Whenever we think about wine, we tend to think about European vineyards. However, muscadine wine is made of muscadine grapes, a type that is exclusively found in the United States. It is mainly found in the states of Georgia, North Carolina, and other South-eastern states. Called the Vitis rotundifolia, these grapes are quite large.
It is said that to truly enjoy this wine, you must acquire a taste for it. It might not be very popular, but it is a great drink. Want to know more about this fascinating wine? Read on to get to know it better.
About the Muscadine Grape
Originally, the muscadine grapes grew in the wild forests. However, around the 17th century, they were begun to be cultivated. They thrive in warm and humid climates and come in many varieties, the most popular one being the Scuppernong. Also, they ripen separately and not in clusters as most wine grapes do.
The varieties of muscadine grape are based on their color. Some are light-colored, while others are darker. The colors range from bronzes and greens to black. Depending on these colors, they are either used in white wines or red.
Muscadine grapes are also known for their thick skins. Not only does this make the muscadine wine healthier, but it also protects the grapes itself. Their thick skin protects them from fungal, bacterial, and other plant infections. It also helps them survive in the humid climate that is so characteristic to the Southern states of the US.
How Muscadine Wine is Healthy
You would think wine and healthy could never go and hand in hand. Surprisingly, when it comes to muscadine wine, this is possible. Muscadine grapes have been claimed as a super fruit.
This is because they contain high levels of antioxidants, ellagic acid, and resveratrol. The presence of ellagic acid is effective against reducing fatty liver and obesity-related conditions.
The thick skin of muscadine grapes also has health benefits. This skin contains resveratrol in high quantities. Resveratrol has properties that help with cancer prevention and heart conditions. However, there have been contradictions regarding the effectiveness of this compound as well as the amount of it present in muscadine grape skins.
The Making of Muscadine Wine
The thick skin of muscadine grapes makes it difficult for them to reach peak ripeness. A process called chaptalization is used in the making of this wine. It is aimed at increasing the alcohol content of the wine, which might be quite difficult to achieve otherwise.
Taste and Aroma
Now on to the most crucial parts of any wine-their taste and aroma. Muscadine wine is said to have a strong aroma. This might be overwhelming for new wine drinkers as well as those who are sensitive. However, it is easy to get used to, and you can develop an acquired taste for this unique wine.
Depending on whether it is red or white, this type of wine has aromas of many fresh and zesty fruits. These include cranberries, strawberries, and limes. Some wines also have a smell of pine-resin.
The taste of this wine depends on various ingredients that are mixed along with it. Since sugar is added to it during the chaptalization process, it tastes mostly sweet. These wines typically do not have a high alcohol content, which is about 10% of the volume of the wine. You can even make dry wines with these grapes.
Muscadine wine also has a moderately acidic taste. There are many flavors available with this wine, which you separate by color. For example, white muscadine whites have tropical flavors like ripe banana and floral undertones.
The red wines have a similar flavor, too, except that they might taste like other fruits like cranberry. The fruity flavors are courtesy of the fruits that are often blended in with the wine. Their aromas also differ according to these compositions.
How to Drink Muscadine Wine
Unlike many other wine types that get more refined with age, muscadine wine tastes the best when it is new and fresh. Since it oxidizes easily, it is best not to let it age. It is best to drink it within one or two years of buying it. If there is a vinegar smell coming from the wine, it is past its prime age.
Consume it within a few days of opening the bottle. Also, remember to store it in a cool place, preferably in the refrigerator.
Get yourself a bottle of your choice of muscadine wine to enjoy a brilliant taste and aroma. There are many places where you can purchase this wine. Pair it with some amazing food that complements its taste and enjoy every sip.