Muscadine wines have been labelled cheap and easy to get drunk off. But when you take a deeper look into what goes into this drink, you’ll soon realize that there’s so much more to it.
To start with, they’re made using Muscadine grapes that are considered to be one of America’s truly native winemaking grapes. These bite-sized fruits are amazing, coveted for their superfruit properties.
So, if these grapes are really that amazing, why does the wine made using it have such a bad reputation?
Keep reading to find out more!
What is Muscadine Wine?
Muscadine wine is made using Muscadine grapes – which can only grow in North America. The characteristics of the fruit are what set it apart from the rest of the European grape varieties. To start with, these grapes are considered to be superfruits and contain ellagic acid (the only grape to do so) and tons of antioxidants.
Research has even found that these grapes can assist with managing illnesses brought on due to obesity that include fatty liver.
Above and beyond the nutritional content, these grapes also look a lot different from the “normal” winemaking varieties. The vines alone can grow up to 100 feet a year, while the berries can grow to be the size of a golf ball. This is because this grape does not belong to the same dainty species of grape often associated with winemaking.
Instead, it is a close cousin to the grape most often used in winemaking, Vitis Vinifera. This relation means that the grapes share many of the same characteristics as other winemaking grapes, with a few obvious differences.
Where Is Muscadine Wine From?
Muscadine wine is a truly American wine made using Muscadine, or Vitis rotundifolia, grapes – which can only be found in North America. These grapes can range in colour – from green to black – and can grow to be the size of golf balls. It’s estimated that over 3,200 acres of these grapes are planted across America, with Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, South Carolina, and North Carolina having the greatest – and most abundant – crops.
How To Make Muscadine Wine?
Muscadine grapes have thicker skin, making them pest and disease-resistant. While that is a great feature, these skins are also incredibly difficult to ferment. The skins are also bitter due to the tannin content, and so sugar needs to be added during the fermentation process. As a result, Muscadine wines are often sweet, however, you can find a few slightly dry varieties as well.
The process of making your own Muscadine wine is quite simple. All you need is sugar, water, dry yeast, and, of course, Muscadine grapes. Dissolve the sugar in the water, add mashed grapes, and top with the yeast – don’t stir yet! Cover with a cloth and leave to rest for a day. After a day, mix it all together and cover. Move the mixture to a cool, darkroom.
You’ll need to mix it every day for a week. After a week, strain the liquid into an airtight container (capacity needs to be a gallon). Fill up the container with water until the contents reach the top. Leave to ferment in a dark, cool place for six weeks.
After this time, strain the liquid and transfer it to a clean container and cap lightly. Leave to ferment for another three days. Finally, you can decant the liquid into wine bottles with an airtight seal. Store in the fridge and drink as desired.
What Does Muscadine Wine Taste Like?
Muscadine wines are medium-bodied and have an intense fruit flavour. Many people detect notes of bananas, cranberries, and bruised apples. Additional notes include floral, herbal, and citrus. This is a sweet wine and is often seen as a dessert-style wine.
Is Muscadine Wine Sweet or Dry?
Due to the sugar used in the fermentation process, these wines are often quite sweet. However, you can find some slightly dry varieties as well.
Does Muscadine Wine Have Alcohol?
Yes, most Muscadine wines have an average alcohol content of around 10 percent ABV.
How To Drink Muscadine Wine
Muscadine wines need to be kept refrigerated and served cold to help reduce the intensity of the flavours. The intense fruity flavours allow for this wine to even be served ice cold.
Should You Chill Muscadine Wine?
Yes, Muscadine wine should always be chilled before serving to allow the beautiful fruit notes to shine through.
What Food to Pair with Muscadine Wine?
When it comes to pairing Muscadine wines with foods, it’s important to remember that this is a sweet wine. For these reasons, BBQ meats, and even spicy food pair incredibly well with this beverage. If you consider where these grapes are grown, it will help you better understand the food pairings. We recommend some juicy smoked pork ribs and slaw if you’re not sure where to start.
Is Muscadine Wine Good for You?
Before diving into this, it’s worth noting that this is an alcoholic beverage and as such, drink in moderation.
Muscadine wines are rich in antioxidants, specifically resveratrol. This is because the grapes used in making this wine are rich in this substance. So, if you are looking for a wine rich in antioxidants, look no further.
Is Muscadine Wine the Same as Moscato?
No. Moscato is made using Muscat grapes which form part of the Vitis Vinifera species. Muscadine wine is made using Muscadine grapes which belong to the Vitis rotundifolia species. What both wines do have in common, however, is that they both have been labelled as cheap.
Muscadine Wine is Actually Quite the Treat
If you enjoy sweet wines, then we highly recommend giving Muscadine wine a try. While it lives with the label of cheap and tacky, those that have enjoyed this beverage will tell you a completely different story.
Of course, everyone is entitled to their own opinion and tastes differ, but all in all, it’s really not a bad wine.