30 MAY 1952, Page 14

Country Wines

The cowslips have just passed-and the dandelions are nearly over, but soon the clover will be up at its best and the elderfiower covering the tree. Years ago- the old country-woman set about making wine from these flowers. I have a book that includes recipes for gorse- wine among a score of others. Sugar-rationing must have put an end to home wine-making, but I can recollect the potency of elder- flower, the heady flavour of cowslip. These were the wines of spring and early summer. Later in the yeap a few bottles of blackberry and elderberry were put down. Nothing was touched until fully matured. My saddest experience of country wine was on a visit to a couple celebrating their diamond wedding. The old lady insisted that I should drink their health in elder-wine while her husband gave me the story of the way they had come. I fell asleep at mid-day after hearing how harmless was the brew !