My First Attempt @ Homemade Wine

My first glass of The Bryan Family Muscadine Wine 2011

We moved into our home in 2010 and I remember around August there were these little things falling all around our land that resembled grapes.  I asked my husband what they were, because they were falling from trees and not grape vines.  Come to find out, they were a form of grape known as muscadines.

  • A quick memory refresher:  I’m not from the south.  I am proud to love a GA boy and that we’re raising our family in GA, but I’m also proud of my yooper roots.

Anyways, back to the grapes.  For those of you who also aren’t from the south, a muscadine is a type of grape that grows well in the south.  They have a larger pit than the more popular grapes, but are sweet.
It was too late to try and gather them once they’d all fallen so I had my mind set on 2011.  Well, 2011 came, and this mama was prepared!  As soon as I noticed a few beginning to fall I knew it was time.  I gathered my husband’s ladder and my largest mixing bowl and went to town!  (and no… there are no pictures of me on the ladder trying to pick these grapes).  I picked about 8 – 12 quarts and washed them.

I have a book that I highly recommend – Country Wisdom and Know – How, and it has many great recipes…  including a few on wine-making; however this time around I didn’t follow the recipe because it was too in-depth.  I had limited time and resources, so I googled.  I came across a traditional, authentic southern recipe for Muscadine Wine.  Perfection!!!

I followed the recipe as closely as I could…. (limited resources)… so I omitted some of the sugar it called for and I replaced it with whatever I had on hand which happened to be some concord grape jam and a juice box.  I added the rest of the sugar it called for, mixed the yeast in, and voila.

MAKE YOUR OWN MUSCADINE WINE:

  • Wash the muscadines well
  • Mash the muscadines in order to remove the pits
  • Continue to mash the muscadines until well – “mashed”
  • Mix sugar and water, then add to muscadines.
  • Pour in a large container WHICH CAN BE SEALED and pour yeast over
  • Cover, let sit for 1 week, stirring daily
  • Strain and toss everything but the liquid.  The liquid will eventually become your wine.
  • Re-cover liquid and let sit, UNDISTURBED, for 6 weeks
  • Open container, strain once more, re-cover, let sit undisturbed for 3 more days to finish fermentation
  • BOTTLE and let age, or enjoy 🙂

Your mash will change a lot in the week as shown below:

       This was @ the end of week 1, right before I strained it for the first time.

  • After the first strain @ 1 week – this is what your wine mix looks like.

Now, Muscadine Wine is much better (in my humble opinion) than those “snooty-falutey” wines people spend a lot of money on…  (I get migraines from those fine wines…. and I prefer my homemade Muscadine Wine, Lambrusco, or a Spumante).

Just so you know, I completely messed up my wine because I wasn’t following the recipe to a “T”… also I’ve done a lot more research now and the recipe I followed differed from the instructions above – which I’ve found on many different sites while reviewing the best Muscadine Wine recipes.  I can promise you that this fall when I make mine, the above recipes is what I’m going to do.  I haven’t given specific ingredient quantities, but you can find that by clicking this link: http://www.buzzle.com/articles/muscadine-wine-recipe.html

I can’t wait to follow the recipe verbatim this summer. However, my wine wasn’t a total failure, in fact I had a total of 4 bottles of wine, and it’s pretty tasty! It’s just a little more acidic than I’d prefer and it’s not quite as strong as I like. With a little tweaking, my wine from 2012 will be fabulous.  FYI: In fact, both red and white muscadine wines contain five times or more resveratrol than ordinary red wines.  I just learned that!  I read it on the page linked above.  Trust me you will be missing out on a lot of great information if you don’t check out that page.  I did a lot of research on Muscadine Wine recipes and that was by far one of the best pages I came across.  There are others that are worth mentioning, but I’ll do one at a time.

Great friends, good memories and some sweet homemade Muscadine Wine.

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One thought on “My First Attempt @ Homemade Wine

  1. Melina Bryan says:

    oh… and you can make it stronger by adding some vodka – or so I’ve been told… 😉

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