Saturday, 2 July 2016

Wine Kits

I am headed over to the Wine Warehouse in about a half hour to pick up a couple of wine kits. Most likely I will purchase one high quality kit along with one medium quality kit. All in all I expect to spend about $210 on those two kits, perhaps a bit less. I can only do this because of the generousity of family, friends, and those friends who donate on my blog.

You might ask yourself, given how short I am of money these days, if this kind of expenditure is appropriate. First of all I have to say that without the help of others, this kind of expenditure would be impossible. Secondly, most of that help from others comes from those who either drink the wine with me, or know how much the process of making the wine means to me. While I do spend some small amount of my own money on supplies and such, I would not have the money without the wine, and I would not have the wine without the money.

The gross amount of $200 might seem a bit much, so let's look at what I get and how much it really costs me for a bottle of wine, notwithstanding that others are paying for it too. The two wine kits I buy today will produce, theoretically, 60 bottles of wine, but realistically, it's more like 55; that's just how it works. Now I usually give away at least 10% of the wine at bottling time to those who are helping me, so that leaves 50 for me. My wine cost per bottle is $4.00, and this is for good quality wine, as good and better than most wine you might buy in the store.

There is also the cost of the bottles; each wine bottle costs about $1.25, however I can use them multiple times. If we assume that I get 5 uses for each bottle, a very conservative estimate, then I spend $0.25 per bottle of wine. On top of that there are corks and labels, which cost about $15.00 per kit, or about $0.50 per bottle of wine. So far we are up to $4.75 for a bottle of wine.

Finally there is the wine making equipment itself, about $400 worth of it, including the gear on loan from Brad. We refer to him as storing his wine making stuff at my apartment, but really it's here because I can't afford to buy the filter machine or the corker. Now I made literally thousands of bottles of wine with this gear, so at best I can estimate that I might have an associated cost of $0.25 per bottle in equipment costs. We've made it to $5.00 a bottle, a generous cost estimate.

Now lets look at what I get for this expenditure. First of all, it's not the wine that is most important. Where I really gain the most pleasure is in the social aspect of making the wine, the fact that it draws people together, bringing joy into my life. I love to have people over to help make it, to help rack it, to help bottle it, and yes, to help drink it. The wine is gone in a moment, but the joy lasts forever. Making a $5.00 bottle of wine brings me a priceless amount of happiness. Drinking it ain't bad either.

So if you want to make my life better, buy me a wine kit. You are really purchasing happiness and memories for me. That's the best gift of all.

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