Thoughts . . . by Mark Rich

. . . scribbled . . . scrawled . . . trimmed . . . typewritten . . . grubbed up . . . squeezed from circumstance . . .

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Dandelion Wine, Part VI

One bibulous evening last week, having been made curious about Wine 21 (from discovering that transition I had made in winemaking practices last year, between it and Wine 22), I opened a bottle. Martha and I had a glass apiece. The wine was a nicely amber-tinted yellow in color; clear; not sweet but not truly dry ... and having found it drinkable, we had a bit more ... upon which it entered my head that we really must compare it against Wine 22: for while it was quite drinkable we were not so won over that we wanted to go onward much further with that bottle. So I brought up a Wine 22.

Even within the bottle, this wine looked much clearer -- even though Wine 21 had seemed quite clear in the glass.

Decanted, the difference was heightened. In Wine 22, made with Montrachet yeast, the liquid was much more subtly colored, so that it had much less of the rich dandelion-petal color. Held up to the light alongside a glass of Wine 21, it had the look of a white wine, while Wine 21 had almost the look of lager beer. The flavor, in comparison, was also lighter: it was more sprightly in its resting on the tongue, and more delightful in the mind. To make sure how delightful it was, we had a bit more; and while it was more drinking than we needed to do, that evening, for the sake of knowledge and for the sake of clarifying our vinous vision we persevered in the exploratory sipping, so that we could assure ourselves that the rest of the bottle lived up to that first glass.

By this point we agreed upon wanting no more of the first bottle. The rest of Wine 21 sat in its pitcher until morning. I poured it, along with the bottle-dregs of Wine 22, over pieces of chicken in a covered glass dish. This being not quite enough liquid to cover the meat, I opened a bottle of onion wine -- it is our Walking Onion Wine -- to fill the dish to the brim.

The chicken sat in these wines all day -- delighted at its fate, no doubt.

Cheers ...

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