It was a glorious afternoon, picking dandelions in the sunlight, listening to a competitive father beat his under-tens at football. An Indian osteopath was interested in what I was doing and I had a long conversation with him about wine-making. At no point did he look as if he wanted to back away slowly.
I measured 6 pints of dandelion heads in my jug and took them home to boil up in 7 pints of water, 2 lbs 12 oz sugar and the thinly peeled rind of two lemons and one orange. This was brought to the boil and boiled for 20 minutes. I squeezed the citrus fruits and put the juice and half a kilo of minced sultanas into my bucket, pouring the contents of the cauldron over this once the twenty minutes was up.
Next day I added the yeast and a teaspoon each of nutrient, pectolase and tannin. I pretty much left the wine to its own devices until Thursday evening, 12th April, giving it only the occasional stir.
On Thursday, after returning from a solicitors' event involving beer and pies, I put the liquid into its demijohn, straining out the solids. The amount of water I had used was exactly right - nothing spare was left.
Dandelion wine at this stage does not suggest its eventual golden colour - though it isn't quite as brown as the magnolia.
If you want to see how this wine turned out, click here.