Well, anything that French wines can do, the muscadine can do better. Studies at Mississippi State University indicate that two fluid ounces of unfiltered muscadine juice, one serving of muscadine jam, one medium muscadine muffin, or one-tenth of a serving of muscadine sauce contains about the same amount of resveratrol as four fluid ounces of red wine.
Muscadines are popular in backyard gardens, adding a bit of an ornamental flair to fruit production. Muscadines are hardly ever affected by disease or insects and adapt to a wide range of soil types. They do best, however in the Piedmont to the Coastal Plain range. If you decide to plant native grapes, be sure you know the difference between the types that produce flowers with both male and female parts and those which produce flowers with only female parts.
The former are called perfect-flowered muscadines and they include varieties such as Carlos, Cowart, Doreen, Nesbitt, Tara, and Southern Home. Varieties that need a perfect-flowered cultivar for pollination include Fry, Darlene, Sugargate, Black Beauty, Supreme, Summit, and Scarlet. Check with your local Clemson Extension office for information on how and when to plant muscadines.
Muscadine grapes will keep in a covered shallow container in the refrigerator for about a week. Don’t wash them until you’re ready to use them. Inspect the grapes often and remove any showing signs of decay. Muscadines can also be frozen for use later in pies, cakes or to make juice. To freeze whole grapes, make sure you use those that are fully ripe and firm. Sort, stem, wash and dry them before freezing. You can also separate the pulp from the hulls, saving both. Heat the pulp to soften it and then remove the seeds by pressing the pulp through a fine sieve or food mill. Mix the juice and skins and boil until the skins are tender. Mix the softened hulls with the deseeded pulp, add one part sugar to six parts grapes, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Cool and pack for the freezer, leaving enough headspace in the container to allow for expansion, about an inch.