Do Wine Kits Have A Shelf Life?

Written by Simon in Making Wine
Image Credits: Pixabay.com

A question that crossed my mind lately was whether or not a winemaking kit could actually expire.

In this blog post, I will provide my findings on this question and explain how to properly store your kit to make it last as long as possible among other tips for winemaking kits.

Do Wine Kits Have a Shelf Life? Wine kits will usually last for a very long time, often between 12-20 months. Over time wine kits will lose some of their properties, but will rarely have health risks even if you use them after expiration dates. Storing wine kits properly will extend their shelf life substantially.

Read on as I dive into how the shelf life of wine kits work, and what to do to make them last longer.

So, Do Wine Kits Have an Expiration Date?

Like most food based products, wine kits have an expiration date which is found on the box/packaging.

In reality, wine kits don’t really in the way we know from food products, they simply just lose some of their properties over time.

Over time your wine kit might slowly oxidate which can be quite damaging to the properties of your wine once you finally make it.

The overall guideline among home winemakers is to use the wine kit within a year or slightly longer, to make sure that it’s properties are as good as when your purchased it.

Often the expiration date you may have for your specific kit is actually a lot shorter than in reality.

If you store your wine kits properly they may very well last quite a bit longer than the manufacturers expiration date.

Proper Storage of Wine Kits

To make sure your wine kit doesn’t go bad if you don’t plan to use it in the foreseeable future, you have to make sure you are storing it correctly.

Like with most alcohols keep it away from direct sunlight, and preferably any light in general.

Think of it the same way as storing finished wine, you want to keep it away from light and at the proper temperature.

Keep it stored below room temperature if possible, but not too cold.

A good rule of thumb is to store it at the same temperature as the wine it makes should be stored at, this will give it the best conditions to last for a long time.

There is No “Definite” Answer

When it comes to wine kits, there honestly isn't any real answer when it comes to exact expiration dates.

All we can do is make guidelines from various experiences, but we do know that storing them properly will definitely help them last the longest.

Even if you have a big hunch that your wine kit might have expired, there isn’t any problem in using it anyway.

You can quite easily taste or smell if the wine kit has lost its properties, and then simply throw it away.

If you don’t want to waste time using a wine kit you think has expired, then buying a new one might be the best solution to avoid potentially wasting your time.

5 Great Wine Kits

So now that you know the facts about expiration dates of wine kits it might be time to try them out yourself!

In this section, I will go over 5 different wine kits.

2 of these kits are equipment kits which have all the tools you need to make wine, and the last 3 are ingredient kits which you can combine with an equipment kit to have everything you need to make wine!

Wild Grapes Premium Wine Kit - California Cabernet Sauvignon

Price: ~$67.99

Store Page

The first kit on the list is an ingredient kit which will grant you 6 gallons of finished wine.

The wine type made with this kit is a California Cabernet Sauvignon which is described as having a full body taste with a mouthwatering aroma and taste of berries.

The kit contains a Wine base, yeast pack, fining agents and 30 labels.

The kit also comes with detailed instructions which will help you make some delicious wine which can be ready to drink after just 4 weeks!

Midwest Homebrewing 1 Gallon Wine Kit

Price: ~$50

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In this kit you will find all the equipment you need, as well as some easy instructions as to how to set it up and use it.

All you gotta do is purchase some fresh fruit and some bottles as well as corks to use along with the kit and you will have your own homemade wine in no time!

You can use any type of fruit which can be both fresh or canned. From personal experience, as well as researching the topic, grapes will generally be the easiest in terms of creating wine the easiest.

This wine kit includes:

  • Winemaker Recipe Handbook with over 100 recipes
  • 2 Gallon Plastic Fermenter with lid
  • 1-gallon jug
  • Tubing
  • 15” Racking cane
  • Airlock
  • Drilled screw-top cap
  • Straining bag
  • 2. Oz Oxygen wash
  • Campden tablets
  • Pectin enzyme
  • Potassium sorbate
  • Yeast and yeast nutrient
  • Acid blend and wine tannin-note

Fontana Handcrafted Cabernet Sauvignon Style Wine Kit

Price: ~$50

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Made from the finest grape concentrate that California has to offer, this kit will provide you with approx. 6 gallons of delicious grape wine.

This kit will provide the ingredients needed, but no equipment, which you will have to provide yourself.

Includes step-by-step instructions making it easy to avoid any errors for the unseasoned winemaker.

All the aromas and flavors in this wine are completely natural without any artificial aspects at all!

North Mountain Supply 1 Gallon Wine Kit

Price: ~$99.99

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This kit is a winemaking equipment kit that supplies everything you need to make wine - except the fruit and the bottles.

For the beginners, this wine kit includes a detailed step-by-step instruction manual which will guide you through the winemaking process.

Use any type of fruit along with bottles you have procured yourself to make wine at home easily!

This kit includes:

  • 2 Gallon Fermenter
  • 1 Gallon Glass jug
  • Recipe book
  • Step-by-step instructions
  • Auto-siphon
  • 5’ of siphon hose
  • 2 Airlocks
  • Bung & Screw cap
  • Straining bag
  • 4 oz. oxygen wash
  • 50 Campden tablets
  • Pectic Enzyme
  • Stabilizer
  • 3 Yeast packs
  • Nutrients
  • Acid blend
  • Tannin
  • Energizer
  • Hydrometer w/ test jar
  • Glass wine thief
  • Corks + Corker
  • Shrink caps
  • Bottle filler

Master Vintner Winemaker’s Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon Wine Recipe Kit

Price: ~$89.99

Store Page

This wine kit from Master Wintner is top notch in terms of wine ingredient kits.

This kit includes the top grapes from the world’s best wine regions to make sure the wine you make is at the maximum quality possible for homemade wine.

Comes with 10L grape quality grape juice, Fining Agents and high quality Yeast.

This Master Vintner kit will surely impress your friends and family and showcase your wine making abilities.

About Us

Hello, my name is Simon. Together with a group of writers I write about brewing beer and making wine. We all share a passion for the great things in life, such as making stuff from scratch.

The business of HomeBrewAdvice is to bring you great information, stories and product reviews from brewing at home, and making wine