Hooray, hooray, it is time once again!
Due to rather extended illness that left us wimpy and respiratorily challenged, we are way behind on farm work. This time of year for us puts me in mind of the Red Queen from Through the Looking Glass-"Now, here, you see, it takes all the running you can do, to keep in the same place."
However, the dandelions are Prime. That means it is time to Act. We had a perfectly beautiful day to pick, too! The bees are all out now, warm sun, cool breeze. Lovely.
The first step in making dandelion wine is to pick dandelion blossoms until you just can't stand it anymore. So, Steve and I got to work, along with Maybelle, our special dandelion sniffing dog.
Maybelle is learning to be a good girl off the leash now-she is making me proud.
We picked about 10 quarts, which will produce around 3 gallons of wine.
They get all wilty as you pick them, but that's okay, because the next step is to pour boiling water over them, cover tightly, and let them steep for a couple of days. Then we will boil them gently with some orange and lemon peel, add the sugar, some golden raisins for body, a few cloves and the yeast, and let the fermentation begin!
To celebrate, naturally, we opened a bottle from last year.
The flavor is incredible. Dandelions taste the same way they look-warm and cheery. This batch is unfortunately on the sugary side, something that will likely change the longer it ages in the bottle, but I think we will try to produce a drier wine this year. We'll hold back on the sugar a bit, and cheer on the yeast to ferment more vigorously.
With any luck, I hope to put up several batches this year. You can't have too much dandelion wine!