Herbal wines are easy to make and takes less time and resources to do. Knowing how to do this could lead to enjoying delicious healthy wine as part of your lifestyle and routine.
Different fruits or flowers, such as red clover, rose flowers and dandelions were used by brewers and added to the wine so that it has a distinct flavor as well as medicinal values. For instance, dandelions are said to be effective against indigestion and liver problems while clover flowers work as a relaxing tonic.
Make Your Own Wine
Below is a suggested recipe for making your own wine. You will need the following in order to make this:
- Dandelion or red clover flower heads – 2 quarts. You can also use other medicinal flower of your choice.
- Sugar – about a kilo
- Lemons – three pieces
- Raisins – four ounces
- A packet of wine yeast, preferably Champagne type
You will also need the following equipment:
- A container, preferably stainless steel or earthenware, of about three gallons.
- A lock for fermenting the wine in the bottle
- Siphon tube and flagon
- Wine bottles with corks and caps
The equipment is usually available at home stores or home-brewing stores. Ensure that these are all cleaned well before using and if possible, sterilize these first using campden tablets. Part of the reason why homemade wines taste so good has to do with using the equipment properly.
Preparation for the herbal wines takes months but the process is quite easy. The medicinal flower or herbs have to be sun-dried, with its green parts or base already discarded, since this will make the wine taste bitter. For every gallon of wine intended for production, two quarts of herbs or flowers is needed. Pick in areas where the herbs have not been treated with chemical spray, nor is it advisable to pick these plants found by the roadside, as these may have pollutants.
The herbs and flowers must be cleaned well before placing inside the stainless steel or earthenware containers. Squeeze the lemons and then add the raisins along with these. Next, carefully add boiling water of about six pints. Stir using a sterilized spoon and then secure it with a lid. Let this sit for at least a day.
The wine yeast can be prepared at this time. The packet usually comes with instructions on its preparation.
When you open the lid after twenty-four hours, you will notice that there are some bits floating in the surface. Transfer the concoction in another sterilized container, while straining these bits. Then, clean the first container using a sulfide solution. Rinse and dry this well, before putting the liquid back.
By this time you can already add the sugar along with boiling water of about two pints. Also add in the yeast and stir before covering the concoction and letting it sit in a warm spot, usually about 70-80 degrees Fahrenheit, for a month.
After a month, the wine will begin to smell. Transfer the brewing wine in the flagon using the siphon and seal this with the fermentation lock. Let it sit again on the same spot for six months, without opening the flagon.
From the Flagon to the Bottle
When the right time comes, the wine can now be properly siphoned in elegant wine bottles. Make sure that these bottles can hold pressure and can be sealed very well. The herbal wines will hold more flavors and sparkle if added with about half a teaspoon of sugar per bottle. Storing these bottles in a warm place for three days and then moving it in a cool place for six weeks or until you need to drink it will ferment the flavor even more.
When all this is done, you now have the best tasting, home-brewed herbal wines to enjoy with family and house guests.