*originally published on ManMade before they were purchased/merged with Esquire and the content removed.
Muscadine season is a southern tradition that takes place in the late summer or early fall when the grapes used for Muscadine products are harvested. Muscadine grapes make a delicious, hearty, and dark wine that is easy to make. The grapes can also make jam and jelly but are most commonly used to make Muscadine wine. The grapes are available in most organic grocery stores or farmer’s markets, particularly at the end of summer.
Here is a Muscadine wine recipe that is simple to make with minimal ingredients that can be found at most grocery stores that sell wine products.
To make Muscadine Wine you’ll need
- 5 pounds Muscadine grapes
- 5 pounds sugar or 2.5 pounds honey
- 1 package champagne wine yeast
- Potato masher
- 5-gallon plastic jug or glass
1.Crush the grapes and simmer them over the stove for about 10 minutes. Use the potato masher to continually crush the grapes as they simmer and release all the juices.
2.Stir in the sugar or honey while the juice is still hot.
3.Using a funnel, pour the mixture into a glass or jug.
4.Add water to the glass or jug until it is about three-quarters full.
5.Mix one packet of champagne wine yeast into the mixture.
6.Airlock the top of the jar.
7.Place the container in a cool, dry area. Allow the wine to ferment for about 30 to 50 days.
8.Pour the wine into wine bottles or other containers and let it sit for another 30 days.
For an alternative recipe to make Muscadine wine you will need
- 1-quart Muscadine grapes, mashed
- 6 cups sugar
- 3 quarts water
- Straining bag
- Rubber gloves
- Empty wine bottle with an airtight top.
1.Boil the water; pour in the six cups of sugar to dissolve.
2.Remove sugar water from heat, let cool.
3.Put on rubber gloves. The gloves are optional, but you do not want to have your hands stain.
4.Pour grapes into the pot of sugar water. There is no need to stir while doing this step.
5.Sprinkle some yeast on the top.
6.Do not stir after you are finished sprinkling the yeast. Let sit until the next day.
7.On the next day stir the grape mixture. Continue to stir the mixture every day for the whole week.
8.Place the grape mixer in the strainer bag and squeeze liquid into a large dish. It is best to bottle this liquid for six weeks to allow for fermentation. After the six-week time period, use the strainer bag to strain the liquid one last time.
9.Pour the liquid into a bottle and cap with an airtight top. For the best flavor, hold the bottle for at least one year before serving.
For those interested in a richer wine, allow the wine to age for two to four years before serving.
Many stores sell kits that can be used to add to fresh Muscadine grapes and make wine. There are also several variations of this recipe, but most use similar ingredients with minimal variations.
May taste after one year, but improves remarkably with age (2-4 years)