How To Make Muscadine Wine In 7 Easy Steps
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One of the lesser known truly American wines, muscadine wine is also one of the tastiest.
If you find it hard to locate in your area , youll need to know the best way to make it at home. It took me some time to find out just how to do this, though its actually quite simple.
How do you make homemade muscadine wine? At its core, the muscadine wine production process involves just a few ingredients , a handful of steps, including grape mashing and fermentation, and a bit of time.
The process of making muscadine can be broken down into the following steps:
Coming up, Ill go over everything you need to know about muscadine wine, including how to make it yourself for a refreshing and quite different wine experience.
Easily Order Muscadine Wine Online With The Wine Feed
Luckily for us you can order easily order muscadine wine online at The Wine Feed, which is a local shop in Raleigh, North Carolina. We love supporting small local businesses and theyve made a dedicated page for you!
Muscadine wines, ranging from just $10 to $14, are available to order on their site on a special page. The four chosen wines were thoughtfully curated by Phil, owner of The Wine Feed. They are some of the best muscadine wines the area has to offer.
They dont carry NC muscadine wine in the store, but once you place your order they can have it as soon as the next business day.
There are two ways to get your wine:
- Shipped to one of the following states: North Carolina, Virginia, or Washington DC, via UPS.
- Pick up . The shop is conveniently located on Glenwood South in Raleigh, North Carolina and theres another in Durham on S. Roxboro Street.
Heres where you select between the two on The Wine Feeds check out page:
Equipment Necessary For Making Wine
There is some equipment that you will need to make your wine. We will talk about the necessary equipment and the nice to have the equipment. There are winemaking equipment kits available to get you started making wine today. In this guide on how to make wine well talk about some of the equipment you need to produce your wine.
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Why You Should Have Heard Of Muscadine
One key reason why Muscadines wines should be more commonly consumed is that they are a genuine superfood in terms of the health benefits they provide. Muscadine wines three main compounds responsible for this: polyphenols, resveratrol, and ellagic acid. Tannin, a chemical that lends the wine its dryness and body, is a type of polyphenol, and its density is partly why sugar levels in Muscadine wines are low. However, besides Tannin, Muscadine wines contain many polyphenols that arent found in other wine grapes, and their antioxidant properties are highly beneficial for general health.
There is considerable debate around the exact amount of resveratrol found in Muscadine wines, and whether it grants the benefits it has come to be associated with it. These include cancer prevention, increasing life spans, improving insulin sensitivity, and others. The jury is still out on this one, but if true, it would make Muscadine a rare and unique fruit. Ellagic acid, too, has been linked with cancer prevention, with other reports finding that it can help consumers control their weight, and relieve some complications of obesity.
Traditionally, Muscadine wines carry a medium body, a medium to bright acidity, and a distinct aroma of bananas. Depending on whether muscadine wines is red or white, the drink can carry notes of vanilla, cranberries, oak, dried fruits, melons, and many others.
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Tips For Winemaking Success
As you make your own wine at home, keep the following tips in mind:
- If your wine has an off taste, it may have to do with contamination from wild yeast or bacteria. Be sure to clean your equipment very well before you begin the process.
- For beginners, its a good idea to start with a kit, rather than follow a recipe or experiment on your own. That way, you can learn the process without too many variables.
- Theres a lot involved in this process, and its important to follow the directions carefully and wait the specified period before sampling your wine.
- Expect a few imperfect batches of wine before you become a master wine maker. The more wine you make, the better your wine will be.
- Try your wine multiple times. If it isnt as good as youd hoped, it may need to age a bit longer. You never know what a few more weeks will do.
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Health Benefits Of Muscadine Grapes
These sweet little spheres pack a punch of antioxidants! Ironically, their nutrient-rich polyphenols are mostly in the parts you throw away most of the time: the skin and seeds.
Polyphenols are complex micronutrients with huge benefits.
They have been proven to
- have anticancer benefits.
- decrease metastasizing and cancer growth.
- help prevent cardiac toxicity.
- have a protective agent that helps safeguard astronauts from radiation.
If most people throw away the polyphenol-rich seeds and skin, how would someone reap the health benefits of muscadine grapes? Simple answer: pills.
Dont be surprised if you see muscadine grape pills alongside fish oil and garlic pills in the future!
Please note: We thank the North Carolina Muscadine Grape Association for generously hosting our tasting. We also may make a small commission from affiliate links in this post but all opinions are ours and we bring you genuine content with real facts, photos, thoughts and recommendations. Always.
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What Is The Best Yeast For Muscadine Wine
Its certainly possible to make great-tasting muscadine wine with a variety of yeasts. With that being said, I do have my favorites.
At the top of the list is the Red Star Premiere Cuvee Yeast. This neutral yeast, designed for red wines, allows the natural flavors of the muscadine wine and your other added ingredients to come through without imposing its own yeasty flavor onto the alcohol.
Youll need to be careful, of courseand this is for any yeast you choose to usenot to leave any trapped yeast in the mixture before bottling it, which can alter the flavor of the final product.
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Pick Your Own Muscadine Grapes In Nc
You can go to a vineyard and pick your own grapes off the vine in North Carolina, just like you can go to a pumpkin farm to pick your own pumpkins.
The grapes come off the vine singularly, as opposed to in bunches. We have personally tried the grapes at Hinnant Family Vineyards and have spoken to Bob Hinnant, one of the co-owners, about their fruit. You can pick their quality grapes in person, on a portion of their 100-acres vineyard.
Add Yeast Citric Acid And Bentonite Leave To Ferment
If you have a Hedgerow Wine Kit add sachets 1, 1c and 1d when the temperature has dropped to at least 30 degrees centigrade. If you dont have one, add 1 sachet/5g yeast , 5 tsps citric acid and 2 tsps bentonite . Reseal lid and make sure airlock is sealed well and half full with water.
Leave to ferment for about two weeks at room temperature or slightly above, or until it almost stops bubbling. Stir with a sterilised stirrer and leave until it stops bubbling again.
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Muscadine Wine Health Benefits
Though muscadines are one of the lesser-known grapes, these fruits have been described as perhaps the most super of all superfruits. Thats because the grapes contain a very high level of antioxidants, ellagic acid , and resveratrol.
Knowing this, lets take a look at some potential health benefits of muscadine wine:
All About North Carolina Muscadine Grapes
North Carolina muscadine grapes are truly the states native superfood, so to speak. There was so much to learn about these little round bursts of flavor! Things we never even considered before a one-on-one tasting that left us yearning for more education about the grapes.
Like where to pick muscadine grapes, southern wine production, and the grapes health benefits, to boot.
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How To Drink And Store Muscadine
Think of Muscadine as being like a Beaujolais nouveau drink it chilled and in its youth. Because the compounds in Muscadine oxidize easily, it’s not a wine made for aging.
- Serve sweet white Muscadine at about 45Â°F.
- Serve dry whites and reds at about 50Â°F.
- You should store Muscadine wines in the refrigerator.
- According to Sue at North Carolina’s Duplin Winery, you should drink Muscadine within a year or two of purchasing it if it has a vinegary smell when you open it, then the wine is past its prime.
- Drink bottles within a few days of opening.
How To Make Wine From Grapes: Get Your Creative Juices Flowing
McKenzie Hagan | April 19, 2021
Whether you fancy yourself a DIY savant whos intrigued by the idea of homemade wine or an oenophile who simply wants to learn more about the art of winemaking, this guide on how to make wine from grapes has your name written all over it.
Making wine is one of those time-honored traditions that has been around for almost as long as humankind has needed a drink. But even though wine has been a common pleasure throughout the centuries and across all cultures, theres still a bit of mystery surrounding the details of how to make it.
Well, wed like to change that. Join us as we take you on a journey that will decode the evolution from grape to glass and give you an even greater appreciation for this magical metamorphosis.
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Dare To Try Muscadine Wine
Muscadine is an unusual and polarizing wine with somewhat of a love it or hate it reputation. While it’s certainly not an exclusive, expensive grape to grow, like Pinot Noir or Riesling, Americans all over the South seem to love it.
Known as a truly American grape, Muscadine is part of the diverse food history of the United States. If youre ever in the Manteo area in South Carolina, we urge you to go visit the infamous scuppernong Mothervine and see a piece of genuine wine history.
While its not everyones cup of tea, those with a sweet tooth shouldnt dismiss Muscadine on the count of its reputation. If you love sweet tea, candied yams, and bruised fruit flavors, this may be the wine for you. However, if you cant think of anything worse, and prefer your wines sharp, refreshing, and a little bit bubbly, our classic Brut may be more your style. Check out our shop and discover a new favorite.
Give Your Homemade Pear Wine Some Extra Kick
How to Make Wine in Your Own Kitchen notes
If you desire more character in your wine, add 1/4 pound of candied ginger, finely chopped, at the same time as the raisins. If you desire heat along with the spicy taste, also add ten or twelve black peppercorns.
There was an attempt to market pear wine commercially in this country at one time. However, due to its blandness, winemakers found it had to be fortified up to 20% with pear brandy. Homemade wine can be fortified, too, for better results. I find that using a good grade of grape brandy gives a wonderful flavor. I add this just before the two-day settling period, using about 2 cups of brandy to a gallon.
In France and Germany there is a pear champagne which is made in much the same manner however, it is bottled and corked tightly, while in the fermenting stage, giving it effervescence when opened.
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How To Eat Muscadine Grapes
You can usually pop grocery store-bought grapes in your mouth and eat the whole thing. Most of the time theyre seedless with a thin skin you can eat.
But you eat muscadine grapes a little differently.
You can eat the whole thing but most people simple pop the fruit out of its skin and spit out the seeds. The grapes flesh texture reminds us a lot of lychees.
The skin is edible so you dont have to throw it away. Its just that it may be harder to swallow because of how thick it is and your taste preferences.
Debby, the Executive Secretary of the North Carolina Muscadine Grape Association, shared that all muscadine grapes have seeds. And whether you discard the skin and seeds or not is a personal preference.
We discarded most of the skins and all of the seeds we had during our tasting.
Are Muscadine And Scuppernong The Same
The scuppernong is a variety of muscadine grapes named after a river in North Carolina, but it is not the same as muscadine. They both grow wild and are now domesticated in the Southeastern United States.
A scuppernong, usually greenish bronze in color, is a particular variety of the muscadine grape, which is typically dark bluish purple. So, technically, you can call any scuppernong grape a muscadine, but you can’t call a muscadine grape a scuppernong.
Many people use scuppernongs interchangeably with muscadines but, in addition to the color, the flavor is different. Muscadines are sweeter than many kinds of grapes, more similar to Concord grapes. Scuppernongs are tarter.
Both kinds of grapes have thick skins and don’t grow in bunches like traditional grapes but instead, in clusters similar to blueberries.
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Equipment For Making Wine At Home
Heres all the important items of hardware youll need to set yourself up as a vintner:
An open container of at least eight gallons capacity A two-gallon stainless steel or enameled bowl or pot A two-quart, small-mesh sack Nine one-gallon, small-mouth jugs One one-half gallon, small-mouth jug Six feet of flexible, clear plastic tubing Twenty-five screw top wine bottles with plastic caps A roll of plastic food wrap An assortment of rubber bands A DEPENDABLE hydrometer
The first item on the list will be used as a primary fermentation vat. Some people prefer that this container be made of the traditional wood or crockery. But, since both wood and crockery are porous and almost impossible to completely clean and disinfect, many other home winemakers feel that a better bet is a primary fermenter made of food-grade plastic. Try a brand-new plastic wastepaper can or garbage pail theyre ideal.
Beware of most metals when youre selecting the primary fermenter and other utensils for your home winery. Metal almost always leaves a haze and an off-taste in wine. Stick with wood, glass, and plastic. And make sure your main fermenting vat will hold at least eight gallons. Primary fermentation is often quite vigorous and can overflow a smaller container.
Ive saved the most important item of equipment till last because a good hydrometer is an absolute necessity for anyone who expects to make quality wine consistently.
Experience Wine Growing On The Vine
Nestled in the shadows of the Southern Appalachian Mountains, WoodMill Vineyard is surrounded by the natural beauty, tranquility, and charm of the rolling foothills of Vale, North Carolina. Each spring, the hills are brought to life as an emerald green canopy of vines reach for the heavens and gather sunlight to flavor the sweet southern grape known as the Muscadine. Recognized for their extraordinary flavors, Muscadines are notorious for producing exceptional jellies, desserts, and the popular but often elusive southern indulgence known as Muscadine Wine.
WoodMill Vineyard is approximately 1,100 feet above sea level and located on a plateau about 300 feet above and to the west of the piedmont region in North Carolina. The vineyard has a gradual northeastern slope, constant air movement, and good soil drainage. WoodMill Vineyard started as a ½ acre planting of approximately 100 vines in the spring of 2001 and has constantly grown year-by-year to now consist of 14 acres and approximately 3500 vines. Primary Muscadine varieties include Ison, Tara, Dixie Red, Nesbit, Carlos, Noble and Scuppernong.
At WoodMill Winery, the Muscadine harvest is typically at its peak between mid-to-late September. WoodMill Vineyard provides a select variety of Muscadines with a seven-to-eight week harvest window starting in early September and finishing in mid-to-late October.
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Other Wines And Unique Blends
In addition to our 100% South Carolina grown and bottled wines, we also offer the product of a partnership we have with a grower in California. This allows us access to grapes we cannot effectively grow here, we ship them in from California before vinting and bottling them based on lots of “market research” . We’re proud to offer an increasing list of these viniferous grape single varietals and blends.
Driftwood – this wine is vinted with toasty barrel chips to get a smoky flavor that draws out the fruit tannins in the tara and chardonnay grapes, while still offering a buttery smoothness and clear finish. If you like oaked chardonnays or sipping bourbon, this wine may be your new best friend.
Chardonnay – our straight chardonnay wine offering, we’ve enhanced the acidity in this wine a bit to give it more depth across the middle, it is a true unoaked chardonnay for those who may find some muscadine flavors too full or fruity.
Symphony This young grape comes to us from California and tastes very similar to a Riesling but just when you think it might be too sweet, it hits you with a bit of tart, in a perfect symphony of aromas and flavors.
Sea Island Red – another unique blend, this wine pairs the noble muscadine grape with a reserve cabernet sauvignon which lends for a sweetness on the nose and front of the wine, a dryness from the cabernet in the middle, and ends with a snap of sweet to leave you wanting more.