NEW PORT RICHEY — Creating your own wine from scratch may seem a little daunting but whether you opt for the take home kit or in-house experience, the result is the same: with a little patience, you end up with a flavorful wine that surpasses any expectation.

“People may think of homemade wine as something to turn their nose up at but then they try it and are like, ‘Wow, this is really good! I’m surprised!’” said Julie Glover, manager of Grape Expectations. “I love when I get that reaction from people, especially those high-end wine snobs that are like, ‘There’s no way I’ll ever like this’ and then they’re like, holy smokes.”

The New Port Richey store moved to its 4930 Floramar Terrace location about three years ago but through word of mouth of the bottle-your-own-bottle experience it has been growing. Glover teaches customers how to make their own wine with the kit they’ve chosen, educating them in the finer arts of chemistry and technique.

At the end of the process, customers get to cork 30 bottles, and if they are thrifty, they can save up their own bottles to bring. Bottles must not be a screw top, and Glover recommends soaking the label off so that you can put your own customized label as part of the experience. Also, rinse and store bottles upside down to prevent critters from going inside. Grape Expectations can provide boxes if needed.

For those who prefer not to wait four to eight weeks to enjoy their beverage, individual bottles or glasses are available in a variety of flavors. Additionally, Grape Expectations makes for the perfect venue to host events, from bachelorette parties to holiday parties. Twice a month, the business hosts a culinary wine tasting, pairing three wines with three different appetizers. This event usually sells out, Glover said, recommending people purchase tickets in advance. Gift certificates for these events and wine kits are also available.

“We also give you a welcome drink that we mix with Prosecco to show you that not only can you have our wine by itself, but you can mix things with it,” Glover said. “Or you can leave it as it is. Our wines are quite tasty without having to add anything to them anyway.”

Wine kits available range in price, but they begin at $80 for the sweet red and white wines. Popular kits include a red or a white sangria, a dry red with Stags Leap Merlot from California to a dry white with a Pinot Grigio or Chardonnay.

Once a customer chooses a kit, Glover will bring them to the back room where they will learn the process of wine making and start to make their wine. Glover said she’ll explain every single chemical being added and what it does to the wine, sprinkle yeast on top and bat down the bucket. After a few weeks, customers can come back to stir their wine, adding stabilizers and clarifiers inside (or pay for Grape Expectations to do it). Again, customers must wait a few more weeks before returning to bottle the product.

The first stage only takes about 10 to 15 minutes to begin making the wine, but the fun part is bottling, Glover said. Some customers bring family members and friends to help, along with cheese and crackers to pair with tasting their wine. This last stage usually takes about an hour and a half to two hours. For those who prefer to age their wine a little longer, Grape Expectations can keep the wine stored in the back, and find that it ages faster when surrounded by other wines. Six months of aging gets done in just three months, Glover said.

The best part about purchasing or creating wine from Grape Expectations is that it’s low in sulfite wine, which means no headaches or hangovers if you drink responsibly.

To follow upcoming events, tastings, and learn more about the wine experience, visit or follow them on Facebook and Instagram.