How To Make Muscadine Wine

Have you ever thought about making your own wine? And do you have a sweet tooth?

If you’ve answered Yes to both of these questions, then this sure is the article for you!

Here in this article we’re going to cover what exactly is muscadine, what it tastes like, why it has an undeserved bad reputation, and how you can make your very own muscadine wine.

We’re also going to give you tips on how to store your newly created muscadine wine, and how to serve it and what foods to pair it with.

(Feel free to scroll ahead to anything that catches your eye.)

What Is Muscadine Wine?

For those of you who don’t already know, muscadine wine is one that has been fermented from muscadine grapes. Muscadine grapes are native to America and are not found anywhere else in the world.

What makes muscadine grapes different from other types of grapes is their very thick skins, which don’t wither or decay easily. Moreover, these grapes can grow very large – even to the size of a golf ball in some circumstances.

Muscadine grapes range in color from green and bronze to deep purple. As such, you can get muscadine wine in a variety of different styles, including red wine, white wine, rose wine and dessert wine.

What Does Muscadine Wine Taste Like?

Muscadine wine, whether it’s a red, white, or rose version, is medium bodied, with bold, intense fruit flavoring, like that of bruised apples and cranberries.

You may also get subtle herbal, floral or citrus hints. (Strangely, some even say you can get hints of rubber cement!) 

Most muscadine winemakers add plenty of sugar to their fermentation mixture in order to counteract the natural bitterness of the muscadine grapes.

As such, it usually tends to be a very sweet tasting wine, even though it’s also sometimes (but rarely) available as a dry wine.

Why Does Muscadine Wine Have A Bad Reputation?

There are a number of reasons why Muscadine wine isn’t as popular as its many counterparts…

First off, there’s the very distinctive taste. It’s one of those wines that you either love or hate. Because of all the sugar that usually goes into the making of it, it’s too sweet for many people’s tastes.

Secondly, it’s a little low in alcohol volume compared to other wines, so it seems less of a grown-up’s drink.

And then there’s the branding. Because the muscadine grape is native to America, it doesn’t have that ostentatious, glamorous quality that often gets associated with foreign wines. And this isn’t helped by the incredibly cheap price tag.

How To Make Muscadine Wine

Before we get going with the recipe, it’s important to point out that making any kind of wine, including muscadine, takes several weeks as you give the grapes time to ferment. It’s not something that you can simply whip up on the day.

What You Need To Make Your Very Own Muscadine Wine

In addition to the wine’s ingredients, you will also need certain items of equipment. You will need the following pieces of kit:

  • 2 gallon-sized glass containers with airtight lids
  • A cheesecloth or kitchen towel to cover one of these containers with
  • A water filter machine or jug
  • 4 empty wine bottles with airtight caps.

In terms of ingredients, you will need the following:

  • 3 quarts of water
  • 7 grams of active dry yeast
  • 6 cups of granulated sugar
  • 1 quart of muscadine grapes

Step-By-Step Instructions

Before you begin, it’s important to properly sanitize both of the gallon-sized glass containers.

Step One

Filter the water and pour it into one of the gallon-sized glass containers. Then add the 6 cups of granulated sugar and stir it until it’s fully dissolved into the filtered water.

Step Two

Mash up the muscadine grapes before adding them to the sugar water, and sprinkle the active dry yeast over the top. Although you might be tempted, it’s important that you don’t stir the mixture.

Step Three

Cover the container with the cheesecloth (or kitchen towel) and let the mixture rest in a dark and cool place for 24 hours. Ideally, it should rest at a temperature between 68 and 72 degrees Fahrenheit.

Step Four

Once 24 hours have passed, you can now give the mixture a good stir, before covering again, and letting it rest again for another 24 hours in the cool and dark.

Step Five

You must repeat Step Four, stirring the mixture once a day at the same time for a full week.

Step Six

Once the week of stirring and resting is up, you need to strain the liquids into the other gallon-sized glass container. Then you need to add additional filtered water until the gallon container is full.

Step Seven

You now need to let the wine ferment in the cool, and dark conditions for a full 6 weeks.

Step Eight

Once these 6 weeks are up, you need to strain the mixture again and place it into another clean gallon container, and cap it lightly. Then leave it for 3 days to ensure that any further fermentation has ceased.

Step Nine

After these 3 days, you can then pour the wine into your bottles, attach the airtight caps, and store in the refrigerator.

How To Store Your Muscadine Wine

You should store your newly created muscadine wine in a cool place, such as in a refrigerator.

How To Serve Muscadine Wine

Normally, serving a wine very cold can dull its flavors, but this is not so with muscadine wine, And it’s because it has so much going on flavor-wise, we strongly recommend that you keep your muscadine wine in the refrigerator before serving it.

Muscadine is certainly somewhat of a Southern American wine, so for the full Southern experience, we would recommend taking it with classic Southern comfort food.

It pairs excellently with spicy foods and barbecue meats. How about trying it with some nice smoked pork ribs or brisket? Or other fatty meats like pork chops and sausages?

Christina Day
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