Springtime is not the time of year when we normally discuss wine making but it is exactly the time when Fine Dandelion wine must be started. I can certainly understand why this delicacy from years past is so rare today.
During the time of our grandparents and great grandparents it was common for extremely labor intensive tasks to be parts of daily life. Today the making of items such as dandelion wine, homemade soap, smoked meats, fresh baked bread, pies, cakes, jams, and jellies have been relegated for the most part to days long past. The pursuit of these wonderful delicacies of the past is the foundation upon which the products of Twain’s Vineyard are based.
Dandelion Wine is pathetically difficult to make. In order to make one gallon of wine it is necessary to pick two quarts of the yellow flower petals, no other parts of the plant is used. Check a dandelion flower and imagine how long it will take to harvest two quarts of these tiny yellow petals, this is like trying to collect two quarts of mosquito wings. Once the collection of the fresh petals has been completed the process of vinting begins and continues for several months under very critical requirements for temperature and light.
A link covering Dandelion Wine by the noted authority “Jack Keller” is being provided for those interested in more information that you might ever want to know about this delicacy. Jack covers in great detail, the process for the production of several refinements and variations for this treat from days long past. Jack has made the statement:
“If you ferment with a body-enhancer but shave the sugar, the wine will serve well with pastas, heavier salads, fish or fowl. Sweetened, it goes well before or after dinner. In any form, when chilled to near iciness it is one of the most refreshing drinks I know of on a very hot summer afternoon. Nothing else tastes like it.”