"I have made some great Chardonnay from your recipe. I now have some Muscat
juice and want to make a wine. Do you have a recipe?" Ian Rowbottom, location unknown
There is no single grape called Muscat, but rather a whole parthenon of grapes distinguished by a powerful, recognizable aroma, low acid, and richly flavored taste. I have no way of knowing which variety of Muscat Ian has the juice of, nor do I know how much juice he has. Thus, I will guess it is the white Mucat known as Muscat Blanc. If the aroma of the grape is more musky that Muscat Blanc, it may be the juice of Muscat Ottonel. Whichever it is, I will bet the wine will be heavenly.
If you have the grapes themselves rather than the juice called for in this recipe, a little preliminary work must go into making this wine. Crush and press about 12 to 13 pounds of grapes to extract the gallon of juice required. This could vary by 1-3 pounds (especially if pressing by hand). Wash and destem the grapes, cull out any unripe or unsound ones, crush them by hand or with the flat bottom of a wine bottle, transfer them to a nylon straining bag, and either squeeze out the juice by hand or use a grape or fruit press to extract the juice. Alternatively, the juice can be steam-extracted or extracted with a juicer, although be wary of juicers that grind away at the seeds as this will produce a bitter wine. Steam extracted juice may have trouble clearing.
If topping up with water, this recipe makes a wine with 12% alcohol by volume. If topping up with finished muscat wine, only adjust the starting specific gravity to 1.088. This wine is very good served dry or sweet, but in either case chilled.
Check specific gravity of juice and adjust to 1.088 if topping up with finished wine or 1.095 if topping up with water. Put juice in primary. Add Campden tablet (finely crushed and dissolved in some of the juice), cover primary with sanitized cloth, and set aside for 10-12 hours. Add pectic enzyme, recover the primary, and set aside another 8-10 hours. Stir in yeast nutrient and add activated yeast. Recover primary. When specific gravity drops to 1.015 or lower, transfer to secondary fermentation vessel and attach airlock. Wait until all fermentation ceases and airlock is still for two weeks, then rack into clean secondary, top up and refit airlock. Wait additional 4-6 weeks and add another finely crushed and dissolved Campden tablet and 1/3 teaspoon potassium sorbate to clean secondary, rack wine onto it, top up and refit airlock. Wait 30 days, sweeten to taste, and bottle. Wait two months before tasting for bouquet to develop. [Author's own recipe.]
My thanks to Ian Rowbottom for requesting this recipe.