Anyone made Flower or Leaf Wines? Worthwhile? I am not convinced!!!!

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jamesbsmith

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We have all seen recipes for leaves from Oak and Beech trees and blackberry bushes and flower wines from various plants, but I am just not convinced of these, so wondered if anyone had tried any of the classic recipes for these wines and if they are worth doing?

I have tried making dandelion wine using the usual 250g of dandelion. The wine was nice, but only due to the orange and lemon I added, and I could taste no dandelion whatsoever! I have also bought dried blackberry and lemon balm leaves, and made tea with both: I cannot see that either would add anything worthwhile to a wine at all!

I can appreciate that elderflowers and lavender add very distinct characteristics to wines and are worthy of using, but I am just unconvinced by the likes of Broom, Gorse, Goats Beard, Primrose, Meadowsweet, Burnet, Carnation, Clover, Cowslip, Hawthorn, Marigold, Agrimony, Golden Rod, Honeysuckle and Camomile! If anyone knows of different, please put me right!

I wonder whether these were put in some of the original (and only) country wine books, maybe solely just as they are edible, and would then offer a source of yeast and nutrient rather than decent flavour. In my experience, no one has proven that these are worthwhile ingredients (although I guess this is subjective)!
 

Jericurl

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I have an apple wine that was steeped in chamomile and sweet woodruff. It's about 3 months old and so far, tastes fantastic. Both flavors come through fairly prominent.
 

Descender

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I concur. Make a tea out of anything edible. Would it make a good wine? All most of those recipes are is hard tea...made with table sugar...at least use honey...
 

Bluespark

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My favorite wine to date is a passionflower, chamomile, peach wine, with a touch a spearmint. The herbs take back stage to the peaches, but it is fascinating and complex.

Some herbs add a great background flavor, some have great medicinal qualities. Traditionally many meads were used as medicine, because the alchahol extracts the medicinal qualities of the herb far better than water. Raspberry leaves don't taste much, but the help balance hormones, especially in women. Passion flower is a seditive, dandelion a duretic, etc.
 

Yooper

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Lavender makes a great wine.

Lilac flowers (you use only the petals) also is a great wine. Rosehips are wonderful as well.

I love dandelion wine, but it takes a LOT of dandelion petals for it to shine. When done right, it tastes like "liquid sunshine" to me.
 

Lijowa

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I'm actually interested in making a goldenrod wine if only to see what a high pollen content would do in wine.
 

Ty520

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Floral adjuncts do have a tendency to have a bitter, vegetal quality that requires sweetness to make the flavors pleasant and even recognizable.

Elderflower is very nice, but potent, and lavender even more so. I don't think lavender stands alone very well, and is best used to accentuate another primary flavour.

But most importantly, you have to understand that back in the day, these ingredients were medicinal, and were added to alcohol to make them more palatable, not to make the alcohol taste better.
 

bernardsmith

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I was in the south of England a few years ago and I got hold of a bottle of cowslip wine. It was fantastic. It takes about a gallon of petals to make a decent dandelion wine so my guess is that it takes about the same volume of petals to make cowslip wine. I make elderflower wine from dried elderflowers several times a year (my wife's and my favorite country wine and I use about 1 oz of the dried petals per gallon. With dandelions you need to macerate them for about 2 or 3 days and you can use only the petals - absolutely no green.
 

Raptor99

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I made a peppermint wine. It turned out pretty well. I think it will be nice on a hot summer day. For 1 gallon I used 70 g of freshly picked peppermint leaves (about 1 quart, lightly packed). It has a nice strong peppermint flavor. I added a little glycerin and back sweetened before bottling. I have heard that mint wine mellows wit age, so I'm looking forward to seeing how this tasted this summer.
 

DuncB

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I have made two batches of elderflower fizz ( sparkling ), using fresh flowers. Haven't tried either of them yet except the dregs left after samples to check the specific gravity which was tasting ok.
Must crack a bottle as it's now about 3 months old ( southern hemisphere ).
No experience with any other flower wines, my only other dalliance has been to make Sloe gin which is sensational.
I've got a recipe for heather ale but not tried it. The dandelion wine / mead recipe that they did on Doin the most looked like very hard work.
 
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