If you are the kind of person who loves to relax with a glass of wine, then chances are you have sampled your fair share of different blends over the years.
So if you are in the mood to try something new and unconventional, then why not sample one of the most obscure wines in the world?
Made from muscadine, a variety of grape that is native to the southeastern United States, this wine is often overlooked by the general public, despite its rich and distinctive characteristics.
Known for their sweet flavour and numerous health benefits, muscadine grapes can be used to make a delicious wine, unlike anything you have ever tasted before. But what’s even better, is that you can try your hand at making this wine yourself from the comfort of your own home.
Not only can muscadine grapes be made into wine, but the overall process requires minimal effort and will produce a sweet and medium-bodied wine with a diverse and layered taste. So if you want to make your own muscadine from scratch, then you have come to the right place.
In the following article, we are going to teach you how to make your own delicious muscadine wine at home, using various tools and ingredients that you can find around the household.
Beyond this, we will also take a look at the wine’s health benefits and why this particular recipe is often forgotten by the world.
What Is Muscadine Wine?
When it comes to lesser-known fruits, muscadine often ranks at the top of the list in terms of obscurity, which is strange when you consider that it is probably one of the healthiest foods in the world.
Grown among the vineyards of the southeastern United States, this grape can be used to make a delicious wine and has a higher fiber content than most oats.
Beyond this, the grape is also bursting with essential nutrients and contains organic compounds such as polyphenol, resveratrol and ellagic acid.
However, the grape is probably most famous for its ability to produce a rich and medium-bodied wine, which sets itself apart from other wine blends by its sweet flavour and versatile notes.
The wine is also incredibly easy to make and requires only minimal effort to produce, which is why many people have now taken to making their own muscadine wine from the comfort of their own homes.
So if you encounter a box of plump muscadines during a trip to the grocery store, we recommend adding them to your basket and trying your hand at making your own delicious homemade wine.
If you want to know how you can do this, then we have detailed the recipe in the instructions at the end of the article.
Why Is Muscadine Wine So Obscure?
There are many reasons why muscadine wine is considered an obscure blend, with one of the most significant being that the wine does not come from the same family as other commercial varieties.
These days, most wines are made using grapes that belong to the Vitis vinifera family, which are native to the Mediterranean region of southern Europe.
However, as we previously mentioned, muscadine grapes are native to the southeastern United States and belong to the lesser-known Vitis roundifolia family.
Because of this, muscadine wine will commonly display a sweeter taste than other wines, while also delivering a lower alcohol by volume than blends that have been produced using grapes from the Vitis vinifera family.
However, by belonging to the Vitis rotundifolia family, muscadine grapes are immune to a variety of natural hazards, with the grape’s evolutionary adaptation protecting it from phylloxera and other pests.
The second reason why muscadine grapes are so obscure is due to their limited supply, with the grape only being found in southern states where the weather conditions are uniquely suited for the cultivation of the fruit.
This is in stark contrast to grapes that belong to the Vitis vinifera family, which are unable to thrive in warm and humid conditions.
Beyond this, another reason why muscadine wine is not as popular as its competitors is that the grape is not a profitable harvest for farmers and requires specific weather conditions to grow and thrive.
The grape is also notorious among farmers for its inconsistency, especially when concerning the berry’s yield, size and flavour. These days, muscadine grapes will usually sell for around $350 a ton, a fifth of the value of other wine grape varieties, giving vineyards less incentive to grow them.
Why Should You Drink Muscadine Wine?
If you have never heard of muscadine wine, then you are probably wondering why you should drink it. Well, there are numerous reasons why muscadine wine should be more widely consumed, as the wine is very unique among other commercially available blends.
For example, muscadine wine is considered to be one of the healthiest foods in the world, with the grape even being considered a superfood among health enthusiasts.
This is because muscadine wine contains three organic compounds that work to heighten the grape’s natural benefits. The first of these compounds is Tannin, a type of polyphenol that lends the wine its distinctive dryness and body.
However, muscadine wine also contains various other polyphenols that aren’t commonly found in other blends, which help to give the wine powerful antioxidant properties.
Other notable compounds that appear in muscadine wines include resveratrol and ellagic acid, which come with a variety of natural benefits that can be used to improve your general health.
Beyond helping to control weight and obesity, these compounds can also be used to prevent cancer, increase life spans and improve insulin intolerance. Demonstrating the various benefits attributed to consuming this particular wine.
Another reason why we should be consuming muscadine wine involves the grape’s overall versatility and character.
Beyond their sweet and fruity nature, muscadine grapes can be used to produce both red and white wines, which are said to display a unique set of flavours and notes.
Beyond this, the grapes also contain a low sugar content, which means the sweetener has to be added to the wine during the fermentation process to obtain an ABV of only 10%.
Muscadine grapes can currently be purchased in a range of diverse colours, which includes shades of bronze, purple, black and green.
When used to make wine, muscadine grapes are known to deliver a medium body, with the finished wine displaying a bright acidity and aromatic undertones of banana.
Regardless of whether the wine is white or red, you can expect a layered character, with the blend carrying notes of vanilla, cranberry and oak.
So now that you know more about this obscure wine, let’s take a look at how you can make it from the comfort of your home…
How To Make Muscadine Wine
Traditionally, muscadine grapes grow across the wild landscapes of the southeastern United States, where they can usually be found thriving alongside riverbeds and coastal areas.
Muscadines are commonly harvested from the start of August until the yield begins to deplete by early October, during which time you will be able to purchase the grapes from independent farmers or commercial grocery stores across the country.
So let’s take a look at how you can make your own muscadine wine at home…
What You Will Need
- Protective gloves
- A large vessel (1-gallon capacity)
- Straining bag
- 2 large containers
- Siphon tube
- Fresh muscadine grapes (2lbs)
- Granulated sugar (2 ½ lbs)
- Red wine yeast
- Yeast nutrient
- Clean water
Note: the muscadine grapes have to be fresh, dried grapes won’t work.
- Because muscadine grapes are highly acidic, we recommend wearing protective gloves to shield your skin from any irritation. To begin the winemaking process, you will need to mash the grapes to extract the juice, keeping in mind that the skin of the grape can be very resistant to damage. For the best results, we recommend attacking the grapes with a meat tenderizer or by freezing them until the skin begins to peel off.
- Take the grapes and strain them through the straining bag to enhance the amount of juice obtained. For the best results, we recommend squeezing the bag to be extra thorough.
- Fill a pot with 3 litres of water and allow it to boil on medium heat, then add the sugar to the mixture and let it dissolve. When the sugar has dissolved, combine the solution with the muscadine juice, then add the yeast and yeast nutrients. Stir the mixture gently and then leave to ferment for about a week, making sure to stir it once or twice a day.
- When a few days have passed, you will begin to notice foam and sediment forming on the surface of the mixture, strain this away and then pour the solution into the second demijohn.
- Add clean water to the second demijohn, so that it is almost filled to capacity, then wrap the cheesecloth around the cap to create a tight seal.
- When you have done this, allow the mixture to ferment for a further 6 weeks, until it has fully transformed into wine.
- Take the siphon tube and use it to transfer the wine into the next container, this will help to remove any sediment or impurities. Make sure that when transferring the wine, the container is on a flat and even surface.
- Loosely cap the container and allow it to rest for a few days, this will ensure that the fermentation process is complete.
- Take your finished wine and pour it into bottles.