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Wine Making Economics

In addition to being an enjoyable hobby and a great mechanism to bring people together, home wine making can be extremely economical. Numerous studies over the last few years have shown the beneficial health aspects associated with drinking 1-2 glasses of wine per day. (Drinking greater than 3 glasses of wine per day can be harmful to the health.)

To analyze the economics of making wine, lets perform a cost comparison between store- bought and homemade wine.

Cost calculations for store bought wine for one year

  • A 750 ml bottle of wine contains about 4 glasses (or servings) of wine.
  • Assuming you drink two glasses of wine per day, this translates into 365 / 2 = 182.5 bottles of wine a year!
  • A typical bottle of wine costs about $8-$10. This translates into cost of about $1,800 per year (per person) to consume 1-2 glasses of wine per day. Obviously, drinking more expensive wines can increase the cost even further!

Cost calculations for homemade wine:

  • Labor costs are free. (You provide the labor).
  • The cost of making wine is highly dependent on the cost of the juice. Typically, juice costs about $5-$10 per gallon. A gallon of juice yields about five 750 ml bottles of wine. This yields a unit cost of $1-$2 per bottle (from the juice).
  • Additionally costs include:
    • Corks $0.20 each (per bottle)
    • Yeast ($1.00 for five gallons, or $0.20 per bottle)
    • Other chemicals (acids, meta, tannins, campden etc..) conservatively averages a total of about $0.25 per bottle
    • Bottles (assume that you are resourceful, and collect or re-use bottles -- Free)
    • Carboy ~$15 for Five gallons. Assume that a carboy will last for 15 years, this equates to $1 per year per 5 gallons, or $.20 a gallon, or 0.04 cents a bottle)
  • Adding this all up, the unit cost of is about $2-$3 per bottle.

Now, compare the unit cost of making wine ($2-$3 a bottle) to the unit cost purchasing wine at $8-$10 a bottle for a comparable quality wine. That is a savings of $5-$8 bottle!!
  • Assuming you drink two glasses of wine per day, that is a savings of between $800 to $1400 per year (per person) -- just by making your own wine.

The cost savings associated with home wine making are considerable!

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