Rhubarb Wine Recipe

Use fresh rhubarb to make this sweet and summery wine. Perfect for outdoor parties, with fruity desserts, or for a girlie gathering #wine
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Make a sweet dessert wine with fresh rhubarb

Quite a few people think of rhubarb as strictly a springtime treat but if you grow it yourself you’ll know that you can be pulling stalks of it far into the summer. Even so, it’s a matter of time before you’re tired of eating rhubarb crumbles. When this happens, you know it’s time. Time to make sweet rhubarb wine.

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Sweet Rhubarb Wine Recipe

The final wine is sweet and golden in colour

I only made a single batch of this recipe last year and it turned out to be a real tragedy that I didn’t make more. I’m planning on rectifying the situation this year so you can bet that every spare stalk of rhubarb is going to be saved for these bottles of boozy deliciousness. The wine tastes sweet, crisp and with the full-bodied taste of rhubarb in every sip. It’s absolutely divine and has impressed everyone who has tried it. Especially the skeptics.

Rhubarb Wine recipe

Makes 6 bottles of wine

2.3 kg [5 lb] Rhubarb
1.4 kg [3 lb] Sugar
285 ml [1/2 UK Pint / 1-1/4 cups US] Black tea, cooled (make it quite strong)
2.8 Litres Water [5 UK pints / 6 US Pints]
2 tsp Yeast Nutrient
1x 5g Sachet of White wine Yeast

For AFTER fermenation: 1 Campden Tablet“0” />

Equipment – the below product from Amazon has everything you need to get started:
Premium Wine Making Equipment Kit – with Auto-Syphon

1. Wash the rhubarb sticks and cut them into 1-cm (or thinner) slices.

Place these pieces in a clean, sterilised tub and pour in the sugar. Stir it well, and then cover the bucket with a clean towel or plastic wrap and leave for at least 24 hours but up to three days.

Use fresh rhubarb to make this sweet and summery wine. Perfect for outdoor parties, with fruity desserts, or for a girlie gathering #wine

2. After this time the sugar will have pulled the moisture out of the rhubarb creating a rich pink coloured syrup.

Strain this syrup from the rhubarb pieces and place it in another clean tub. Make sure to get as much of the syrup from the rhubarb as you can before you discard it.
*Note*I now change the way I do this step. Instead of straining the sugar syrup straight, I first add the 2.8 litres of water from step 3 to help dissolve any sugar that’s collected at the bottom of the tub.

3. Boil your 2.8 litres of water and pour into the syrup, stirring well.

Allow the liquid to cool to room temperature and then add the tea, yeast and yeast nutrient. Cover the tub with a clean towel and allow it to sit undisturbed for five days.

Use fresh rhubarb to make this sweet and summery wine. Perfect for outdoor parties, with fruity desserts, or for a girlie gathering #wine

4. At the end of the five days, have your demi-john sterilised and ready.

Mine are glass so I’ll first wash the demi-john with soapy water, rinse it well and then put it in the oven for 30 minutes at 130°C [275°F]. Allow to cool before pouring your wine in.

5. Rack the liquid through a sterilised hose from the tub into your clean demi-john.

Make sure to leave the mucky residue of initial fermentation at the bottom of the tub. If a little gets in that’s fine, but the less you get in the better. If the liquid doesn’t come up to the top of the demi-john’s neck then fill it up with water that’s been boiled and cooled.

Use fresh rhubarb to make this sweet and summery wine. Perfect for outdoor parties, with fruity desserts, or for a girlie gathering #wine

6. Once the liquid is in, fit your drilled cork into the demi-john.

Pour a little boiled but cooled water into the airlock’s chambers before fitting it into the cork. The temperatures that the wine should be at during its fermentation vary depending on the type of wine yeast you’re using so have a look at the sachet for this information.

7. Fermentation in the demi-john will take about a month.

Use fresh rhubarb to make this sweet and summery wine. Perfect for outdoor parties, with fruity desserts, or for a girlie gathering #wine


8. Once fermentation is complete, you’ll rack the wine

Rack it into a clean tub and add a crushed Campden tablet to it – this inhibits bacterial contamination during the aging process. Then siphon the wine into another clean and sterilised demi-john, fit a cork and then allow to age for about six months. After six months you can then rack the wine into bottles. You can technically drink it at this time but it’s best to allow the wine to age at least a further month before opening. The wine will be a golden colour when finished.

Use fresh rhubarb to make this sweet and summery wine. Perfect for outdoor parties, with fruity desserts, or for a girlie gathering #wine

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73 Discussion to this post

  1. John says:

    May have to try this. Rhubarb we have!

  2. Deco Cat says:

    I always have the problem of what to do with all the spare rhubarb we have so thank you for this recipe!

  3. Since we usually have more rhubarb than we know what to do with, I'm sorely tempted to try making this. What puts me off is that the end result of my last wine making effort (1987?) was a mouldy, forgotten bucket!

  4. I am nor a huge wine lover so i don't think I'll be making any. however i am also a 'give anything a try at least once' person so if I happen to see any on sale anywhere i would buy a bottle to give it a go…you never know it could be the one that turns me into a wine lover!!!!

    • This recipe results in quite a sweet wine so you might like it Tanya – it's not as sharp as conventional wines are either.

      Good idea to try it first though! Not many retailers would have it but I'd bet you could find it online somewhere 🙂

  5. Jo says:

    It's a lovely colour. I don't suppose it stays this colour when it's complete.

  6. Leigh says:

    Beautiful color! I planted 3 rhubarb plants 3 years ago. Two of them are still around but they never get more than about 6 inches high. I think our summer heat always does them in and stunts them every year. I planted them because I have fond memories of my grandmother making stewed rhubarb, which my dad loved. Never thought about wine!

  7. That's a shame it isn't doing too well Leigh… Do you have them planted in a shady place? If not, you can try moving them and then pile plenty of well rotted manure around them. I've heard of them growing in places as warm as California and South Africa so might as well give it a go.

    I also associate rhubarb with my grandmother 🙂 Have you tried making the stewed rhubarb from shop-purchased stalks? Might be a good plan B!

  8. Pale pink, sweet, rhubarb wine? I like the sound of that! My kitchen (and, in fact, whole flat) are much too bijou for storing demi-johns so I think this sweet treat will have to wait a while. Thank you for sharing though – I've enjoyed reading about the process and seeing your photos!

    • Thanks Caro! I can completely understand about not being able to dedicate the space for demi-johns that need to sit for six months+. Have you tried making Elderflower Champagne though? It doesn't take much room and is ready in less than two weeks. The flowers will be out towards the end of May to the end of June so do have a think about it 🙂

  9. Akannie says:

    Hello Tanya…first time here. We have the same problem with the rhubarb we planted as Leigh…I've never been a big fan, but my husband loves it. I think ours is in a kind of shady spot, but….maybe we need to fertilize it more.

    Lovely blog!!

    • Thanks Akannie and I hope you have luck trying to feed it with more manure! And have you tried cooking rhubarb with strawberries before? I didn't like rhubarb growing up but gave it another go after trying strawberry-rhubarb pie 🙂

  10. Lrong says:

    Tried to grow rhubarb from seeds but failed… would be nice to have a plant, even just for variety sake…

    • Hi Lrong 🙂 My rhubarb is all from seed but I do have to say that it takes a LONG time for it to germinate. Keep trying and I'm sure you'll get one that grows! Once you have one plant you're also able to multiply your stock by division.

  11. Ooh, love the colour of it!

  12. I've used this recipe and my wine is now fully fermented and clear, I've read that some people leave it in the demi john for 6 months before bottling and some people bottle straight away, is there a right way or wrong way or is it down to personal preference? Personally I would like to bottle them now but I don't know what difference it makes in leaving it sit in a demi john or in bottles

  13. Rob says:

    This Wine is awesome. Just drank my first bottle of it and loved it. Got some apples and noticed on another one of your blogs that you had done an apple wine. Do you have the recipe for that too?

  14. Aside from fruits, this is the first time that I saw a vegetable turned or used as the main ingredient for wine. I've been buying liquor online and there's no wine like this one.

  15. scarybex says:

    My Rhubarb was donated to me by my dad from a plant I grew up with, it's now in my garden and massive (and I don't like rhubarb any more now than I did then!). I'd had home brew equipment (also from dad) for a while now but been too scared to give it a go, however you make it look so easy that I'm trying this as my first wine this year. Wish me luck!!

  16. Terry Parker says:

    I have one question with regards to this recipe .I cut the stems in half as part were red and other part was green . I put the green parts to one side and just using the red part. If i mixed them together would i still get a pinky liquid from the Rhubarb or would it come out a different colour all together .. Regards Terry

    • Hi Terry, the pinker/redder your rhubarb the more pink your wine will turn out. With this batch here you see the colour as an opaque berry colour but upon maturing it was a clear golden-pink.

      Later in the summer I use greener rhubarb and the colour comes out clear and a light amber colour – presumably from the tea. The flavour is the same though.

  17. Terry Parker says:

    Thank you for that Tanya , just that i have had no joy in finding any rhubarb which is pure red/pink that is why i have left out the green parts and just use the red and now the sugar as dissolved to a nice pinky colour what i wanted to know is why did you use tea , does it act as a substitute to pectolase ..

  18. Terry Parker says:

    Oic i used green tea so hope this comes out alright , it has been fermenting now on a rapid speed for the past three days and it has gone from a light green due to the tea , to a nice light pink colour , i just hope now that the tea i used acted like tannin . Oh by the way i have started a Ribena wine and as it costs a bit for the black currants , by using Ribena it only costs approx £2.75 a gallon to make being the sugar the most expensive ingredient , Now just waiting for the elderflowers to come out . Thank you Tanya for the info on the Tannin .

  19. greg says:

    using your recipe, uses less additives than other recipes and the addition of tea is smart, we make a lot of wines in work, oak leaf, pea pod but not rhubarb

  20. Anonymous says:

    Have some going using a slightly different recipe this year (first attempt) but will give this one a go next time – the tea sounds a good alternative to the special grape concentrate I bought this time round. Does it need to be young rhubarb or can you use the larger stalks too (our rhubarab just grows like mad and is producing 2cm thick stalks in no time).

    • Any Rhubarb will do…the only difference is that younger (pinker) stalks will give a pinker colour wine. I have a batch of this recipe using greener stalks fermenting right now and it's an attractive pale straw colour. Other batches have been more amber in colour. Doesn't affect the flavour though 🙂

  21. Anonymous says:

    Has any one ever added currants black or red to rhubarb wine? I have currant bushes and have lots in storage, wondering if adding them will undermine the rhubarb and not sure what other changes i would need to make in the recipe, but if anyone has some advice that would be great!

    • The beauty of making your own wine is that you can experiment with whatever fruit you have at hand. Try your currants in the mix and who knows, you might have a winner 🙂 PS- Currants have lots of Tannin so if you use them in this recipe, omit the black tea.

  22. SeaView Brewery says:

    What a great recipe! I have been looking at doing a rhubarb wine for a while. Will definitely give it a go

  23. Anonymous says:

    I've made a blend of Rhubarb wine and apple wine (50/50). After 1 month (wine-makers say that a wine has "bottle-disease" for a month), it had intresting rich taste, lovely to drink in the summer.

    I don't use the tea to get body. It's not better, nor is it worse, it is different : that's the fun part of wine making.

  24. Anonymous says:

    Amazingly simple and good.

  25. Laura Smith says:

    Found this recipe when we had a glut of Rhubarb at the end of the summer last year and have just bottled it, having a sneaky taste! Lovely – my hubby said it was like a good Sauvignon Blanc so looking forward to the Easter holidays when it'll have had a month or so to mature! Didn't even tast of Rhubarb!

  26. Andy Dan says:

    You use a lot of rhubarb in this recipe – 5lb as opposed to other recipes I've seen that only use 3lb. Is there a reason for this? Do you think it makes it a lot fuller bodied? I've started a batch according to your recipe, but I'm wondering whether to make 2 gallons from it and maybe add some grape juice concentrate to bulk it out.

    • You of course can use however much you'd like Andy but I like my wine to have a full rhubarb flavour. It's true that some recipes call for less but I stick with what I know creates a nice wine.

  27. Calchick7 says:

    does the cloudiness go away? or stay? can I use boiled yeast as yeast nutrient and anyone know how much say for one gallon? Was this recipe for a one gallon carboy?

  28. Paul says:

    If I wanted to make five gallons, do I simply multiply all quantities by five?
    I am just a little concerned about adding two and a half pints of strong tea and the effect it might have on the overall brew.
    Please advise.

    • If you wanted to make five times this amount then yes, you multiply all quantities by five. This recipe makes 6x 750ml bottles which is just over a gallon. As for your concern over the tea, you will not taste a tea taste at all. The tannins in the tea are necessary to give the wine a bit of structure.

  29. Anonymous says:

    Third year using this recipe. Turns out light and crisp every time. Last years batch is finishing clearing in the carboy. Snuck a taste and is excellent. Thanks for the recipe.

  30. Michelle says:

    Could you just use rhubarb juice? I have a juicer/steamer and juice a lot of rhubarb for jelly. This would enable me to skip the straining step. If so..how much do you think I would need.

  31. […] I took the recipe from this site; Lovely Greens […]

  32. […] I took the recipe from this site; Lovely Greens […]

  33. Ryan says:

    Any suggestions on where to buy the wine making products? I have never made wine but I love rhubarb so I think I might give it a go.

  34. Rob says:

    How strict are the time frames? Is the 5 day strict or can it be extended? I am giving 2 different recipes a try and comparing. Oh the joy of fermentation.

    • lovelygreens says:

      To be honest, it’s all dependent on temperatures and climate. It can take longer to ferment if your home/climate are cooler and shorter it’s warm. The best way to check if your wine is ready is to measure your wine’s ‘Specific Gravity’ with a Hydrometer.

  35. eric says:

    I saw above you said if you were making five times the recipe you should multiply all ingredients by 5. Does that apply to the yeast, yeast nutrient and Campden Tablet? The yeast packet I bought says it is for 1 to 6 Gallons. Would 1 packet suffice? and what about for the other 2 ingredients?

    • lovelygreens says:

      I used to use a packet of yeast per demi-john of wine but now realise that a single packet is enough for large batches, providing that you use a single large container to ferment the wine into. I think the ratio here is 2-4 grams of yeast to a gallon of wine. The rule with campden tablets is one per every gallon of wine and the other ingredients just multiply upwards with the same ratio to whichever size batch you plan on making.

  36. Natalie says:

    Hello, what if some of the rhubarb pieces get spots of mold on it? Ours had some white and blue looking mold starting on some of the pieces. We have not left it sitting longer than you advised. we picked the moldy ones out, but is it safe to keep going with the process? Or is it wrecked and we should start over?


  37. Laura says:

    Hi Tanya, I started making your rhubarb wine recipe…I doubled the recipe and am in day 2 of the fermenting process… So the next stage I siphon the liquid into a Demi-John and my question to you is what if the Demi-John is only half full, do I now add enough water to fill the Demi-John and wouldn’t that dilute the wine too much??? I’ve never made wine so I’m clueless…Thank, Laura

  38. Tami says:

    in step 8, you indicate to rack the mix into a clean tub and add the crushed Camden tablet.
    Then to siphon it into a clean carboy and cork it.
    How long do you wait after adding the tablet to siphon it into the carboy?

  39. Chris says:

    Great recipe! I never get enough rhubarb to try this so will have to go out and buy some *shudder*. Will definitely try this!

  40. Joseph says:

    How many U.S. gallons does this recipe make?

  41. Jerry says:

    Can you use the rhubarb pieces for a pie or other baked product. If seems like a shame to put it all in the composted. Is there any flavor left after you make the syrup?

  42. Eric says:

    I made your recipe last year and it turned out very dry, it was still good but not the “dessert wine” I was expecting. I probably messed up a step, although I thought I followed the recipe very closely. What is the final product supposed to look like? Is the final product sweet & thick like a dessert wine or something else? In step 8 should I be using a drilled cork with a air lock or a solid cork to create a seal? I let my batch sit for 6 months with the air lock on the demi john…could that be where I went wrong? Thanks

    • lovelygreens says:

      You should have bunged it up with an undrilled cork directly after the fermentation process ended. I’d be surprised that your wine wasn’t just dry but a bit acidic if it were left out that long with the airlock in. I’ve done it before and suspect that somehow air does get in over a longer time (cork drying out?).

  43. Eric says:

    I racked my wine 1 week ago and fit the carboy with the airlock. The air lock was bubbling away at first but now its bubbles about every 1 minute and 30 seconds. how do i know when fermentation is complete? Thanks

  44. Janet says:

    Hey There,

    Just making my first batch (5 gallons). Just wondering what your begining SG was and your final SG was prior to racking it into bottles?

    Thank you,


    • lovelygreens says:

      Start your wine at 1.090 and try to end it around 0.990 to 1.120

      • Janet says:

        Great thank you!

        I just completed my first racking today with my SG at 1.02 down from 1.09. It must sweeten with time? Or do you back sweeten at some point? (I’m a newbie to wine making) My airlock is in over drive.

        Do you happen to have a recipe or have done a sweet honey wine (mead)? I’d really like to do one but with so many recipes out there it’s a bit overwhelming. 🙂

        Thank you,

        (Alberta, Canada)

        • lovelygreens says:

          You can always sweeten your wine with honey or other sweeteners once fermentation is complete and all of the yeast is gone/removed. If you put it in before there’s a chance that it will be used by yeast to create more alcohol depending on which type of yeast you’re using and how far along your fermentation was to begin with.

          I don’t have a recipe for mead of my own yet but I’ve been given many of them to try out. One of those things on the old To-Do list! I’d pass them on but I’m currently traveling. Good luck with your wine and happy fermenting!

          • Janet says:

            Thank you for your advise. It’s looking great so far. I’m very excited for the end result. If you don’t mind I would love it if you could pass on the recipes for mead once your back from travels.

            Thank you again for all the advise!

            Alberta, Canada

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