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Dandelion-Based Wines

"Don't overwhelm the delicate flavor of the dandelions...." Jack Keller




Dandlion-based wines are wines made from dandelion flowers and at least one other major ingredient other than a body-builder such as raisins, sultanas or white grape (juice or concentrate).

I've made wine with dandelions and numerous other ingredients--most recently with strawberries--and have included twelve of these combinations below. Because many ingredients ripen much later than dandelion season, one can use frozen ingredients or can freeze the dandelion petals for later use. However, strawberries, peaches, watermelon, cantaloupe, and many other fruit ripen while dandelions are still in bloom so both can be fresh.

The recipes listed below are not inclusive. I can think of perhaps dozens of other ingredients that will probably work well with dandlions. I just haven't tried them yet. When I do, you can be sure I'll add them here.

Dandelion and Apricot Wine




Put water on to boil. Meanwhile, juice the citrus fruit and remove zest. Destone the apricots and chop them and raisins. Combine all ingredients except water, pectic enzyme and yeast in primary. Pour boiling water over ingredients in primary and stir well to dissolve sugar. Cover and set aside until cooled to room temperature. Add pectic enzyme, recover and set aside 10 hours. Add activated yeast and recover. Stir daily and, after 5 days of active fermentation, strain off solids and transfer liquid to secondary. Do not top up. Attach airlock and set aside additional 5 days. Top up and reattach airlock. When wine clears, rack, top up and refit airlock. Rack, top up and reattach airlock at 3-month intervals until no sediments form during 3-month period. Stabilize, wait 2 weeks and carefully rack into bottles. Allow 6 months before tasting, but improves with age. [Author's own recipe]


Dandelion, Banana and Persimmon Wine




Peel and thinly slice two very ripe bananas into 2 cups water. Bring water to boil, reduce heat and simmer 15 minutes. Turn off heat, skim off scum and strain water into primary. Add pulp of two very ripe persimmons and all dandelion petals to primary, cover with plastic wrap, and allow to cool. Add chopped (or minced) raisins, sugar, acid blend, pectic enzyme, yeast nutrient and remaining water. Stir well to dissolve sugar. Cover primary, wait 12 hours and add yeast. Stir daily for 7-10 days and strain off solids. Let stand additional 24 hours and rack. Pour into secondary fermentation vessel, fit airlock, and set aside for 4 weeks. Rack, top up and set aside another 4 weeks, then rack again. Age under airlock 4-6 months. Stabilize, wait 10 days, rack final time, sweeten if desired, and bottle. This wine must age an additional 6 months, but will be worth the time invested. [Author's own recipe]


Dandelion and Blackberry Wine


Pick dandelion and remove and save only the petals, discarding the remainder. Put water on to boil. While water is heating, thinly peel the lemon and orange. Remove and discard pith from the lemon and orange and slice their fruit thinly. Put lemon and orange slices, peelings, flower petals, and blackberries in nylon straining bag, tie closed and put in primary. Add sugar to primary and pour boiling water over straining bag. Stir well to thoroughly dissolve sugar. Cover primary and set aside to cool. When room temperature, stir in tannin, yeast nutrient and activated wine yeast. Recover primary. Squeeze bag daily to liberate flavors and then stir liquid. After 5th day, drip drain bag over primary, squeezing gently, and discard petals and fruit pulp. Dissolve crushed Campden tablet in 1/2 cup warm water and stir into primary. Recover and ferment to specific gravity of 1.010 (14-21 days). Rack into secondary and fit airlock. Rack, top up and refit airlock every 30 days for 90 days. After racking, stabilize, allow to settle 2 weeks, and rack into bottles. Allow to age at least one year. [Author's own recipe]


Dandelion and Black Raspberry Wine

Pick the dandelion flowers and then remove and save only the petals, discarding the remainder. Put water on to boil. While water is heating, thinly peel the lemon and orange. Remove and discard pith from the lemon and orange and slice their fruit thinly. Put lemon and orange slices, peeling, flower petals, cinnamon stick, and raspberries in nylon straining bag, tie closed and put in primary. Add honey to primary and pour boiling water over straining bag. Stir to mix honey and water and continue until honey is disolved. Cover primary and as water cools stir in tannin and yeast nutrient. When room temperature, sprinkle yeast over liquid and recover. Fermentation should start within hours. Squeeze bag daily to liberate flavors and then stir liquid. After 5th day, drip drain bag over primary, squeezing gently, and discard petals and fruit pulp. Dissolve crushed Campden tablet in 1/2 cup warm water and stir into primary. Recover and ferment to specific gravity of 1.010 (14-21 days). Rack into secondary and fit airlock. Rack, top up and refit airlock every 30 days for 90 days. After racking, stabilize, allow to settle 2 weeks, and rack into bottles. Allow to age at least one year. [Author's own recipe]


Dandelion and Elderflower Wine

Wash dandelions and depetal them, discarding all else. Juice the citrus and combine all ingredients except yeast in primary, stirring well to dissolve sugar. Cover and set in cool place for 4 days or cold place (refrigerator) for one week. Add activated yeast and stir daily during vigorous fermentation (5-7 days). Strain off and discard solids after pressing lightly to extract most liquid. Transfer to secondary but do not top up. Attach airlock and ferment 30 days. Rack, top up and reattach airlock. Repeat every 2 months until wine clears and no additional sediment falls out between rackings. Stabilize, wait 2 weeks, sweeten if desired but probably not necessary, and bottle. Allow to age at least 6 months in bottles, but improves with additional age. [Author's own recipe]


Dandelion and Kiwi Wine




Put water on to boil. Meanwhile, juice the citrus fruit and remove zest. Chop the raisins and slice kiwi fruit thinly (no need to peel). Combine dandelion petals, chopped raisins, zest of citrus fruit, and yeast nutrient in primary. Pour boiling water over ingredients in primary and stir well to dissolve sugar. Cover and set aside until cooled to room temperature. Add sliced kiwi, citrus juice and crushed Campden tablet. Cover and set aside 12 hours. Add pectic enzyme, recover and set aside additional 10 hours. Add activated yeast and recover. Stir daily and, after 5 days of active fermentation, strain off solids and transfer liquid to secondary. Do not top up. Attach airlock and set aside additional 5 days. Top up and reattach airlock. When wine clears, rack, top up and refit airlock. Rack, top up and reattach airlock at 3-month intervals until no sediments form during 3-month period. Stabilize, wait 2 weeks and carefully rack into bottles. Allow 6 months before tasting, but improves with age. [Author's own recipe]


Dandelion and Peach Wine




Put water on to boil. Meanwhile, juice the citrus fruit and remove zest. Destone the peaches and chop them and raisins. Combine all ingredients except water, pectic enzyme and yeast in primary. Pour boiling water over ingredients in primary and stir well to dissolve sugar. Cover and set aside until cooled to room temperature. Add pectic enzyme, recover and set aside 10 hours. Add activated yeast and recover. Stir daily and, after 5 days of active fermentation, strain off solids and transfer liquid to secondary. Do not top up. Attach airlock and set aside additional 5 days. Top up and reattach airlock. When wine clears, rack, top up and refit airlock. Rack, top up and reattach airlock at 3-month intervals until no sediments form during 3-month period. Stabilize, wait 2 weeks and carefully rack into bottles. Allow 6 months before tasting, but improves with age. [Author's own recipe]


Dandelion and Pineapple Dessert Wine

Put water on to boil. Meanwhile, wash dandelion flowers and trim off all greenery. In primary, pour boiling water over dandelion petals. Cover and set aside 5 days. Strain through nylon straining bag and squeeze well to extract all flavor. Remove stem and top from pinapple. Do not peel or core, but slice crossways into ½-inch slices. Cut slices into pieces ½-¾-inch square, saving juice that issues from cutting operation. Combine half the sugar and all remaining ingredients except yeast. Cover and set aside 12 hours. Add activated yeast, recover and stir daily until specific gravity drops to 1.010. Stir in remaining sugar until completely dissolved, recover and set aside until specific gravity again drops to 1.010. Strain through nylon staining bag and transfer liquor into secondary. Rack, top up and refit airlock every 30 days until wine clears. After additional 60 days, rack, top up, and stabilize. Wait 10 days, rack, sweeten to s.g. 1.020 and bottle. Allow to age in bottles one year. This wine may be served on hot afternoon chilled or over cracked ice, or after meal as a dessert wine. [Author's own recipe]


Dandelion and Rhubarb Wine

Put water on to boil. Meanwhile, wash dandelion flowers and trim off all greenery. In primary, pour boiling water over dandelion petals. Cover and set aside overnight. Cut rhubarb stalks into ½-inch pieces and add to primary with crushed Campden tablet. Recover and wait 12 hours. Stir in remaining ingredients except yeast, recover and wait 10 hours. Add activated yeast and recover. Stir and mash rhubarb pieces daily for 10 days. Strain through nylon straining bag, squeezing well to extract liquid and flavor. Transfer to secondary, top up if required, and attach airlock. Rack after 2 weeks, top up and refit airlock. Rack, top up and reattach airlock every 2 months until wine clears and deposits no new sediments between rackings. Stabilize, wait 2 weeks, sweeten if desired, and rack into bottles. Allow to age in bottles 6 months to one year. [Author's own recipe]


Dandelion and Strawberry Wine

Wash dandelions and depetal them, discarding all else. Trim stems off strawberries and chop coarsely. Juice the citrus and combine all ingredients except yeast and pectic enzyme in primary, stirring well to dissolve sugar. Cover and set in cool place for 12 hours. Stir in pectic enzyme, recover and set aside additional 12 hours. Add activated yeast and stir daily during vigorous fermentation (5-7 days). Strain off and discard solids after pressing lightly to extract most liquid. Transfer to secondary but do not top up. Attach airlock and ferment 30 days. Rack, top up and reattach airlock. Repeat every 2 months until wine clears and no additional sediment falls out between rackings. Stabilize, wait 2 weeks, sweeten if desired, and bottle. Allow to age at least 6 months before tasting. [Author's own recipe]


Dandelion and Watermelon Wine




Put petals in crock or bowl and pour 1 quart boiling water over them. Cover and allow to seep 3 days. Strain through nylon straining bag and set liquid aside. Extract the juice from watermelon. In primary, mix watermelon juice, dandelion flower-water, citrus juice, and enough water to raise total to 1 gallon. Add all other ingredients except yeast to primary fermentation vessel and stir well to dissolve sugar. Cover with cloth and set aside 24 hours. Add yeast, stir daily for 7-10 days and strain off raisins. Let stand additional 24 hours and rack. Pour into secondary fermentation vessel, fit airlock, and set aside for 4 weeks. Rack and set aside another 4 weeks, then rack again. Allow to clear, then rack final time and bottle. This is for a dry wine, but you may stabilize and sweeten to taste before bottling if you must. Allow to age one year. This is a delicate yet refreshing dry wine you'll want to save for very special occasions. It will store well for about 3 years, then slowly deteriorate due to the absence of tannin. [Author's own recipe]


Dandelion and Yellow Rose Petal Wine

Wash and depetal flowers. Place in primary, add crushed Campden tablet and water. Cover and set aside 3 days. Add remaining ingredients except yeast. Recover, set aside 12 hours and add wine yeast. Cover and ferment 5-7 days, stirring daily. Strain through nylon straining bag, squeezing petals lightly to extract additional flavor. Fit airlock and ferment 30 days. Rack, top up, refit airlock, and repeat 30 days later. After additional 60 days, rack, top up, and stabilize. Wait 2 weeks, sweeten to taste and bottle. Allow to age in bottles one year. [Author's own recipe]


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