I decided to invest in a proper starter kit to see if I got the hang of it, the theory being once I'd mastered a reliable kit, then I could move on to err... slightly more experimental versions.
My Pinot Grigio has been bubbling away for some weeks now and last week it was finally time to bottle it up.
I'd asked friends and family to keep hold of used wine bottles for me, so that bit of recycling saved me some more pounds as I didn't need to buy glass bottles.
Starting a new hobby can be really expensive, but the starter kit worked out to be good value, and even taking the start-up cost of all the equipment into account, this first batch of wine has worked out at around £2.50 per bottle - less than half the price of shop bought wine.
I've been lucky and have managed to supplement the kit with charity shop finds too. I've picked up a couple of glass demi-johns for £1 each which will be perfect for the more wacky wines - I don't want to risk making 30 bottles of something if it turns out rank, so this way I can do smaller, 6 bottle batches.
They need a good scrub out, but since they usually cost around £6-7 each, I'm happy to do a bit of washing.
In another charity shop I found a whole bag full of wine making bits for £3. I wasn't entirely sure what was inside as the bag was sealed up, but I could see there was a corking machine and those alone cost anywhere from £15 upwards, so I bought it. Inside was all manner of things - corks; shrink sealers; push-in bottle caps; bungs and airlocks, so I think I struck lucky with this lot.
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