits won't come even close to these in terms of quality. I was wondering, however, if any of you have tried these kits and what your assessment of them was.

I drink mostly reds, but the one that was on sale was the Chardonnay/Semillon twin pack (I think 7 litres each).

Will they be drinkable? Would you recommend doctoring them up with bananas?

Mark
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#2 Brian_Lundeen

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Posted 21 March 2006 - 10:04 AM

QUOTE (Mark Duddridge @ Mar 21 2006, 10:15 AM)
In a moment of weakness I just recently ended up buying one of the twin-kit Vino Europa kits sold by Costco.  In my defense they were $12 off, which brought the total price to $48 ($24/kit) including labels, corks, and shrink caps.

Will they be drinkable?  Would you recommend doctoring them up with bananas?


Make up one kit as per the instructions to teach you not to make such a mistake in the future. Serve when the in-laws visit. biggrin.gif

Make up the other kit to a significantly reduced volume as a dessert wine. I would add just enough water to get a starting SG around 1.120. Pick up a yeast known for quitting with some residual sugar. You want it to finish around 1.030. If you can chill it at that SG, that would help. It will be unctuously sweet balanced with high acidity from the reduced volume.

Just a suggestion. I figure at that price, you can afford to experiment.

Brian
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#3 Psyguy

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Posted 21 March 2006 - 10:07 AM

QUOTE (Mark Duddridge @ Mar 21 2006, 11:15 AM)
Will they be drinkable?  Would you recommend doctoring them up with bananas?

Mark


As to whether they are drinkable or not (or should be doctored or not) - that's really up to you. You've never made them before, so you have no idea if you'll like them or not. Sure, you can ask what others think, but keep in mind that there are some people who would say you should never make wine from a kit if you want it to be drinkable. So I'd suggest making up one, and if that isn't to your liking, then start doctoring around. But to start off doctoring them without ever having made a 7 - 8 liter kit is kind of like ordering something that you've never ever eaten before at a restaurant, and then putting a lot of salt on it without first tasting the food.
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#4 cpfan

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Posted 21 March 2006 - 10:27 AM

Mark:

I talk to customers regularly that like these Costco 2-in-1 kits. If anything, it sounds like they are low in body, but OK in taste. I have not tried one myself.

Steve
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#5 Tim Vandergrift

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Posted 21 March 2006 - 11:11 AM

Why don't you tell us? Make at least one of the kits up exactly as per the instructions and as a little project you can inform everyone of the progress and how it tastes.

I'm interested to hear your impressions, and I know everyone else is as well.

#6 Mark Duddridge

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Posted 21 March 2006 - 11:13 AM

QUOTE (Tim Vandergrift @ Mar 21 2006, 12:43 PM)
Why don't you tell us? Make at least one of the kits up exactly as per the instructions and as a little project you can inform everyone of the progress and how it tastes.

I'm interested to hear your impressions, and I know everyone else is as well.

Will do!

Mark
"Nothing more excellent or valuable than wine was ever granted by the Gods to man." - Plato

#7 KevinNS

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Posted 21 March 2006 - 12:00 PM

I've done that twin pack before. For me, they are good for the starting winemaker (as I was) to quickly have some white table wine without much aging. I found they were surprisingly good after a month in the bottle, but didn't improve beyond that. In contrast, I've done some larger white kits that weren't very ggod at one month, but then surpassed the smaller ones by three months.

To be truthful, I've had commercial Chardonnay/Semillon that wasn't as tasty to me as these small Costco kits. Some commercial brands are quite harsh to my taste. The Vino Europa won't make great wine, but it is drinkable.

#8 David_Québec

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Posted 21 March 2006 - 12:11 PM

60 bottles to top your carboy wink.gif

you should have a decent wine like a "Chai maison" or something in this "caliber"

this type of wine you use when there is too much people at your party wink.gif
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#9 Mark Duddridge

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Posted 21 March 2006 - 12:44 PM

QUOTE (KevinNS @ Mar 21 2006, 01:32 PM)
I've done that twin pack before. For me, they are good for the starting winemaker (as I was) to quickly have some white table wine without much aging. I found they were surprisingly good after a month in the bottle, but didn't improve beyond that. In contrast, I've done some larger white kits that weren't very ggod at one month, but then surpassed the smaller ones by three months.

To be truthful, I've had commercial Chardonnay/Semillon that wasn't as tasty to me as these small Costco kits. Some commercial brands are quite harsh to my taste. The Vino Europa won't make great wine, but it is drinkable.

Well that's reassuring! It will be nice to have some wine I can drink in the near future. All my other wine won't be properly aged until Christmas!

Mark
"Nothing more excellent or valuable than wine was ever granted by the Gods to man." - Plato

#10 Flavia

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Posted 22 March 2006 - 09:35 AM

QUOTE (Mark Duddridge @ Mar 21 2006, 06:15 PM)
In a moment of weakness I just recently ended up buying one of the twin-kit Vino Europa kits sold by Costco.  In my defense they were $12 off, which brought the total price to $48 ($24/kit) including labels, corks, and shrink caps.

Until now I haven't made a lower quality kit then a Selection International (15 litre) or Cru Select (16 litre), and I realize my newly acquired Vino Europa kits won't come even close to these in terms of quality.  I was wondering, however, if any of you have tried these kits and what your assessment of them was.

I drink mostly reds, but the one that was on sale was the Chardonnay/Semillon twin pack (I think 7 litres each).

Will they be drinkable?  Would you recommend doctoring them up with bananas?

Mark


Hello Mark,

Firstly I would like to introduce myself. My name is Flavia and I am the Export Sales Manager (for Extra European Countries) of Rudolf Keller s.r.l. FYI Rudolf Keller is an Italian manufacturer of single strength juices and grape juice concentrates as well as the owner of Advintage Distribution and Paklab Products Inc.

Although both divisions (Advintage and Paklab) are under the same umbrella they were specifically created with the purpose of serving two different trade channels: Paklab Products is the division selling to Costco or other Grocery stores across Canada while Advintage is the one selling exclusively to specialized boutiques.

I would like to thank you for starting this topic because it is very important for us as wine kits manufacturer to know the consumer’s feedbacks about our products and as Tim said we are all interested to hear your impressions…isn’t this one of the greatest benefits offered by a forum? Sharing different experiences and opinions make us learn and enhance our knowledge.

This being said I kindly invite you to make your Vino Europa double kit without regrets (you can try each single variety or ferment both varieties together to obtain a Chardonnay/Semillon blend) and just let us know your opinion!

From what I can tell you the wine you are going to make will be a good wine for everyday entertaining and best consumed young. I believe this is what most people expect when they buy a smaller kit format like Vino Europa.

I also believe it is important to compare apples to apples. For example I do not think it is appropriate to compare a 7 L product vs. a 15 L or brands sold at Grocery store level with those sold by the specialized stores. Another important factor to be kept into consideration in my view is the quality vs. price ratio.

I can reassure you that many people buy our Vino Europa kits (or other brands available at Costco) on a regular basis and they are happy with the results they get…again I think quality really depends on your expectations.

Anyway, I hope you can find this information useful and I look forward to receive your comments about the finished wine.

Thank you for taking the chance and Have a great day!

Flavia
[FONT=Arial][SIZE=1][COLOR=green]
Export Sales Manager
(for Extra European Countries)
RUDOLF KELLER SRL
www.rudolf-keller.it

#11 Mark Duddridge

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Posted 22 March 2006 - 03:45 PM

Thank you for your comments, Flavia! I appreciate your time in responding to my post. I will certainly keep in mind the "Quality vs Price" ratio you are talking about. That's why I initially bought them!

Mark
"Nothing more excellent or valuable than wine was ever granted by the Gods to man." - Plato

#12 RobM

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Posted 22 March 2006 - 03:52 PM

QUOTE (Mark Duddridge @ Mar 22 2006, 04:17 PM)
Thank you for your comments, Flavia!  I appreciate your time in responding to my post.  I will certainly keep in mind the "Quality vs Price" ratio you are talking about.  That's why I initially bought them!

Mark



I am drinking a vino euopia Merlot that I added the spent grape pack from a Rosso Fortimissimo. It is 8 months and it is OK. It is certainly drinkable as a table wine. For the price it is OK.

I did a 16L Chianti last year purchased at Cosco and it was aweful.

Rob

#13 Tim Vandergrift

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Posted 22 March 2006 - 04:34 PM

Welcome, Flavia! I hope you come back and post here on a regular basis--I know many people are interested in your kits, and would benefit from your knowledge.

#14 Envchemist

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Posted 22 March 2006 - 08:13 PM

Welcome Flavia,
We on the other hand love having Reps on the site. Then if we have questions we can ask them. Plus you can bet we'll give feedback!!

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#15 jen

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Posted 24 March 2006 - 08:43 AM

I've done quite a few of the costco kits because they are great to have for summer parties and .75 - .80 cents a bottle can't be wrong. Having said that I haven't done that one. I do however make the merlot/cabernet kit fairly often because it's a nice "quick to the ready" red and a few bananas doesn't hurt either. I have also made some of their fruit ones, but I no longer make any "fruit kits" since I find ALL of them too sweet. The only paklab I would never make again because it's bad is the pinot noir. It was horrid for the first couple of months and although it's slightly better, much of it has been poured down the drain. No body and an almost bitter woody taste....like it was aged in plywood.....oh well there is always some poor sot at the party who will drink it al_coholic.gif




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