Food & Wine Wine Culture

Muscadine Wine

Muscadine wine is an authentic American wine made from grapes that are native to America. It is an overtly sweet wine, which makes it unpopular among wine connoisseurs, and its inexpensive price tag has gained it an unfavorable reputation in the wine world.

Despite its not-so-popular name in the wine industry, it’s still worth a try especially for those who have a liking for sweet wines with lots of aromatic flavors.

What is Muscadine Wine?

Muscadine wine is made from Muscadine grapes. It is a species of grape with the scientific name Vitis Rotundifolia, and is native to the Southeastern regions of the United States, especially in North Carolina and Florida.

The grapes range in a variety of colors, from green to red, and even black, but they’re typically hand-harvested when they’re still green. Because of its vast range of colors, winemakers create a wide range of different Muscadine wines as well. You can find Muscadine red wine, white wine, and even rose’.

There are about 3,000 acres of land in the US that are grown with Muscadine grapes. These lands are mostly found in the Southeastern US, such as North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Mississippi, and Florida. The grape variety is most productive in warm and humid climates.

Muscadine wine features highly fruity flavors and intense aromas, which means the wine is an acquired taste. It is overly sweet because when it was first made in the 16th century, old winemaking techniques were derived from European winemakers.

The original Muscadine winemakers would add an excessive amount of sugar to make the grapes taste similar to the ones grown in Europe. Today, however, expert Muscadine winemakers have perfected the winemaking process to adhere to the specific needs of the Muscadine grape.

Muscadine wine has its origins near St. Augustine in Florida. The oldest Muscadine vine in existence is still alive today, and it’s found in Manteo, North Carolina. It was discovered in 1584 and it’s a Scuppernong variety of Muscadine grapes, which also happens to be the most popular member of the Muscadine varieties.

Health Benefits of Muscadine Grapes

Muscadine grapes are known to be super healthy. In fact, they have been regarded as a superfruit for their high levels of polyphenols, which are antioxidants that promote a host of health benefits, such as a stronger immune system, anti-inflammation, and antiviral properties Muscadine grapes are also known to have a high level of resveratrol and ellagic acid.

Ellagic acid is known to aid with obesity and reduce fatty liver. Did you know that no other wine grape in the world produces ellagic acid? Yes, only Muscadine grapes do.

Muscadine grapes have high levels of polyphenols because their grapes have very thick skin. In fact, you’d have to rip open the skin of the grape to be able to eat its meat. It has the highest level of antioxidants among all wine grape varieties, making it extremely healthy.

However, muscadine wine is high in sugar because the grape naturally has low sugar levels. It is a naturally bitter grape and to make it more palatable as a wine, added sugar is a must when making Muscadine wine.

Muscadine Wine Flavors

Muscadine has high fruity flavors, as well as intense aromas. Because of this, many wine collectors and connoisseurs do not favor the wine, but Muscadine is actually one of the most coveted genuine American wines around.

If you love candied yams, sweet tea, and other strong fruit flavors, you will definitely appreciate Muscadine wine.

For white Muscadine wine, the primary flavors are ripe banana and lime peel while for red Muscadine, the primary flavors are bruised apple and cranberry. Hints of rubber cement are also included, as well as pine resin-like notes.

Most Muscadine wines are medium-bodied and the style ranges from dry to sweet. In terms of aging, Muscadine wine oxidizes fast, so they are best consumed when young.

Best Way to Serve Muscadine Wine

Because of its intense and rich flavors, Muscadine is best to serve chilled. Place Muscadine wine in the fridge before serving and serve it ice cold. It is a great way to dull the subtle flavors of the wine.

In terms of food pairings, it goes well with an indulgent meal. Since it is grown and made in the Southern U.S., Muscadine is perfect with Southern comfort food.

Try it with pork chops, BBQ, ribs, and other fatty meats. It’s great with spicy foods, sausage, and smoked spicy pork ribs, And because it’s a sweet wine, it’s also best paired with sweet desserts, such as peach cobbler, banana pudding, or apple pecan pie.

After a hearty meal, Muscadine wine is also a great dessert wine.

Three Muscadine Wines to Try

Here are three best-selling and award-winning Muscadine wines that are definitely worth a try:

1. Lakeridge Winery and Vineyards Southern Red

From Florida, this red wine is ranked 2nd among the wines from the region. It has won the Double Gold award from the International Women’s Wine Competition, as well as Gold from the Los Angeles International Wine Competition.

It is considered the 3rd most sought-after wine from Florida, and it’s sweet, smooth, and bursting with fruit flavor. It is light-bodied and comes from the Noble variety of Muscadine, and is best served with rich desserts or cheese.

2. San Sebastian Winery Vintners White

Another wine from Florida, this is is made from the Carlos Muscadine grape variety. It has received more awards than any other white wine in the region and such awards include Gold from the Dan Berger’s International Wine Competition and Gold from the Los Angeles International Wine Competition.

It is considered to be the 10th most sought-after wine from Florida and is known for its lightly sweet, full-body, and richness in fruity character.

3. Duplin Winery Hatteras Red

This comes from North Carolina and it’s also multi-awarded. It has a Silver from the Indy International Wine Competition, as well as a Bronze from the Finger Lakes International Wine Competition.

It is consistently one of the bestselling wines from North Carolina and it is known for its sweetness and intense fruit flavor.


Muscadine wine is made from grapes that are native to North America. It is rich with fruity flavors and intense aroma and is mostly available in sweet varieties. It can be dry to sweet, light to medium and full-bodied, and notorious for being inexpensive. Though most wine enthusiasts don’t like Muscadine wine as it is an acquired taste, it’s perfect for anyone who has a liking for sweet fruits such as candied yam and sweet tea.

A worthy wine style to try, expect your Muscadine wine to be sweet, fruity, and intense.

Comments are closed.