This recipe for muscadine wine makes a sweet, old-fashioned wine that is popular in the South where muscadines grow well.
Muscadine grapes have been cultivated since the 16th century. They do well in warm, humid climates, and are native to the Southern U.S. The grapes range in color from green and bronze to deep purple. Scuppernongs are a variety of muscadine grapes named after a river in North Carolina. Muscadine grapes are a bit larger than regular grapes. They have tougher skins and seeds.
This wine can be made with regular grapes as well, or use blackberries.
- 6 cups granulated sugar
- 3 quarts water (filtered)
- 1 quart muscadine grapes (mashed)
- 1 (.25-ounce) packet active dry yeast
- In a large, cleaned and sanitized gallon-size glass container, dissolve the sugar in the 3 quarts of water.
- Mash the muscadine grapes.
- Add 1 quart (4 cups) of the mashed fruit to the water and sprinkle the active dry yeast over the top. Do not stir.
- The next day, stir the mixture and then stir it every day for a week.
- Strain the liquids into another clean and sanitized gallon container with an airlock of some type. Fill with additional water to come up to the top of the gallon container. Let the wine ferment for 6 weeks.
- Strain again and bottle in a clean gallon container. Cap lightly for 3 days to allow for any more fermentation to cease.
- Cap the bottle and store the wine in a cool place.
More About Muscadine Grapes
Muscadine grapes (Vitis rotundifolia) are Native American grapes (all other grapes grown in the U.S. are of European stock) that grow well in hot and humid climates. Thus, they can be found in the states south of the Mason-Dixon Line and as far west as Texas.
They mature in late summer and early fall and have worked their way into the culinary repertoire of the South in the form of jams, jellies, fruit butter, pies, juice, and especially wine.
Although some dry muscadine wines exist, they are typically sweet or dessert wines because sugar is usually added during the winemaking process.
Difference Between Muscadine and Scuppernong Grapes
Muscadine and scuppernong grapes both grow wild and are domesticated in the Southeastern United States.
A scuppernong, usually greenish-bronze in color, is a particular variety of the muscadine grape, 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. They are more like a concord grape, and scuppernongs are more tart.
Both kinds of grapes have thick skins and grow not in bunches, like traditional grapes, but in clusters similar to blueberries.