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SpectrumFX

Cheap Wine

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Good news for wine drinkers.

Unless you live in Scotland or Wales where you'll be forced to pay high prices come what may by the gobshite regional governments. 

And of course the EU stands ready to spend tax payers money to keep prices high for everybody. Fucking cunts.

 

 

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I haven't noticed an increase in alcohol prices in Wales. It seems to have been pegged at a certain price per litre. If you were already buying alcohol above that price then it does not seem to have affected most stuff. Unless, of course, the supermarkets are taking the hit.

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Hmm.  Is that real?

My experience of 'wine drinking' in most European countries (and much of the UK) is that consumption is broadly flat irrespective of seasons, conditions -- ie, if people don't drink at a restaurant then they'll drink at home.  I'd even suggest that the various lockdowns have increased overall consumption (ie, drinking to cope with the mental effects of lockdown).

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21 minutes ago, swiss_democracy_for_all said:

I've noticed that the Co-op (equivalent of Waitrose here) is doing lots of cheap special deals on wine. 

Bought 4 boxes of 6 of a very decent red last week for 80 CHF (about 3 quid a bottle) 

Not so easy to nip across the French border these days to shop, I imagine.

I shop for an OAP friend of mine here in Switzerland. I get him a 3 litre box from Lidl Suisse* every week or so - 8.95 CHF, IIRC. Lidl also do bottles of organic wine for 5 CHF.

Like Easyjet Suisse - love the Swiss marketing of furrin companies here.

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Alcohol is like petrol - merely a vehicle for the state to tax people. Whilst we are at maximum fuckage with petrol I expect the situation to become worse for alcohol as taxes rise but the actual product become cheaper.

Last time I checked we pay £3.50 for a 50p bottle of vinegar  paint-thinner wine. In a few years I would expect this to become £5 for a 20p bottle. It is the best argument for buying £10+ bottles of wine ever as the second £5 is spent entirely on the quality of the wine whereas the first £5 is spent on bottling, tax and shipping.

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32 minutes ago, Heffalump said:

Not so easy to nip across the French border these days to shop, I imagine.

I shop for an OAP friend of mine here in Switzerland. I get him a 3 litre box from Lidl Suisse* every week or so - 8.95 CHF, IIRC. Lidl also do bottles of organic wine for 5 CHF.

Like Easyjet Suisse - love the Swiss marketing of furrin companies here.

Tbh Co-op is pretty good for wine if you look out for their good deals and buy a decent number when they come along. There are lots of deals that should be avoided, cheap <> good,  but the odd little jewel like the one I found the other day. They're loss-leaders to get you in the store sometimes, I think. 

However for everything else they're extortionate so better to shop at Lidl/Aldi or in France (when possible, after 11th May I think)

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1 hour ago, dgul said:

Hmm.  Is that real?

My experience of 'wine drinking' in most European countries (and much of the UK) is that consumption is broadly flat irrespective of seasons, conditions -- ie, if people don't drink at a restaurant then they'll drink at home.  I'd even suggest that the various lockdowns have increased overall consumption (ie, drinking to cope with the mental effects of lockdown).

A surprising number of countries have banned alcohol sales for the lock down (to try to prevent parties).

That's probably going so way to off-set the massive increase of consumption in the UK  ;)

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1 minute ago, TheNickos said:

I’ve got a fermentation barrel in the garage, how easy is it to make wine/use the thing

To make wine you need fruit, vegetables or wild flower. (even those bastard Dandelions in your back garden)

Yeast (couple of quid from Wilko) 

Sugar. Couple of Kilos or so depending on how much you want to make. 

A container for it to stew in. 

A container with some sort of airlock to ferment in. 

That is basically it. Sure some fruits require extra chemicals to assist in breaking down the cells etc but by and large, the above is fundamentally it. 

Almost Elderflower season. Learn how to identify that and you can make a superb white. Don't take all the elderflower though, as if you leave plenty, in a further 3 months, they will turn into Elderberries and you can almost make a Port from them. 

Plenty of recipes and guides online. Trial and error. 

Defo worth a crack. 

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10 hours ago, The Masked Tulip said:

I haven't noticed an increase in alcohol prices in Wales. It seems to have been pegged at a certain price per litre. If you were already buying alcohol above that price then it does not seem to have affected most stuff. Unless, of course, the supermarkets are taking the hit.

The minimum price is 50p per unit of alcohol. Most reasonable wines and virtually all spirits are already above that, which might be why you haven't noticed.

However the cider we used to use for cooking turned out to be 7.3% with 2L previously being 5.99 -- minimum price now 7.30 :(

It's easy enough to ferment apple juice instead but I do resent losing out on possible wine bargains.

Supermarkets can't legally take the hit since it's a minimum price, not a tax.

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, TheNickos said:

I’ve got a fermentation barrel in the garage, how easy is it to make wine/use the thing

Very easy, although some people like make it very complicated. Easiest one I've done is jam wine, dump 4 jars of jam in a demijohn, add yeast + nutrient + water and wait a week and bottle ready to drink straight away, no need to age. Works out at 50p a bottle or thereabouts.

 

Edited by gibbon

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26 minutes ago, gibbon said:

Very easy, although some people like make it very complicated. Easiest one I've done is jam wine, dump 4 jars of jam in a demijohn, add yeast + nutrient + water and wait a week and bottle ready to drink straight away, no need to age. Works out at 50p a bottle or thereabouts.

 

On a scale of 1 to 10, if the taste of a really classy commercial wine is 9 or 10, a drinkable commercial wine is 6, and a nasty cheap Australian gloopy Shiraz-cabernet is 3, (I might expect this to taste a bit similar as some of them taste like gone-off blackcurrant jam)  - what number is this?

 

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11 hours ago, billfunk said:

Alcohol is like petrol - merely a vehicle for the state to tax people. Whilst we are at maximum fuckage with petrol I expect the situation to become worse for alcohol as taxes rise but the actual product become cheaper.

Last time I checked we pay £3.50 for a 50p bottle of vinegar  paint-thinner wine. In a few years I would expect this to become £5 for a 20p bottle. It is the best argument for buying £10+ bottles of wine ever as the second £5 is spent entirely on the quality of the wine whereas the first £5 is spent on bottling, tax and shipping.

E1.80 for a very decent bottle of white wine in Spain.

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11 hours ago, gibbon said:

Very easy, although some people like make it very complicated. Easiest one I've done is jam wine, dump 4 jars of jam in a demijohn, add yeast + nutrient + water and wait a week and bottle ready to drink straight away, no need to age. Works out at 50p a bottle or thereabouts.

 

Informative but I can't listen to him for long. Is that an "I was born in Sarth Afrikka but moved away when I was a kid" accent? 

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I've got an anecdote to share on this subject. Be interesting to see if it's true or not...

 

I once lived with a fella who said he's grandfather made his money being one of the first to bring boxed wine to market. He said the first tests on shelf started exploding on shelf because they'd used "good" wine and it was still undergoing some form of fermentation. They changed it to pasteurised (presumably to kill off the excess yeast) and shitter quality wine and that seemed to fix it.

 

Any substance to that or horseshit?

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8 minutes ago, Thombleached said:

I've got an anecdote to share on this subject. Be interesting to see if it's true or not...

 

I once lived with a fella who said he's grandfather made his money being one of the first to bring boxed wine to market. He said the first tests on shelf started exploding on shelf because they'd used "good" wine and it was still undergoing some form of fermentation. They changed it to pasteurised (presumably to kill off the excess yeast) and shitter quality wine and that seemed to fix it.

 

Any substance to that or horseshit?

Given how rank wine in a box tastes, sounds plausible!

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4 minutes ago, Thombleached said:

I've got an anecdote to share on this subject. Be interesting to see if it's true or not...

 

I once lived with a fella who said he's grandfather made his money being one of the first to bring boxed wine to market. He said the first tests on shelf started exploding on shelf because they'd used "good" wine and it was still undergoing some form of fermentation. They changed it to pasteurised (presumably to kill off the excess yeast) and shitter quality wine and that seemed to fix it.

 

Any substance to that or horseshit?

Enough ongoing fermentation to explode a flexible box container is surely enough to pop a wine cork.

So unless they were using wine that hadn't finished fermenting (which would be an inexplicable choice) it sounds like horseshit to me.

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Posted (edited)
12 hours ago, swiss_democracy_for_all said:

On a scale of 1 to 10, if the taste of a really classy commercial wine is 9 or 10, a drinkable commercial wine is 6, and a nasty cheap Australian gloopy Shiraz-cabernet is 3, (I might expect this to taste a bit similar as some of them taste like gone-off blackcurrant jam)  - what number is this?

 

That jam wine has a completely different taste than grape wine and nowhere near has full bodied, so hard to compare, still it's nicer than a lot of the undrinkable supermarket swill I've purchased by accident, but if it was a choice between it and a top notch commercial red wine I'd take the latter. However there's definitely something to be said though about drinking the fruits of your labour and sticking your finger up at the rip off prices and taxes on a bottle of supermarket plonk.

First lot I made was a grape wine, got a Merlot wine kit from Wilko. I'd say it was around a 8 on your scale. Did need to bottle age about 3 months though to improve it, straight out the demijohn I'd say it was a 4.

Edited by gibbon

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Posted (edited)
5 hours ago, Thombleached said:

I've got an anecdote to share on this subject. Be interesting to see if it's true or not...

 

I once lived with a fella who said he's grandfather made his money being one of the first to bring boxed wine to market. He said the first tests on shelf started exploding on shelf because they'd used "good" wine and it was still undergoing some form of fermentation. They changed it to pasteurised (presumably to kill off the excess yeast) and shitter quality wine and that seemed to fix it.

 

Any substance to that or horseshit?

I wouldn't of thought it had much to do with the quality of the wine, rather that the original stuff they were getting was still fermenting. Pasteurising it did the trick in killing the yeast off, normally they use sulfites in commercial wine.

I don't normally kill my yeast off as I ferment to dryness so there shouldn't be any sugar left for them to consume and give off co2. I don't want to add any chemicals e.g. sulfites to my wine. Sadly this wasn't the case when I made some mead and ended up with some bottle bombs.

Edited by gibbon

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20 hours ago, Sucralose Ray Leonard said:

To make wine you need fruit, vegetables or wild flower. (even those bastard Dandelions in your back garden)

Yeast (couple of quid from Wilko) 

Sugar. Couple of Kilos or so depending on how much you want to make. 

A container for it to stew in. 

A container with some sort of airlock to ferment in. 

That is basically it. Sure some fruits require extra chemicals to assist in breaking down the cells etc but by and large, the above is fundamentally it. 

Almost Elderflower season. Learn how to identify that and you can make a superb white. Don't take all the elderflower though, as if you leave plenty, in a further 3 months, they will turn into Elderberries and you can almost make a Port from them. 

Plenty of recipes and guides online. Trial and error. 

Defo worth a crack. 

Mum always used to make elderflower, one of the best apparently. Also makes a decent  champagne IIRC. 

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3 minutes ago, onlyme said:

Mum always used to make elderflower, one of the best apparently. Also makes a decent  champagne IIRC. 

Years ago i knew a woman who made this, god it was wonderful stuff. A very slight sparkle to it. 

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Posted (edited)
18 hours ago, gibbon said:

Very easy, although some people like make it very complicated. Easiest one I've done is jam wine, dump 4 jars of jam in a demijohn, add yeast + nutrient + water and wait a week and bottle ready to drink straight away, no need to age. Works out at 50p a bottle or thereabouts.

 

Thanks, it never occurred to me to use jam - though now I think of it that's what the British POWs used to make wine in Colditz, because they called getting drunk being 'jam happy'.

If you use some sort of Tesco economy jam at about 28p a jar it should work out nice and cheap. I think this will be my next batch!

You can also use honey to make Mead, four of those 99p honey jars do nicely and it makes a great traditional English drink.

Personally I prefer foraged fruit as that works out cheaper.

Edited by Austin Allegro

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Posted (edited)
5 hours ago, gibbon said:

That jam wine has a completely different taste than grape wine and nowhere near has full bodied, so hard to compare, still it's nicer than a lot of the undrinkable supermarket swill I've purchased by accident, but if it was a choice between it and a top notch commercial red wine I'd take the latter. However there's definitely something to be said though about drinking the fruits of your labour and sticking your finger up at the rip off prices and taxes on a bottle of supermarket plonk.

First lot I made was a grape wine, got a Merlot wine kit from Wilko. I'd say it was around a 8 on your scale. Did need to bottle age about 3 months though to improve it, straight out the demijohn I'd say it was a 4.

Good point. Comparing homebrew with store-bought is tricky because it's like comparing a pullover from M&S with one your nan knitted for you. It's a different thing and it all depends on the quality of the knitting!

I agree though that the most important thing is to allow the wine to mature. Too many newbies drink theirs as soon as it stops fermenting or even before, and it usually tastes bad (although a well made wine should be drinkable immediately, but will nearly always improve with age).

Agree also that a good homebrew is miles ahead of a crappy supermarket wine and the lack of additives means one rarely gets a  hangover from homebrew.

I have never made an undrinkable batch, and I'm no expert and don't take many pains with my brewing. I did have one lot that was sour but I managed to make it drinkable by adding sugar post-fermentation and diluting it with soda.

Edited by Austin Allegro

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