May Day - Holidays and Wine

Dandelions May Day! What a fantastic time of year, with spring all around, flowers blooming, eyes sparkling, and fun waiting around every corner. It's no surprise that this day brought dancing around Maypoles, rites of spring, and treats like Dandelion Wine and Sweet Woodruff May Punch for the wine drinker.

May Day becan back with the Romans, around 250BC, when they held festivals to honor Flora, the goddess of (could you guess?) flowers and spring. As the Romans invaded the rest of the Western World, they brought their beliefs and festivals with them. Of course, spring was a cause for celebration in just about every culture, and May Day was quickly merged with the native festivals.

The holiday most typically associated with May Day is Beltaine, coming from 'Bel Fire' - Bel being the name of a Celtic god. The Horned King is often associated with Beltaine, as is again the maypole. Beltaine is definitely strongly bent towards "fertility festivals", pairing off and staying out until the sun rises.

May Day and Beltaine celebrations typically include a maypole for dancing, the King and Queen of the fair, making dandelion wine, and drinking May Day punch with Sweet Woodruff. For the more industrious, some cultures celebrate with Homemade Mead.

Dandelion Wine
How does one make Dandelion Wine? The recipe is really quite simple! Grab a bunch of clean, lively dandelions. Pull off the stems and put the rest in boiling water. Steep for 3 days. Strain, cook for an hour with sugars and oranges and such, cool, add the yeast. Steep for 2 days. Strain again, steep for a day. Filter and cork up. It'll be ready in time for winter, or even better for the following May Day!

May Day Punch
Traditionally, the May Day Punch is made with Sweet Woodruff, sweet wine, sugar and strawberries. Simply mix them together in a big punch bowl. Add either ice cubes or, for a colorful flair, frozen straberries. Enjoy!

Wine and Holidays
Wine in History

All content on the WineIntro website is personally written by author and wine enthusiast Lisa Shea. WineIntro explores the delicious variety and beautiful history which makes up our world of wine! Lisa loves supporting local wineries and encouraging people to drink whatever they like. We all have different taste buds, and that makes our world wonderful. Always drink responsibly.