Just like Alien3 and Ms Gazette and I re-enacting that potters wheel scene in Ghost, home made wine sometimes does not work out.
Last April I set about making some dandelion champagne which I was oddly over excited and too eager to make. I know exactly where the problems arose. It is not that the recipe is bad or my work was poor. I simply harvested the dandelion heads too early… in the colder and wetter spring rather than waiting until a far warmer and dry summers day. I finally popped one open to test the water and it is somewhat… odd…
It has a dominant peppery taste with hints of lemon that while not unpleasant is not what I imagined and does not work with the expectations of a glass of white wine. It is quite nice as a face punchingly strong cider as it has more body and is cloudy. I never thought that I would eventually make some kind of turbo powered Babycham which is the closest taste I can think of – a drink that got the 1950s laid but has never been high on any ones home brew list.
It is now abundantly clear that things cannot be rushed when making wine. Wait for the correct time to harvest and don’t try to cram too many fermentations through your demijohns as I did. The flowers are obviously free so that is a consolation though I did have to pick 27 billion dandelion heads clean of their petals. If any one is interested in making dandelion wine the recipe is below. I imagine it tastes like summer in a glass.
I might make it again this summer or next, though I have ideas about that another oak leaf or perhaps a walnut leaf wine if I can find some accessible walnut trees.