The easiest and most reliable wine we make, our everyday wine, is rhubarb. We usually brew at least 10 gallons each spring. The oldest bottle in our cellar right now is from 2004, but we've tasted some that was ten years old. It doesn't change much over the years, really. We've decided that aging it isn't very important, so we just guzz it young, giving some of the other wines a chance to age.
We've tried a few different methods and find that the simplest way of making it seems to be the best. We use 5 lb of rhubarb per gallon. Each stalk is roughly snapped into many pieces (after removing the poisonous leaf) and tossed into a large crock. We pour cold water over it and let it stand at room temperature for three days, then remove the stalks and feed them to the goats. To the pink liquid left behind, we add between 2 1/2 and 3 lb of sugar (more makes a stronger wine) and a package of yeast. After another few days of fermenting, we siphon it into a container with an airlock and leave it till it's ready to drink a couple of months later.
Picking the fruit
Snapping the stalks
We started the first batch of the year this week, just a little later than usual. We wanted a sunny day to pick it but finally got tired of waiting. Our main patch produced 50 lb of rhubarb, enough for 10 gallons. The plants looked wonderful when we started picking and pathetic when we finished, but they'll recover soon. I might add some frozen berries to one 5 gallon batch. If so, I'll do it next week.