You may have noticed a trend in home winemaking, which is the addition of grape skins in selected wine kits. Skins can be a great addition to your home wine kit, after all commercial wineries ferment their wines with maximum skin contact. We stock several kits that include skins such as our Eclipse line, our Limited Release BraVado, our Selection skins kits and our World Vineyard 12L line of kits.
Why add extra grape skins?
Adding extra skins to your kits can enhance your wine in many ways. Skins can help add more dimension, more character and a more complex and developed bouquet to your final product. Skins can add depth and richness and a fuller texture (mouth feel) as well. In short, skins can push the quality of your wine up and give you that “WOW” factor that all wine lovers search for. However, there are a few very important factors to consider- not all skins are created equal!
Firstly, skins are expensive. Higher-end kits can justify the expense of added skins, but beware of bottom-end kits offering extra skins since the quality just won’t be there. Skins need to be specifically processed for the home winemaking industry in order to properly balance the tannins.
Secondly, it is also incredibly important that the extra skins you are adding to your wine kit are specifically formatted for the type of wine you are making. Adding generic skins to your wine simply won’t work, and the wine can end up becoming out of balance and clumsy. No amount of extra ageing time will be able to smooth out an overload of tannins.
We have seen many kits on the market simply throw in grape skins to their products as a kind of promotion. It is important to remember that extra skins are not a gimmick! If the skins are not perfectly formatted for the specific style of wine kit you are making, the kit will be better off without them.
We here at the Home Vintner pride ourselves on providing the highest quality wine kits possible, kits that yield wine fit for serving even at the tasting rooms of the world’s best wineries. For this reason, we are extremely picky about which kits we will stock, and you can be confident that you are getting name-brand quality wines.