How to Make Dandelion Wine

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 34,498
    Wine Expert Phil Tonks demonstrates how to make dandelion wine.

    Phil Tonks: Hi, I am Phil Tonks, owner and wine maker at the Grandview Winery in East Calais. We're going to go into making Dandelion wine. Now the first thing you need to do, obviously is pick the Dandelion. So I'll spend some time showing you how to pick them, to keep the bitterness out of the wine. Next, we'll go through a little review of a kind equipment that you need, things like a nice 5 gallon bucket, a 5 gallon glass carboy, an airlock, a corker, some corks, some bottles. You do have to decide how much you're going to make. If you're only making a gallon, a gallon jug will work just fine. Once we've got all the equipment together, we'll then put together the wine itself, adding the sugar and orange juice and lemons. Add some yeast to it and let it start fermenting. And once it's fermented for a while and it's ready, then we'll bottle it.

    Wine doesn't go bad, what happens is it gets converted to vinegar. So if you do something wrong, it's going to either smell funny or taste funny, you're not going to drink it. As far as the equipment in the process, there isn't any real safety issues other than, yes you are working with glass and if you do break a bottle, just be careful with it. And obviously, if you drink too much of the wine, may be you'll be a little tipsy. So how did I get started making Dandelion wine? I've made wine for fun for about 35 years and I tend to make the wine out of things that grow easily in Vermont. Grapes don't particularly fit that bill, dandelions on the other hand are plentiful. There are lots of them. We actually started the winery in 1996. We've been here in East Calais, we added a retail space over on a Route 100 just North of Ben & Jerry's. We've made a number of wines that have won both national and international awards. Dandelion is kind of fun. We're going to go through the whole process, so let's get started.