Rhubarb cherry wine is an easy country wine that combines two abundant local ingredients – rhubarb and tart cherries – into a bright and fruity homemade wine.
4quarts rhubarb, cut into 1/2″ pieces
3quarts of tart red cherries, fresh or frozen
4quarts of water
8cups of cane sugar
1 package of wine yeast
Combine chopped rhubarb and stemmed cherries in a crock or large non-reactive kettle. (Minimum 3 gallon capacity recommended.) Note: If using frozen cherries, partially thaw and combine with rhubarb immediately for best color. Do not allow to thaw completely and sit around, or they will oxidize and the color will fade.
Add 4 quarts of water, cover with a flour sack towel to keep bugs out and put in a warm location to ferment for two weeks. Stir daily, crushing fruit against sides of crock. If you have not seeded your cherries, don’t crush the pits. They would make the wine bitter.
At the end of two weeks, strain fruit mash through a jelly bag or flour sack towel. Squeeze until very dry. Return liquid to crock and stir in the sugar, making sure it has dissolved completely. Dissolve wine yeast per package directions, stir into sweetened juice mix.
Cover and ferment for 2 more weeks, stirring twice each week.
After the end of the second two weeks, strain through several layers of cheesecloth or a flour sack towel. Juice mix will likely be very cloudy and yeasty, so you should return it to the crock, a carboy or 2 gallon jugs and allow it to settle for 2-5 days.
When the wine has settled, siphon into clean, sterilized bottles and cork lightly (or cover with balloons). When you are sure fermenting has ceased, cork tightly. Store for at least one year before drinking.
Cane sugar is preferred over beet sugar because it does ferment differently.
If you don’t use pitted cherries, don’t crush the pits while brewing. They would make the wine bitter.