We usually make one or two batches of Rhubarb wine each year. Several years ago, Graham made a Rhubarb bed and I think we have 7 plants out there. That provides us with plenty of Rhubarb, both for making wine and also for stewing and using in baking.
Here’s a link to the process we have used in the past for making Rhubarb wine. It’s easy to make, easy to bottle and easy to sip on. This year however we are trying something new with the way we get the Rhubarb ready for the primary fermenter.
Instead of breaking the stalks, then covering them with water, this year I cut all the Rhubarb into fairly small pieces (maybe 1/2 inch each). Then I tossed them in Ziplock bags and put them in the freezer. We were wondering whether a freeze/thaw method would work better. We have always had to add water to the wine, but this time there is no water at all in the primary.
The liquid is pure juice, or quite close to that. The only water in there came from any frozen crystals of ice around the Rhubarb.
The picture shows 2 bowls of thawing Rhubarb and also one large bowl of Saskatoon berries. I had these picked but hadn’t yet cleaned them before weighing and popping in the freezer.
Once I had enough Rhubarb and Graham was here to give me a hand, we moved on to the next step. We took the Rhubarb out of the freezer and set each bag into a strainer, pot or whatever else we could find. We could take the bags out of the freezer at night and by morning, the Rhubarb would be quite well strained.
Then I squeezed all the Rhubarb (yes with my hands!) and got even more juice out of the stalks. After squeezing that much Rhubarb, I realized something that should be on my Christmas gift list! Yes, a press!
Squeezing the fruit may well result a more cloudy wine, but we’re willing to take the risk. There are tablets we can add later to clarify the wine and hopefully take out all the cloudiness.
I kept squeezing and straining Rhubarb until we hit the 5 gallon mark on the primary fermenter. Since we had lots of Rhubarb left still, we washed out another primary and got to work putting on a second batch.
You can read about the rest of the process by following the link above, which will take to you the Rhubarb Wine Recipe page of this website. If you have never tried it, Rhubarb wine is quite tasty and it’s easy to make. Pick up a wine making kit and get started – the only expense really is in buying the equipment. Also, you will need to buy sugar, but that’s it. If you can, start collecting empty wine bottles or have your friends start collecting for you. You can pay them back for their work by giving them a bottle of your wine!
If you are growing the fruit, wine is easy to make and a lot more affordable than the local beer and wine store.