2003 Black Cherry / Pinot Noir

June 2003 – I’m about ready to bottle the kit I started last fall. I tried it last week and was quite pleased. So I logged onto Wine-Kitz and ordered two of their “fun” wines. One is a Black Cherry/inot Noir and the other is a Peach/Chardonnay.

July 2003 – During the past few years my enthusiasm for wine making has really taken a nose dive. I had an interest in doing it, but was always too busy doing other things. My enthusiasm just didn’t match my interest. I’ve had some less than optimal experiences with North Carolina grapes in the past few years; that may have had a lot to do with it.

But now my enthusiasm is back to where it used to be! Maybe it was the taste of the wine I bottled in late June that did it. But it doesn’t matter why; I’m back in the saddle again!

October 2018 – This was the first “fun wine” kit I made, a base wine sweetened with fruit juice. My interest in these wines has varied, but I have to admit they are consistent crowd pleasers.


Kit Wine-Kitz Black Cherry Pinot Noir Kit
Tannin/ Nutrient together in 1 packet
Yeast Lalvin EC-1118
Sulfite Yes
Sorbate Yes
Fining Agent My notes say “fining agent”, but I’m guessing that means kieselsol/chitosan


Started wine, following the directions. Added grape juice & concentrate to fermenter; topped up to 6 gallons.

Added Packet #1 (tannin and yeast nutrient) and yeast.

IMO SG was a bit low, but the directions call for a SG of 1.060 to 1.070. Of course, this is a “wine beverage”, not a wine. Supposed to let it ferment for 7 days.

SG 1.070
Racked the wine after 8 days (didn’t have time on Saturday). Now it’s supposed to go 10 days to the next racking. I’m planning on doing my wines on Saturdays, so it will go 13 days. More time is OK … 07/20/2003
SG 0.992
Racked the wine after 13 days, as planned. Not as much sediment as I expected. Added sorbate, fining agent, & sulfite, plus black cherry concentrate. Interesting aroma. 08/02/2003
SG 1.005
Instructions said to rack after an additional 2 weeks and bottle, but I got busy and didn’t get to it. Racked it, sediment nicely compacted.

According to the instructions I can bottle now, but I’m going to let it set a bit.

SG 1.005
Let it set a bit longer than I expected. Bottled it. 11/04/2003
SG 1.005


Yield 28 bottles
Alcohol 10.6% before adding the F-pack. I’m not sure how much that diluted the wine.
Afterthoughts I’m trying something different with this kit — I’m going to follow the directions, instead of winging it. We’ll see how this comes out.
If I make another “fun” wine I’m going to jack the initial brix up to 22 or 23. The alcohol is low and with the dilution with the juice it’s even lower — not that I expect much shelf life from the wine, but 7% is way too low.
01/28/2004 Tried the first bottle — WOW! It’s a bit sweeter than I expected. Not bad, but definitely NOT what I was expecting!
06/07/2004 It’s mellowed a bit with age, although given the low alcohol content it probably has a low shelf life. But that is *quite* unlikely to be a problem!