Elderberry Website


I thought elderberries were smelly. I remember from the movie Monty Python's Holy Grail, "Your mother was a hamster, and your father ....smelt ...of elderberries."
I know that is not an intelligent comment.
Reply to
ebrad

I always wondered about that reference. Maybe it a reference that dad was into the elderberry wine too frequently? I use elderberries to improve my Concord grape wine; 20% elderberries adds a lot of complexity and depth to the taste and tones down the foxiness. I also make a melomel with elderberries and honey, which I call Dragon's Blood because of the deep color.
Paul
Reply to
Pavel314

'Foxy' is a descriptor of wines which taste strongly of the grape source, especially Concord. It is not a complement, although these wines can be very tasty.
Cheers, Ken
Reply to
mail box

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I thought it was particular to grapes which add a musty - bordering on skunky smell to the wine. A partial note of fox scent or marking.
Either way, I find it weird in a wine. Concord being my example. Gets better with aging though...
Jim
Reply to
jim c

I always thought it was a high falutin' way of saying his father was a drunk!
Picked 20lbs of elderberries along the roads around here last year and made five gallons of decent wine, btw. But cleaning them is a PITA!
Ryan
Reply to
Ryan Case

In the very funny play "Arsenic and Old Lace" two little old ladies use poisoned elderberry wine to put lonely men out of their misery.
Paul
Reply to
Pavel314

Over my first several years of picking elderberries I tried different methods to speed up the cleaning process. My comb-and-hardware-cloth method works fairly well; it's described at:
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Also, check the Cracked Cork website I referenced above; they have a page on harvesting and cleaning techniques.
I just ordered some elderberries from Raintree Nurseries, on variety with golden berries and the other with powder blue berries. Details at:
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Paul
Reply to
Pavel314

Ah ha! Wikipedia says,
"The berries are a very valuable food resource for many birds....The crushed foliage and immature fruit have a strong fetid smell."
Reply to
ebrad

I've got a question. I have several wild elderberries growing here. I have read that some are poisonous. How do you know if they are poisonous or not?
Reply to
victoriacreek

Apparently the other parts of the elderberry plant are somewhat toxic (calcium oxalate), but the berries and flowers are not. Those are the parts that are used for winemaking, so if you stick to those, you should be OK. The toxin is the same as found in rhubarb leaves and in the houseplant Dieffenbachia ("dumb cane"), as well as a number of other common plants. You want to avoid it, but occasional exposure to trace amounts of it are not a health hazard.
Doug
Reply to
Doug

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