Wine Review: The Sweet Blend Duplin Intends for All Palates

You wouldn’t think that blending two sweet grapes would produce a wine intended to appeal to both sweet and dry wine drinkers, but that’s what Duplin Winery believes it has done, co-owner Dave Fussell Jr. said.

Duplin’s Muscadine Moscato wine is the newest offering in the North Carolina-based winery’s brand, which heralded the official release of the new blend in an announcement early this January. Fussell said the new Moscato blend was the first of its kind.

“I’m not sure why anyone hasn’t thought about blending the two best sweet grapes grown in the world before now,” Fussell told Vintner. “I wish we had years ago, but I’m glad we have now. Our inspiration was to do something a little different. This new blend is a perfect balance of the sweetness of southern Muscadine ripe fruit combined with a west coast smoothness.”

It’s on brand for Duplin, which is known for sweet wines and a family atmosphere. The founders originally set out to grow Muscadine grapes in New York in the 1970s, but the grape market crashed and they were left with a big crop they couldn’t sell. So, they decided to make sweet wine.

Today, the wines are paired with food in a family-friendly atmosphere at locations in Rose Hill, North Carolina and Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. A third location in Panama City Beach, Florida is set to open this spring.

“Muscadines produce a delicious fruity wine (that) is meant to be enjoyed chilled,” Duplin General Manager Morgan Jackson said in a previous interview with Vintner Magazine. “We share our wines with our guests by inviting them to an entertaining and informative wine tasting. During the tasting, guests enjoy our homemade crackers (the recipe was developed at its restaurant in Rose Hill), our gourmet cheese dip and various samples of our Duplin wines.”

Fussell said the new blend was an expansion of the brand. Referring to himself as a “Duplin dry wine” drinker, he said the wine, which boasts hints of nectarine and white peach, as an option that would appeal to a variety of palates.

“I gave my wife the first bottle of our new blend,” Fussell said.”She had the first taste and then was sweet enough to let me drink the rest of the bottle! The unique wildflower honey notes of Moscato soften the audacious Southern charm of Muscadine grapes. 

“Any type of wine drinker will find it enjoyable and very easy to drink. You can pair it with a flavorful filet mignon, southern fried chicken or accompany a charcuterie board filled with savory bites.”

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