Illustration for article titled Artful Winemaker Lightning Review: How I Learned to Love Cheap Wine in 28 Days

I've been interested in home brewing for a while, but the price, space, and involvement needed has always been off-putting. The Artful Winemaker, however, puts the brewing process on auto-pilot.

What Is It?

The Artful Winemaker is an all-in-one home wine-fermenting kit.

Who's it For?

Wine lovers who want to try their hand at making hooch without having to stomp their own grapes.



It's a large tub filled with grape juice and yeast.

Using It

The Artful Winemaker is very easy to use. It comes with everything needed to brew a batch—juice, yeast, flavoring, equipment sanitize, bottles, and step-by-step instructions. You empty packets of ingredients into the tub at set intervals and install a sediment catcher two weeks in, but otherwise just let it sit there for four weeks. Each batch nets 12 bottles of wine.

The Best Part

The first sip. After four weeks of waiting, cracking open the first bottle is like opening the big present first on Christmas morning—except, instead of a pony, it's booze! Plus, the cost per bottle amortizes out to something like $4/unit.


Tragic Flaw

The first sip. And now I know how Charles Shaw is made. The wine you get from this system does an excellent job of getting you tipsy but definitely tastes like something brewed in a big plastic tub.


This Is Weird...

Unlike conventional wine, this stuff only gets slightly better with age and has a six-month shelf life.


Test Notes

  • Kinda mindless, no room for me to experiment with/improve the winemaking process, just dump packets and wait.
  • Could be good for cooking wine or entertaining guests who routinely order from the bottom of the wine list.
  • I wonder if I can use my own grape juice/flavorings?

Should You Buy It?

Yeah, despite the underwhelming quality of the final product, the process of making your own wine is actually very satisfying and, at $150, it's way more affordable than buying a plot in Napa.


Artful Winemaker

Capacity: 9 Liters
Varieties: Cabernet/Shiraz, Chardonnay, Merlot, Pinot Grigio, Pinot Noir, Riesling
Brewing duration: 28 days
Price: $150 ($60/refill)

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