Tasting the dandelion wine!

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Christmas in January is a tradition that Kim, Jen, Kirsten and I have had for probably around a decade now, and it’s something we really love.  We either draw names or go around the table in some manner that seems sensible at the time.  This year, I bought for Kim, Jen bought for me, Kirsten bought for Jen, and Kim bought for Kirsten– we drew names, but it wound up being the order we sit in at my house, which is where we were when we chose this year.

Jen wanted to host the event this year, and do the wine pairings.  (Kirsten has usually done it in the past, and usually we each also bring a course.)  But also, everyone wanted to try the dandelion wine, so I brought that (and the chocolate-peppermint bath bombs you can see in the photo above for everyone), and we had the wine with our appetizers.  And it was a hit!  Hooray!  It was sparkling, which explains why I lost a bottle, but the fizziness was quite nice.  I may have to do it that way on purpose from here on out.  (This time was wholly accidental, a result of my anxiety to bottle it and make some room on the fermenting shelf.) 20150124_183219 The wine has a nice gentle back-note of bitterness from the flowers, and starts out with an immediate almost sweet flavor.  Beyond that, I fair at describing it– like wine but not.  And delicious, if I’m allowed to say that.  (I figure I am, since it was the yeast doing the work, not me.)  We finished the bottle with our appetizers (kale puffs and caramelized onion tartlets), though Kirsten did pour our the last of hers to make way for the soup wine.

So dandelion stays in the rotation.  In fact, I’ll probably be harvesting again soon!

The soup was a lovely acorn squash, topped with mushrooms.

20150124_185649  The wine was a rose, crisp and perfect with the sweetness of the soup.  The salad was topped with figs, garnished with goat cheese crostini, and paired with a lovely pinot noir, but I forgot pictures.20150124_201324The main course was arugula ravioli in a nice light tomato sauce and this nice Toscana.  Then Kirsten was so pleased with her little caramel-filled chocolate horses that we also shared one: 20150124_210724.  Dessert didn’t have a wine pairing, which was probably a mercy, though I’m always open for a nice port or an icewine.  It was a nice tiramisu cake, the leftovers of which I brought home for Jolyon. 20150124_210411 (He hasn’t had any yet, since he was in bed when I got home.)

So a lovely evening!  Also, I’ll be keeping those remaining bottles of dandelion wine upright, in case they lose their corks, too.

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Finally bottled the dandelion!

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snowy Funny weather for bottling my first wine of this last spring, but I did it anyway.  It’s lovely and clear with a pleasing yellow tinge, but I forgot to taste it as it went into the bottle.bottled dandelionI did give up on putting all the dandelion into clear glass– you can see the pair of green bottles in the back here.  I have three clear but full bottles, but I’d have been in no condition to bottle anything if I’d gotten through those first.  And it looks like I have a little time before the crab apple is ready, so maybe I’ll just make a concerted white- and rose-drinking effort for the next few weeks.

Got to a little more racking, too, because what else are snowy weekends for?  For some reason, I only did one of the two gallons of apple, so I’ll have to make sure to get to the other this coming weekend.  more racking  I thought to taste both the mead and the melomel, and I’m quite pleased that the funny musty taste seems to be gone.  The melomel is definitely brighter-tasting from the peaches, and I’ve lost quite a bit in the rackings, which is why there are so many marbles in the bottom of the growler.

Freezer space being at a premium, and some carboys now being available, I also started another batch of Concord.  thawing concords  I used Montrachet yeast in the last batch, so this will have Bourgovin RC 212.  (I may remember Bourgovin, but not RC 212!  What’s with the goofy yeast names?)  The grapes thawed overnight, and then Sunday they went into the bucket with the sugar, water, yeast nutrient, acid blend, and Campden.  I’ll pitch the yeast tonight, but I probably won’t take more photos, since it should look almost exactly like the first batch.

And since weekends are also for fun, Kim and I went to her uncle Kirk’s wine store, City Wine, for a pre-Thanksgiving tasting.  Alas, I did not come home with this bottle. Em_Kirk_wine