The Buyer's Guide to Rio Red Grapefruit

The Buyer’s Guide to Rio Red Grapefruit

There’s no denying that Rio Red grapefruit are some of the most delicious fruits you can eat, but do you know how to pick the best of the best? Luckily, there are some easy ways to spot a perfect Texas Rio Red by looking for key giveaways!

Our delicious grapefruit may be unavailable for now during the offseason, but that doesn’t mean we’re slacking off here at Winter Sweetz! Aside from growing our next batch for the upcoming fall season, our grapefruit gurus have put together a quick guide that you can use to pick the best Rio Reds at the perfect ripeness!

1. Consider the Color

The first step to spotting the perfect grapefruit is checking the color. The skin should be even in color without any spots, and, in general, the redder the grapefruit, the more intense the flavor. Rio Reds are a beautiful, rich, and scarlet on the inside, but you can spot yellow skin with a light blush on Texas Rio Reds that are ready to eat. 

Keep in mind that in some instances, the grapefruit you choose may have a little bit of a green tinge to it. Because it takes a little bit of time for the green color to fully grow out of a Rio Red, the inside of the fruit can still be ripe and sweet and delicious. Usually, a day or two on the kitchen counter is all it needs to develop that beautiful color you’ve come to recognize about our good grapefruit.

How do we know? Our orchards are only harvested after they have passed a USDA inspection that tests out the fruits’ minimum brix levels (sugar content). That means that right before they ship out, we know that our Rio Reds will deliver that renowned sweetness your family has come to love.

2. Give Your Grapefruit a Gentle Squeeze

To find the perfect grapefruit, check for one that feels like it’s ready to burst! The plumper the fruit, the better. The skin of your fruit should be thin and fairly smooth, though you may be able to see small dimples across the surface.

To check if your Rio Red is ripe enough, pick it up and give it a good heft. Ripe fruit should feel heavy and full of juice. If you pick up a grapefruit and are surprised by how heavy it is, it’s probably ripe!

3. Examine the Grapefruit’s Shape

The shape of your grapefruit is another clear indicator of whether or not your grapefruit is ripe. A ripe grapefruit will be slightly oval in shape with a flat top and bottom. Fruit that’s too round may not be ripe enough to eat yet.

People have a tendency to pick round fruit, but the key to Rio Reds is their plump oval shape. Conversely, grapefruit with lumps or odd shapes like scarring isn’t something to be alarmed about. As our fruit grows, high winds can knock them about, hitting branches and other grapefruit. The inner flesh of the grapefruit, however, is just as sweet as can be.

The Best Way to Store Grapefruits!

Believe it or not, the thing to keep in mind when storing grapefruit is airflow! The best place to store citrus fruits is in a basket out of direct sunlight. The sun’s rays can damage your fruit, so keep them in a dark place to help them last longer. 

Ripe grapefruit should last on the shelf for about ten days. If you want to help them last a little longer, try keeping them in the refrigerator or in a cool dark place. In these conditions, your fruit can last up to three weeks, which gives you plenty of time to enjoy them after the next season has ended.


Winter Sweetz may be in the offseason, but that doesn’t mean we’re not working hard! To keep up with what we’re up to…

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