Is dandelion wine worth the work? Opinions please!

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tullamore

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yesss it is liquid sunshine - if made properly - a friend of mine been making it for 40 years
still making it - an old itallian man - who also makes a great out this world grappa
i never made dandelion wine - i just drink it when he gives it to me
we trade - i give him my grape he gives me his dandelion - win win for both of us
 

winemanden

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To those of you who complain about Dandelion wine being hard work, it is. Compared to lots of other country wines it's fiddly to pick and to make. What you must remember, is that old country recipes like this were devised when country folks were sometimes living hand to mouth and had little cash to spare, so they made wine out of whatever was free, windfall apples, hedgerow fruit, flowers including Dandelion.
When it is well made and matured, Dandelion wine is hard work but good, which is why the old folks made it.
Only ever use the petals, because as Jack Keller said, I think he was practising his French, "The green bits add a certain 'Je ne sais quoi'"
 

VinesnBines

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BigDaveK, how many gallon jugs do you have? I need more. I have plenty of 3, 5, 6, 7 and 50L and half barrel kegs.
 

BigDaveK

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BigDaveK, how many gallon jugs do you have? I need more. I have plenty of 3, 5, 6, 7 and 50L and half barrel kegs.
More than 20.
I was paying 5.99 each last October. Hard to find them under 10 now. Unbelievable.
I just ordered more this morning from Amazon. When I went to get this link for you it says it's unavailable. It always goes away and comes back. 4 jugs, 4 stoppers, 4 airlocks, and a brush for $41 seems like a decent price.

 
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Craig beat me to it -- I purchase Carlo Rossi Burgundy and Chablis in 4 liter jugs. Last purchase was $17 USD, and I got 5.5 bottles of cooking wine from each jug. I decant into five 750 ml screwcaps and one 375 ml screwcap.

Granted, this is good for building a stock over time. I can't say that it's easy to use up 4 gallons of jug wine quickly. Well, not for me, anyway! ;)
 

balatonwine

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Those that have made dandelion wine, was it worth it?

No. I tried twice. Not happy with the results

Would you do it again?

Currently, No. But I may change my mind later in 10 years when I am retired and have more time to commit to perfecting the art of making this type of wine.

Ergo, theres is a "But..." And a very important "BUT".....

I have had some dandelion wine that was like summer in a bottle.

Simply because I could not do it because I only tried twice means little. Maybe I gave up too early. I could also not do the Sistine Chapel if I tried only after two years. Maybe some things need more tries, more experience and need longer to work on to reach perfection. Maybe the extra effort is worth it.....

So... to make a long story.... I am not worthy to really judge.

Hope this helps.
 
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VinesnBines

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18 gallons every year. Sells out before Christmas.

I'm interested in how you pick that many dandelions. I never have enough time to pick all I have available. The grandkids are too little to help;; they keep all flowers they pick. It is just me picking. I thought about a winery gimmick. I thought of a dandelion picking season; visitors would be allowed to pick dandelions in designated areas, for each X amount of flowers they would get X bottle(s) of wine either dandelion or a similarly priced wine. It would be a neat idea for couples, families, or groups to come, drink and enjoy the dandelion patch.
 

BigDaveK

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Usually 5-6 people, one field, sunny afternoon for 3 hours, half a week after first bloom.
18 -20 lbs blossoms.
We do not remove the sepals.
I can see how not removing the sepals would save time. I've read that they're bitter but have no firsthand experience. I'm tempted to do a batch for comparison. Jeeze Louise another experiment, just what I need.
 

mikewatkins727

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More than 20.
I was paying 5.99 each last October. Hard to find them under 10 now. Unbelievable.
I just ordered more this morning from Amazon. When I went to get this link for you it says it's unavailable. It always goes away and comes back. 4 jugs, 4 stoppers, 4 airlocks, and a brush for $41 seems like a decent price.

Wife has a friend who deals in antiques and collectables who often times comes by gallon and half gallon carboys. She'd let me have them for $2 a piece. Have about 6 or 7 halfs and 10 to 12 gallons then went the way of Carlo Rossi wines a few times. Probably totaling 15 gallon carboys now..
 

HillPeople

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I can see how not removing the sepals would save time. I've read that they're bitter but have no firsthand experience. I'm tempted to do a batch for comparison. Jeeze Louise another experiment, just what I need.
I have not detected any bitterness leaving the sepals on.
Quite the contrary. Good dandelion wine tastes like drinking a floral sunny field.
We cover with water in a kettle, add lemon and orange zest, boil for an hour, steep overnight.
 

BigDaveK

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I have not detected any bitterness leaving the sepals on.
Quite the contrary. Good dandelion wine tastes like drinking a floral sunny field.
We cover with water in a kettle, add lemon and orange zest, boil for an hour, steep overnight.
Just because I read it's bitter doesn't mean I believe it. I'm definitely going to try it to see for myself. It would definitely reduce the prep work - plus, I'm really really curious!
 

VinesnBines

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I think I’ll try leaving the sepals on a batch this year. I leave a little anyway. I wonder if the sepals will require more aging. My paw paw requires two year to lose the seed bitterness.
 

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