If you’re just getting started making your own wine at home, you’re probably wondering just how long it’s going to be before you can finally pull the cork on a bottle of your first batch of homemade wine and pour a glass to toast your achievement.
We’ll answer that question here as well as give you a little more insight into the process of making your own wine at home. In the interest of full disclosure, it will be a while before your first batch is ready to drink but as you know, good things come to those who wait – and homemade wine is indeed one of those good things.
Getting Started with Wine Making
First things first. Even if you have everything you need there in front of you, there is one step you have to take care of before you do anything else. Namely, cleaning and sanitizing your wine making equipment.
It’s a routine chore that’s an unavoidable part of the wine making process. But it’s well worth taking the small amount of time necessary since any residues or dust on your wine making equipment could easily be host to bacteria or other microorganisms that could spoil your wine.
It’s hard to imagine too many things that are more dismaying to a beginning vintner than having your first batch of wine turn out to be ruined because you didn’t take a few minutes to take care of this all-important first step, so be sure to thoroughly wash, rinse, sanitize and rinse again before you get started.
Wine Making Timeline
Now, as for how long the whole process takes, there are no hard and fast answers. However, you can typically expect somewhere around six months to pass between adding your ingredients to your wine making kit and uncorking a bottle for your first taste of your homemade wine.
It’s a long time to wait, to be sure, but the end result will be well worth the time it takes. When you have your first sip of something you’ve made with your own two hands, it will all become clear – and since you can start your second batch right away, you’ll never be without excellent, ready-to-drink homemade wine again.
It’s OK to uncork a bottle after about a month if you just can’t wait, but you’ll usually get better results with a longer fermentation (one to three months) and a longer period of bottle aging (2 or 3 months before opening the first bottle).
Since you’ll be making several bottles at once, you can always save some for later to see how it improves over the course of the next year as it ages.