2011 Green Apple / Riesling

March 2011Having made a few “fun wines” in the past, I decided to make a couple this spring. This one struck my fancy.

I have no clear memory of why I made a special label for my niece, but I bottled several with the following label:

Not that the reason matters, just that she loved it!


Kit Winexpert Selection Original Series Wine Kit — Green Apple – Riesling
Bentonite yes
Yeast Red Star Premier Cuvee (included in kit)
Sugar 8 cups [The fun wines are designed for low alcohol (6.5%) — I kick then up to about 10%]
Sulfite yes
Sorbate yes
Kieselsol yes
Chitosan yes


Started kit according to directions. Used powered stirring rod to mix bentonite package into hot water.

Added concentrate and rinsed bag. Topped primary up to 6 gallons.

Note: Added additional sugar to raise the SG, as these kits are designed to produce 6.5% alcohol; I generally kick them up to 9% to 10%.

SG 1.078
Wine is barely fermenting. Added Lalvin EC 1118 yeast to kick start it. 03/26/2011
SG 1.065
Still not fermenting well. Added Red Star Champagne yeast. 03/29/2011
SG 1.060
Racked the wine into a carboy and gallon jug. This wine is fermenting VERY slowly so I want it into a carboy to avoid infection. 04/02/2011
SG 1.036
Ignored the wine for a month; it cleared so fermentation is probably done.

Racked it. Hydrometer confirms fermentation is done.

SG 0.992
Using powered stirring rod, stirred in metabisulphite and sorbate, apple F-Pack, and then isinglass. 04/30/2011
SG 1.012
Racked. 06/05/2011
SG 1.012
Bottled. 09/14/2011
SG 1.012


Yield 28.5 bottles
Alcohol 11.7%
Residual Sugar 3.1%
09/14/2011 Another one that is tasty at bottling. It may be that leaving an extra couple months in the carboy helps, something I hadn’t noticed before in kits. Although to be fair, in the past I’ve left a few on the lees too long which produces off flavors.
11/11/2011 This one is growing on me. Too sweet for normal meals, although people who like sweet wines might call it dry. Definitely fruity, the type of wine I’d make at most once a year.
05/02/2014 2-1/2 years in the bottle, I’ve still got a case left. That is a good indication I’ll not make it again soon. Technically it’s a good wine but it’s just not what I drink. I do feed it to people who aren’t wine drinkers and they like it, so I expect I’ll make another fun wine when this and the Pomegranate/Zinfandel wind down. But just *1* kit at at time.
10/28/2018 This one and the Pomegranate/Zinfandel lasted 7 years in the bottle. I gave the last few to my niece and my sister, and both wines were well in their prime. I’m seriously surprised, especially since the “fun wine” kits are not the robust ones.