How wine lovers save by bottling it themselves

An inexpensive alternative to buying pricey wine and beer is to bottle your own. Make-your-own establishments do most of the work for you and save you money. Here's how save without sacrificing taste.

How wine lovers save by bottling it themselves

Bottling basics

  • Prices range from approximately $3.50 to $5 per 750 ml bottle. There's usually a 30-bottle minimum, so the cost will range from just over $100 to $150 and usually includes corks, shrink caps and labels.
  • Stores will charge about 50 cents each for used bottles and 85 cents for new ones. Ask friends to save their bottles if you don't bring your own.
  • There's a large variety of both red and white grape concentrate from which to choose.
  • Australian shiraz and sauvignon blanc are bestsellers
  • Italian amarone has become quite popular as it turns out quite well and sells for around $30 a bottle at the liquor store.

Work less, play more

You only need to visit the store twice: once, to order and pay; and a second time to bottle the batch six to eight weeks later. The staff will do the rest, including adding the yeast and stabilizing to stop fermentation, clarification and filtration.

A drink with friends

If you don't want to spend that much or don't want so many bottles, share a batch with a friend. Better yet, share more than one batch with a friend, have fun while bottling and bring home a variety.

Become a brewmaster

For fans of suds, you can save about 50 percent by brewing your own. The cost runs between $95 and $120 for a full batch, which produces the equivalent of six cases of 24. The staff does most of the work: you come in at the end to bottle it.

Do-it-yourself wine and beer has been steadily growing in popularity thanks to its quality products and accessible cost. If you love wine or beer, getting into bottling your own can save you a lot of money and isn't as much work as you may think.

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