Tuesday, January 25, 2011

"Wine-ing" away

I made some rhubarb wine in 2008 from some rhubarb I had frozen the previous summer.  I think I had about 15 lbs or so of it to use for a batch of wine.   It was frozen in large, heavy bags of about 5lbs each and took what seemed like forever for it to thaw out.  Into the primary bucket it all went along with the yeast and other winemaking powders to help it along the way.  It started out fine - smelled great, in fact!

Then, life interfered and I got pneumonia.  As a result of this, I forgot to move it into the secondary after the allotted amount of time.  It sat there for a good couple weeks or so extra before I could work up the energy to filter it into the secondary and put an airlock on it.  I knew that it was still possibly salvageable but not a hundred percent sure.  I consulted with my local wine guru and he said it would either oxidize, which is one step or so away from being vinegar, or turn to sherry.  In other words, I could toss it or play the odds.  I decided to play the odds.

Now it is 2011 and we decided to crack open a bottle of that dubious "wine."   I rummaged around the basement shelves to locate it, dusted it off and carried a bottle of it upstairs with a little bit of trepidation.  We grabbed a couple wineglasses and cracked it open.  I took a sniff of the bottle and wasn't too sure what I was smelling.  I poured a couple glasses and let it sit for a few minutes before sampling it.  We both took a sip and realized that we indeed had sherry!  It seems really sweet on the first sip but this diminishes after a couple sips.  Unfortunately, it also has a kick like a mule.  The flavour is good though - definitely a nice surprise considering that I had no high hopes for it at all.  It starts out sweet but ends on a more wine-like note.  It is not at the commercial level by any stretch of the imagination but it was pleasant, especially after a glassful or two!  Mind you, with the amount of alcohol in it, after that glass or two it could taste like a glass of swamp water and be fine.  I am hoping in another year or so it will be really good - probably wistful thinking on that though.


  1. ROFLMAO....I love that!! What fun! I have wanted to try making wine or beer or something like this. We have a wonderful little shop in our area..with all the stuff for at home stuff! Hoe fun it turned into sherry..and better yet sherry with a kick...whoot!!
    So sorry to hear you have been so ill hon...glad you are on the mend! Sending healing hugs your way!!
    I have a question..I have two wonderful rubarb plants...they grow a bit and not to much at all..they are three years old now...I cut off the bloom each spring..should I leave it on..it seems to stunt the growth...any rubarb tips??
    Hugs to you hon, Sarah

  2. Kudos on becoming a sherry baron! I can see you pouring yourself a wee snort and settling in with a good book.

  3. Sarah - making wine is fun- drinking it even more so!
    Rhubarb needs lots of water and likes lots of aged manure. Keep cutting off the bloom, preferably when it is just starting. Good luck with it, Sarah.

    You definitely have me pegged, Barb! You will have to have a bit of nip this summer when you come out.