I put my rhubarb wine into a carboy over the long weekend. It’s got a sort of fuzzy yellow color and tastes sweet and slightly of rhubarb. I used the reddest stalks I could harvest, so I’m a little sad it’s not pinkish, but as I’ve learned from the dandelion, the color of the final product will almost definitely change.
I will definitely ferment my next batch on the pulp longer, for more pronounced flavor. My recipes seem to indicate that it rarely has a strong rhubarb taste regardless, but I’d still like to try to get one.
The dandelion is starting to clear but is quite sour. I added extra acid blend, on the advice of someone at the wine-making supplies shop, and I think that was a mistake. The citrus fruit alone will be sufficient next time.
I hope one or both turns out to be tasty! My raspberry bushes are coming along quite nicely, and they haven’t failed to bear a good crop yet, so hopefully that’s next. I may try the raspberry-rhubarb recipe in True Brews, or just blend the two wines. In any case, I’m looking forward to having something that isn’t yellow-green.
My other fruit that seems to be doing well this year includes the red currant, but I can’t tell how the Concord grape is doing yet. I cut it way back a couple years ago and it didn’t do anything last year. For wine, I need a lot of grapes: I think my recipe calls for 16 lbs. I might try this first recipe, though http://winemaking.jackkeller.net/reques10.asp, if I don’t seem to be getting that big a haul.
It turns out that one of the hardest parts of this endeavor is the waiting. Patience isn’t my strongest suit, so this is probably as good for me as it is difficult. The dandelion won’t be ready until Christmas, at the earliest, and the rhubarb apparently needs a year of aging. Concord wine will need 2 or 3 years! A late frost knocked off all my Damson blossoms, which was extra disappointing because that one is supposed to be pretty good at 6 months, although I’ve also read plum wines are hard to clear, and may require repeated racking. I might try a cider or perry, though, with juice from Ela Family Farms, or a dry mead with local honey. I think ciders and meads need much less aging time, though I do love the idea of making things with my own produce. Partially to that end, I’ve also put in a peach tree this year. I have access to the press at the wine supplies shop Wine and Whey if I ever get a big enough crop of apples or pears, too. (In fact, they offer their space for wine-making, which is a great idea for a novice with lots of questions. I, however, apparently need to dive in and start making things myself, at the moment the mood strikes me.)