Dandelion Wine-Bottling the Wine

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 15,030
    Wine Expert Phil Tonks discusses bottiling Dandelion wine.

    Phil Tonks: Hi! I am Phil Tonks, owner and wine maker at the Grandview Winery in East Calais, Vermont. We're at the final section now of making our dandelion wine. We've let it sit for six months to a year. We've let it settle down and clear. Now it's time to actually put it in the bottle. At this point you need to make a decision whether you want it to be a very dry wine because presumably the yeast have consumed all the sugar and there is no sweetness to it, or whether you want some sweetness to it. If you're going to bottle it as a dry wine, we could go right ahead and bottle it. If we want to add a little sweetness to it, we take some sugar, we take a little bit of water and a little bit of lemon juice, put it in a sauce pan and bring to boil and let it simmer for about 15-20 minutes. The I would start bench testing, that is, I would take a sample of the wine out of the container and I would start adding sugar, measuring how much I am adding until I get the sweetness level that I like. At that point I would make up enough of the sugar water lemon solution to mix in with the whole container based upon how many, one gallon or five gallons. Now, if we do that, we do need to add one more component to it. This is potassium sorbate which you can also get from your local store. Does not take a whole lot of this but this stops it from refermenting. It's about one gram per gallon. Without that it's going to start refermenting again. So what I've done, is this is our wine ready to be bottled. Again, I put it up high so I can siphon it down low. I have the siphon already established. This is a cute little gadget. You can buy this from your wine supply stores. It's spring loaded so when I touch the end of this, the juice comes out. Alright, here we go. See it coming out. So when I'm going to bottle it, I'm going to put this down in the bottle as I push down on it, it starts to fill. So you can see the bottle now filling. Now this is the fruits of our labor. We've worked really hard to get to this point, we're going to have a nice product, we put it in the bottle, were going to cork it. At that point we can sit back and really enjoy it. So now as it fills up, I'll leave enough room for the cork. Okay so now we've filled the bottle, next thing we're going to do is cork it. This one is maybe a little more elaborate corker than you might use from a wine shop or anything like that. Cork goes in here, there are jaws that compress the cork as I pull the handle down and that will drive it right into the bottle. So there is my bottle of wine, all corked. The next thing we're going to do if we want, we can put a label on it, we can put a nice capsule on it that shrinks, I will set this aside. Ideally, put it back into your box that the bottles came out of with. That makes a nice dark place to store it. Put it in a place that stays in the low 60s or high 50s. As much as you want to drink it, that's fine, take one and try it, but wait six months before you try the next one and give it a good six months to a year before you really start drinking them. So that's our Dandelion wine. As I said you can make it as sweet as you want, enjoy it, it's got some great health properties to it. It's a fun wine with a little bit of, not grassy but flowery, a little bit of a citrus undertone to it. Very enjoyable.