So it’s that time of year again. The time when we make batch after batch of delicious alcoholic goodness and stash them away for later times. A year later, to be precise. Wine making is a commitment. And when you make wine together- well. These days a lot of couples seem to doubt whether they will still be together in a year. But I find that when you brew together, you stay together- if only to see what the end result tastes like.
Hahaha. I’m laughing at that, really. But on the other hand, it’s a legitimate tradition. I might butcher this somewhat in the retelling, but my understanding is that many families in Italy still pass along the family’s basalmic vinegar to a newly married couple. In a big barrel, so that it can age for the first 25 years of the couple’s married life. One, there’s the tradition (and knowledge) that goes along with passing the culture (meaning the literal vinegar culture, not your heritage culture, though I guess you’re passing that along too) from one generation to the next. But it also symbolizes that commitment. We’re going to be together for at least the 25 years it takes to nurture this vinegar to it’s fullest flavor.
Now that’s romance.
So as we do every “new year,” we started another batch of dandelion wine. I always think of this as the true beginning of the year- nothing much is happening in January, after all. But when you start the dandelion wine, it marks the beginning of the growing season, the time when you are turning the soil and starting the seeds and preparing- it always occurs right on that cusp between the reflective, quiet period of winter and the ballistic chaos that will be the next 9 months.
And so it’s kind of nice to get a lot of time to sit quietly with your partner, watching tv (Doctor Who) and beheading dandelions. For full dandelion wine instructions, click here.
We’re also, of course, drinking our wine from last year. It’s not my best batch, but it’s pretty good, which is important since we bottled 15 of these puppies. It’s an acquired taste, for sure. Most people aren’t used to drinking wine that tastes like spring (aka grass).
We also bottled our elderberry wine from last year.
14 bottles as a result. And that will be good too- it’s a very dark wine, as you can possibly imagine, and really needs to mellow in the bottles. We can drink it in July. Here’s how we got started (last July).
We started a new batch of lilac wine. We haven’t actually gotten a good taste of last year’s batch, because I got really behind with the racking and bottling aspect, and so it’s not actually ready. Even though it should be. Oops. Fortunately this kind of wine making (flowers in a bucket) seems to be pretty forgiving. You might not have the clearest, purest tasting wine, but hey, it has booze, and it’s pretty decent. Perfect for our procrastinating sort of style.
I love picking lilacs. I think it’s the only reason I make this wine. Standing outside on the first clear, warm day of the year, sun shining, birds singing, big fluffy white clouds, and those perfect, tiny purple flowers.