I have been later than usual in my May wine-making, but it has been a busy month. The first part was taken up with a glorious holiday in Dorset where we hunted for ammonites, basked in sunshine and walked ten miles a day. As soon as we were back in Leeds I had a week of playing in the pit orchestra for Into the Woods
. This was less exhausting than I had anticipated, but I was out of the house from before 8 in the morning to nearly 11 at night, leaving no time for making wine. My plans to make dandelion wine were crushed and I didn't start my rhubarb wine until 20th May, the day that Nick came round with 9 lbs of rhubarb. He will get two bottles of the finished product in payment.
There were two varieties of rhubarb, one pinker than the other, and Nick provided more of the pink than green for purposes of colour.
After spending the day in the garden (we are having glorious weather) I went into wine-making mode. I washed the rhubarb and sliced the stalks thinly. These all went into my bucket and I measured and poured over 9 lbs of sugar. I boiled 20 pints of water (though that proved to be at least a pint too much) and poured this onto the rhubarb and sugar. (Rhubarb wine is really the easiest wine there is, and I think it is my favourite white.) I stirred it all up and left the mix overnight to cool down.
|Rhubarb pieces - note the difference between pink and green|
On Monday morning before work I added the yeast and two teaspoons each of nutrient and pectolase. Apart from the occasional stir, I left this until Friday evening, 25th May. Fortified with a Margherita (delicious) and a glass of zucchini wine (rather less so), I transferred the wine into its three demijohns. The first stage was to remove the majority of the rhubarb with a colander, used as a scoop. I then dipped my jug into the bucket, poured the wine through a nylon sieve and funnel into the demijohns. It was a quicker process than I had expected and the wine is the pastel pink that rhubarb wine should be.
If you want to see how this wine turned out, click here
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