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Beaumont grapes are small to medium in size and are round to oval in shape, growing on medium-sized tightly clustered bunches. The smooth, firm skin ranges in color from deep red to dark purple and the flesh is translucent, juicy, and seedless. Beaumont grapes are crisp and sweet with a neutral flavor. They grow on a climbing vine that also bears smooth, vibrant green leaves that are cordate or heart-shaped with serrated edges.
Beaumont grapes are available from summer through fall.
Beaumont grapes, botanically classified as a part of the Vitaceae family, grow on vigorous vines and are an American hybrid created by grape breeder Byron T. Johnson. Believed to be a cross between the headlight grape with an unknown Vitis labrusca variety, Beaumont grapes are known for their resistance to disease and sweet flavor. Beaumont grapes are most commonly used as a table grape and to make grape juice. They can also be made into a neutral white wine with a musky and spicy flavor profile similar to the delaware grape.
Beaumont grapes contain some vitamins A, C, and K, iron, potassium, and the polyphenol antioxidant resveratrol which has anti-inflammatory benefits.
Beaumont grapes are best suited for raw consumption as they are most commonly eaten fresh, out of hand. They can be sliced and mixed into green salads, bean salads, and fruit salads, or served chilled as a healthy dessert alternative. They are also served on top of desserts such as ice cream, pies, cakes, and tarts. Beaumont grapes are used to make a white wine that is slightly spicy and musky, and they can also be pressed and made into juice for a sweet drink or flavor for cocktails. Beaumont grapes pair well with duck, chicken, shrimp, pork, soft cow’s milk cheese, eggplant, squash, carrot, bell pepper, and artichokes. They will keep up to one week when stored in the refrigerator.
There is a rumor that grape breeder Byron T. Johnson first became interested in making wine when he was stuck in a French chateau in World War II. He was known for breeding grapes varieties, such as the Beaumont, with very high resistance to disease and improved flavor qualities.
Beaumont grapes were created and released by breeder Byron T. Johnson in Cincinnati, Ohio, in 1982. Today they can be found at specialty markets in the United States.