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An experiment with rhubarb wine

I have a bumper crop of rhubarb this year and while searching for ways to use it I came across a recipe for rhubarb/elderberry wine. I had some elderberries in the freezer so decided to try it. Has anyone else tried making any kind of rhubarb wine? Any suggestions, cautions, etc.?

I’ve made a lot of rhubarb wine, and the best tip I ever got was from a J.E. Underhill who told me to put in a can of pineapple juice for every 5 gallon batch. You won’t be able to taste pineapple in the finished blend, but people will ask, 'Is this Chardonnay?", “Is this Pinot Blanc?”, “Is this Viognier?”. It makes an amazing difference.

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Thanks, that sounds interesting. I’ll give it a try.

Tim - how many ounces of pineapple juice would you recommend for a 5 gallon batch?

I tried the pineapple juice but I am afraid I ruined the wine. I bought a can of Dole pineapple juice at the store and added the whole can to the must. But, I never read the label on the can. Now the fermentation does not want to start. I pitched the yeast (2 packets of Montrachet started as directed on the packet) on Tuesday and now, 4 days later, nothing at all has happened. The water line in the airlock is still in exactly the same spot. Is it possible that the juice had preservatives in it that killed the yeast? Any other ideas? Any solutions if it is a preservative issue?

What was the gravity before you added the pineapple juice, and what is it today?

1.091 on both days


If you’ve still got it, you can build up a strong yeast culture and pitch it in–the wait won’t hurt the juice substantially.

Best way to make a culture is to get a quart of apple juice (no preservatives!), warm it to 75F, add a package of champagne yeast, and let it go until it’s very vigorously foamy. Shake it up, add the whole thing, and you’ll be off to the races.

Okay, I tried the rhubarb/pineapple wine again this year and I used a can of frozen pineapple (no preservatives). Just bottled the wine today and it is great!

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