Why do mushy grapes taste better?

Whenever I buy grapes, I actually pick out the mushy ones and leave the rest for my family. They just taste so much sweeter and more concentrated. They also have a slight wine taste. Has anyone else had a similar experience?

Well if they taste like wine, they may be fermenting and have a bit of alcohol in them. Also they’re probably dehydrated a bit, raising the sugar.

If you have a chance to visit a vineyard around harvest time, look for Yellowjackets around the grapes, they will be drunk from eating fermenting fruit and just fall to the ground. It’s quite amusing, especially when you’ve been stung several times while processing the fruit already.


Well, many fruits get softer, and sweeter as they ripen. I like figs and green gages to be soft.

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The sweetest grapes I have ever eaten were of a pure golden color- Thompson seedless. I picked them from a virtually untended vine in a friends back yard early winter in Venice, CA ( a couple miles inland), but they were still pretty crisp, as I recall. I don’t think grapes sweeten much once picked, like apples, whose carbohydrates tend to convert to sugar in the weeks after picking. However, I’m speaking without much experience- grapes are a foraging fruit for me- they are just too hard to protect from birds, wasps and the rest to be worth my effort. If I lived in suburban S. CA, things would likely be different.

if you like them this way Store them in fridge in paper bag
Ethylene builds up in plastic including bags with holes , and rots fruit from fungus quicker.

You can also use Activated charcoal stored with fruit
not sure if it’s stored with a bag or not (I had profession grade filters I never used for free.)

Grapes can dry in fridge but not sure about being soft they’d be more wrinkly.

(I almost forgot, but not for soft fruit , but drying came up on the saving pollen post to sell using silicon gel found in shoe boxes (or Beef jerky , but make sure its food grade)

Alan with grapes they are picked to early having not mellowed sour acids like malic acid (sharp in granny smith)
while ripening the malic acid converts mellowing out.

original poster

In Fermentation Malic acid found in store bought unripe grapes (or picked yourself)
can be fermented to Acid found in Milk lactic acid (a sugar) which is mellower.)

**Maybe this is why it makes sense , **
but I never really thought of the bacteria doing this in the grapes whole.

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could it be the oxidization
I also thought of something I remember I once by purpose grabbed a oxidized peach (just so)
at store, and knew it would be sweet store clerk grabbed it , and wouldn’t sell me it, and threw it back
Girl Friend at time let out distress call in a long shopping aisle in aldi so went about my day (got more fruit).
For that I remember


Malolactic fermentation will almost never happen spontaneously before alcoholic fermentation. Malolactic is a very slow process even at room temperature, but alcoholic yeast fermentation is very vigorous and out competes the bacteria responsible for malolactic easily.

Malic acid does get converted to sugar as grapes ripen when they respire at night. However, grapes do not ripen post harvest. Whatever sugar they are harvested with is what they have, but dehydration will raise the sugar levels due to the water loss.

this is what I wasn’t sure never heard of it being done whole fruit

I know (malic Fermentation) MLF is a lower temp

so thought maybe in fridge were yeast might slow down
(been a while sine read up on the practice , and science.

68° to 72° F.

Optimum temperature is 68° to 72° F. If all conditions are optimal, a malolactic fermentation should take about 4 weeks to complete.

I know the above about Oxidized fruit sounds very strange

Take into account how bad STORE bought red delicious taste
Now buy some, and freeze them, and completely re thaw for several hours till they are like mush

They will be Oxidized, and juicy , but taste actually good and sweet .

(mush because ice expands , and breaks the solid cells in apple apart,

I am not sure if that is the juiciness that makes them better,
I never used a refractor meter to measure sugar of unfrozen , and de thawed fruit.
but they sure do taste sweeter

I’m the opposite; I hate mushy grapes. My family has a vineyard in Italy and to me the mushy ones are sweeter because they’re more mature but if you’re talking about table grapes, I throw away the mushy ones

I think some of the answer depends if we are talking within a variety, or across varieties.

My original response was regarding within a variety. As the grape further ripens and matures, it both gets softer, and sweeter.

Across varieties, I think most people would prefer crunchy, and very sweet and flavorful. But most varieties don’t do all at the same time (similar to astringent vs non-astringent persimmons).

If you are breeding for best possible sweetness and flavor, odds are that it won’t also just happen to have freakishly crisp texture as well.

If freakishly crisp texture (plus sweetness) are optimized, seems like the result is almost no interesting flavor.

By definition, you can’t optimize for everything at once as a top priority.

For some people flavor or sweetness or both are more important than texture. For others, texture is most important (Honeycrisp apples on the west coast). And perhaps the majority prefer some balance over a tradeoff than emphasizes one of those.

Judging by what seems popular at the grocery store, seems like texture plus sugar, over flavor - in that order - is winning.