Wed 19 Nov 2008
Benito of Benito’s Wine Reviews came over Sunday to taste ports with me and LL — that’s the next post — and brought a bottle of dandelion wine he purchased in Ohio. It was made by the Breitenbach Winery in Dover, a concern owned and operated by the Amish. The winery produces an astonishing number of wines. The red wines include a cabernet sauvignon, a merlot and a shiraz as well as proprietary labels like Roadhouse Red, a “classic semi-sweet red” wine. Three “blush” wines include the intriguing Old Dusty Miller. Among whites are Charming Nancy and Frost Fire. (The winery’s website, breitenbachwine.com., does not mention grape varieties for the proprietary labels.) There is also a full line of fruit and berry wines. Most of these products cost under $12.
The closest I have come to a glass of dandelion wine was reading Ray Bradbury’s evocative novel about Midwestern small-town life, “Dandelion Wine,” about 50 years ago, so I was happy that Benito was bringing a bottle of the stuff to the house.
One expects a flower wine to be sweet, and this was, but it wasn’t as sweet as I had anticipated. In fact, I found it delicate, finely structured and just balanced by clean acidity. Aromas of spiced pear and fig wafted from the glass, with hints of dusty meadows. In the mouth, those spiced pear and fig qualities persisted, with touches of something wild and foxy, a little weedy, all of this encompassed by a texture that was almost oily. The finish brought in cinnamon and hay. It felt as if I were sipping the essence of a sunny summer’s afternoon on a blustery Fall day. I’ll rate the wine Very Good. The price was about $10.
Is this actually a dessert wine? I would say only with the most delicate or simple desserts, a plain apple tart or a slice of unadorned sweet potato pie. Perhaps it would be best sipped judiciously after dinner by itself.
Field of dandelions from healthymindshappykids.co.im.