I’m not a complete convert by any means, but I was recently pleasantly surprised by some of the Muscadine wines I tasted in Florida when I visited San Sebastian Winery in St. Augustine.
If you are from the Southeast United States, you may be well versed in the many uses for Muscadine grapes. These native American vines produce fruit that is used in juices, jams, and even wines. Though, if you are looking for something akin to a dry Cabernet, Muscadine is not your grape.
Muscadine Grape Profile on Winetraveler.com
This is a grape variety that produces sweeter style wines that aren’t necessarily made to age. When you think of Muscadine, think of a wine that you can drink in the hot, humid Florida sunshine, but not one that you would order at a fine dining restaurant.
Muscadine has about 152 different cultivars, though wineries such as San Sebastian and Lakeridge Winery in Florida use two main ones: the white Carlos and the red Noble.
Usually styled as an off-dry or sweet table wine, Muscadine can also be used in sparkling wine production and made into a Port or Cream Sherry-style wine, like winemaker, Jeanne Burgess, pioneered at San Sebastian & Lakeridge Wineries.
I recently wrote a bit more about this grape, its typical tasting notes, and food pairing suggestions in a profile piece for Winetraveler. Check it out on the site.
Let me know in the comments if you have any favorite Muscadine wines or Florida wineries.