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We can't tell by the color, smelling, feeling or thumping. If you intend on buying the grapes, the best way I have found is to pinch one off and taste it. If it is good, then you buy that bunch of grapes or take your chances.
By xintexas from San Antonio, TX
I doubt that as most people do it. Stores don't get that picky with one grape. I have been doing it for years in all in different states never went to the pokey yet. Let me know if you have seen a wanted poster of me. Never been stuck with sour grapes.
When selecting grapes choose a bunch with a green stem. If the stem is brown, they usually are too ripe.
By Rosie from FL
The easiest and best way to pick the freshest grapes in your local market is to hold a bunch by the stem. Shake gently - if grapes drop off the stem, they have been in storage for too long. If the grapes are firmly attached, are plump and bright, they are fresh .
Store grapes in the coldest part of the refrigerator in a plastic bag. Wash them well before serving, but NOT before putting them in the refrigerator.
I find that if I squeeze the grapes and they are firm then they are fresh, if soft at all, then forget it.
The way I find that keeps the grapes the freshest and the longest....I put mine in the fridge...but I rinse the grapes first and then leave them OPEN in the bowl. (They also get eaten sooner... when the kids look into the fridge and the grapes are in front of their face it is a quick easy snack to grab.) I find that by putting them in a plastic bag they seem to go bad sooner, even when they were in the fruit drawer of my fridge. I know that this goes totally opposite to the posting by Food Reference, but it works for me.