Appreciation: Shine Muscat grapes

Discussion in 'Grapes and Grape Vines' started by Junglekeeper, Dec 17, 2023.

  1. Junglekeeper

    Junglekeeper Esteemed Contributor 10 Years

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  2. wcutler

    wcutler Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout 10 Years

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    How many grapes are there that are called "Muscat"? The only grapes I really like are called Muscat, used to only be available at farmers markets (or just the markets that Milan the tomato man attended), but recently have been sold at the green grocers and this year even supermarkets, but they are only around for maybe two months, and this year I think they were imported in the spring as well, IIRC. They vary in colour from the green that is shown to more commonly a mottled green with light pink or burgundy.

    I do like Coronation grapes, but not nearly as much, and there is a green slip-skin that Milan sold that I liked, can't remember the name now.
     
  3. vitog

    vitog Contributor 10 Years

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    Muscat is a group of Vitis vinifera (european) grapes containing many varieties, including wine and table grapes. I just started growing Jupiter grapes, which are a hybrid between V. labrusca (Concord type) and V. vinifera (Muscat type). It's supposed to taste like a Muscat; I had my first taste of them this summer and liked the flavour and the firm texture. I've never tasted any other Muscat-flavoured grape; so, I don't know how they compare with other Muscat grapes. I would certainly like to grow some of the Shine Muscats, but they don't seem to be available in Canada. I found sellers on the Web, but they were US based and could not be imported into Canada.
     
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  4. Junglekeeper

    Junglekeeper Esteemed Contributor 10 Years

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    More information on Shine Muscat:

    Aside from the availability of vines or the lack thereof, cultivation of this cultivar may be a challenge because of temperature requirements and the use of gibberellin.
     
  5. vitog

    vitog Contributor 10 Years

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    Junglekeeper, I searched the Web for information about the appropriate hardiness zones for Shine Muscat and could find nothing definite. However, I did find a seller of cuttings in Korean zone 8, which is somewhat encouraging, since I'm in zone 8b. Nevertheless, it appears that most of the growers are in fairly tropical locations, but possibly at high elevations. Regarding the sugar content of the grapes, I would probably find the "good" ones too sweet. I've found that most oriental tastes lean towards what I consider too sweet and not tart enough.

    I'm familiar with the use of gibberellin by commercial grape growers, and I've read that its effects can be simulated by girdling the vines at the right time. This is a technique that I perform every year on all of my vines. So, it may have the desired effect, at least to some extent, on Shine Muscat grapes.
     
  6. Junglekeeper

    Junglekeeper Esteemed Contributor 10 Years

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    In case anyone is interested, Shine Muscat appears in this week's T&T Supermarket flyer for Metro Vancouver. The country of origin is not specified.
     
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  7. wcutler

    wcutler Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout 10 Years

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    I'm interested, just have to decide whether to go tomorrow, or on Sunday when transferring to Skytrain on my way to Burnaby, when I will already be laden with heavy stuff.
    I see now, on page 2, $13.88 instead of $3.88 for regular Green Grapes (seedless), a larger price spread than usual, but these do look a little different. Heck, maybe I'll go today.
    Thanks for noticing and posting this, Junglekeeper.
     
  8. wcutler

    wcutler Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout 10 Years

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    These look and taste nothing like the Muscat grapes I've been buying. This is from the display at T&T in Chinatown.
    KoreanShineMuscatGrapes_T&T_Cutler_20231222_160002.jpg KoreanShineMuscatGrapes_T&T_Cutler_20231222_160008.jpg
    I originally picked up a package like at the bottom right, which came to $26. It turned out the $19ea price only applied to the packaged ones like the middle one on the left column. I don't know what was the deal for the one in front of that. I went with the cheaper one and got a credit.
    Could there be much difference? I don't find anything appealing about these. They are not particularly sweet, and have none of the wine-y taste that I like about the usual Muscats I've bought. I don't notice much taste at all - I would probably have preferred the regular Green Grapes for $3.88, but I'm not not really a fan of those either. I don't know if the others are from different growers, maybe there would be a difference? I'm not willing to pay that much to check that out. I think my original package had slightly darker fruits. They are big and juicy - roughly 3cm diameter spheres. My favourite Muscats probably top out a little under 2cm in diameter, and start at around $10 a pound (I think they're priced in pounds - maybe not), and come down to half that when they get plentiful.
     
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  9. vitog

    vitog Contributor 10 Years

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    Thanks, Wendy. Your description of the taste of the Korean Shine Muscat grapes is what I was afraid it would be. This grape is described as very sweet, but is also notable for low acidity. I like a balance of sweet and sour; so, I think that I would not like it. I can give up my search for a source of vines.

    The actual amount of sugar in a fruit doesn't seem to matter very much in my enjoyment of a fruit. As an example, I like raw strawberries and raspberries much more than raw sour red cherries, but the cherries have almost twice the sugar of the other two.
     
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  10. Junglekeeper

    Junglekeeper Esteemed Contributor 10 Years

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    That's a good observation. Taste is determined by a balance between sweetness and acidity. For example, a sweet lemon is lacking in acidity and as a result its taste is often described as insipid.
     
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  11. Junglekeeper

    Junglekeeper Esteemed Contributor 10 Years

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    I wonder if this is because those from Korea are considered to be out of season.
     
  12. Junglekeeper

    Junglekeeper Esteemed Contributor 10 Years

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    For locals, Korean Shine Muscat is also available at Kin's Farm Market that comes in a small 600g tray pack similar to that seen above and at the same price but from yet another company.

    I bought the package with the white/green label from T&T. Regrettably, my taste test is inconclusive as I currently have hampered taste buds due to stuffy sinuses but I can say the fruit has a crisp texture and is indeed sweet but not overly so.
     

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