More on Muscadine
Here's what my travel editor friend Kim has to say about muscadine, that sweet southern wine with a name that I have been pronouncing incorrectly for the past few weeks. It's musca-dyne, which I failed to specify in my past ramblings on muscadine. Who knew? Anyhow, here are Kim's thoughts on muscadine and her comments on how hard it is to get your hands on a good bottle of it.
"Muscadines are higher in antioxidants than any other grape. Our wine
expert told me that sales of muscadine concentrate are skyrocketing in
health food stores because of this. With muscadine wine, you have the
added benefit that it reduces blood pressure (ok, so all alcohol does
Sweet wines, and specifically muscadine wines, make up the vast
majority of what's sold in Tennessee. While many of them are toe-curlingly
sweet, a few are truly good. Highland Manor Winery in Jamestown, a small
town in East Tennessee, has a waiting list of ONE YEAR for a $10 bottle
of muscadine wine. It's worth the wait. I spent about a year and a half
picking up bottles here and there as I travelled through TN, and we
tasted about 14 different wines in our test kitchen (a very fun work day).
Highland Manor's was, hands down, superior to the rest. Unfortunately,
state liquor laws restrict sales to other states. You may or may not be
able to get a bottle. Call them and tell them I sent you, and see if
they'll sell you one ahead of the wait list.
Bottom line, though: If you hate sweet wines, don't go here. Most
dry-wine drinkers find them cloying and icky sweet. But if you're open to
something different, I recommend sampling with an open mind. What's truly
great about muscadine wine is that, unlike any other varietal, the wine
smells exactly like the grape picked fresh from the vine, and tastes a
whole lot like it, too. I remember picking these from a trellis as a
child. To eat them, you have to bite a little hole in the tough, rubbery
skin, then suck out the pulpy inside."
Kind of like the concord grapes I'd pick off the school yard fence when I was a kid. Yes, we did this - in between bouts of collecting caterpillars in coffee cans. These grapes were pretty gnarly. Best left for the birds. But we managed to eat a few if we could get beyond the sour skins.
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Posted by Blogpire Productions at May 27, 2006 8:39 AM