Red Wine Jelly with Bing Cherries

Red Wine Jelly

You know I love my cocktails right? I love making them as much as any dish; they are creative and fun and add something special to a get together with friends. But want to know a secret? I drink wine more. It’s true! Cocktails are special but require some planning and often special mixtures and preparation and well, wine is easy. So perfect with food and the truth is, I’ll have a glass of wine with a salad or a simple grilled burger but I only enjoy cocktails if I’m having company.

So while I’m sharing secrets? You also know how much I love to add some booze to dishes don’t you? I especially like using bourbon or rum in desserts but most often it’s wine that goes into so much of what I do on a regular basis. I’ve  prepared Julia’s Beef Bourguignon which is a fabulous beef dish with red wine and I LOVED this Cranberry and Croissant Bread Pudding which included some champagne in the dessert sauce. I doubt there is a salad dressing that goes on my table that doesn’t include either red or white wine.

When I thought about a recipe that included wine; I knew I was up to the task but I have to tell you; once I started thinking about it, nothing seemed unique enough; maybe because I seemed to have already been there and done that. As often happens, and I’m not kidding, I had a thought come to me in the middle of the night. I wasn’t sleeping, Tivo had something playing that I hoped would put me back to sleep and I was playing out what I had to get done the next day (I’m not alone right…please tell me I’m not!). Develop a wine recipe, cut the grass, do laundry; just a simple list and then it happened.

Somewhere in that nether world between sleep and awake I had enough consciousness to actually formulate a plan. It was as if the cherries in my fridge were calling to me, ‘Use me, use me!’ and I was helpless to disagree. I haven’t made jam or jelly for many years so I knew it would be a challenge. Not that jams or jellies are hard to make but I decided to go ‘old school’ and can my efforts. I remembered enough to know that jam and jellies develop their texture because of the pectin in fruit; I wouldn’t be using enough fruit for a good result so I was heading into somewhat uncharted territory but once I got that idea in my head there was NO stopping me.

I have to tell you though…this? This Cabernet Sauvignon with Bing Cherries? Oh my. Served so simply with just cream cheese and my favorite crackers; nothing more was needed. I finished this right before fresh cherry season ended but I’m making it again using frozen cherries; this is going to be a standard in my pantry; come on over for a bite…and a glass of wine while you’re at it.

Many years ago when I lived in North Carolina, we had some property and a huge garden and I spent the better part of a week each summer processing all sorts of goodies for our family stores. We didn’t have berries though so my friend Janis and I would go to berry farms and pick berries for hours to use for jams. I used to have a ton of equipment but today I just do a couple of jars here and there and having equipment is a thing of the past.

I borrowed my friend Holly’s canner because I was doing a couple of dozen jars but it’s larger than I need for everyday use so after I returned it to her I thought about how I could use my stockpot for more  (Merlot was sad) without purchasing specialty equipment. A stockpot, an open mesh rack used for cooling cake pans and a contraption for lifting jars out of the hot water is all that is needed. I have a special tool for lifting those jars but I also saw this video last week from Melissa Clark with the New York Times that I think shows how easy canning can be for the ‘casual’ canner like me!

I love making holiday food gifts; if you are a recipient pretend you didn’t see this; I assure you there will be some wine jelly in gift baskets this year!

Many thanks to Holly for loaning me her equipment and to both Rebecca and Wendy for their canning expertise…very much appreciated; you have helped unleash canning Barb!

Red Wine Jelly
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Red and White Wine Jelly - Cherry Cabernet and Lemon with Rosemary Chardonnay

Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Total Time45 mins
Servings: 8 -12
Calories:
Author: Creative Culinary

Ingredients

For the Cherry Cabernet Wine Jelly:

  • 2 cups of bing cherries roughly chopped
  • 4 cups of wine
  • 4-6 cups of sugar depending on how sweet you want it
  • 2 pouches of liquid pectin

For the Lemon and Rosemary Chardonnay Jelly:

  • 4 cups of wine
  • 4-6 cups of sugar depending on how sweet you want it
  • 2 pouches of liquid pectin
  • Zest and juice from one lemon
  • Rosemary sprig leaves stripped and finely chopped

Instructions

To Make the Cherry Cabernet Wine:Jelly:

  • Put cherries and 3 and 1/2 cups of wine into a medium saucepan with sugar. Heat over medium heat until the cherries soften; 10-15 minutes.
  • Add liquid pectin and remainder of wine and cook slowly until thickened.
  • Once the pectin is thoroughly stirred in; skim off any foam; continue to cook on medium heat until jelly dropped on a plate kept in the freezer firms up and 'wrinkles' when you gently push it with a spoon.
  • Ladle the jelly into hot jars; leaving 1/4 inch headspace, apply seals and screw on rings and process in hot water bath for 10 minutes at sea level or 15 minutes at 5000 feet if you are using half pint jars or smaller. Increase processing time by 5 minutes if using pint jars.
  • Remove from pot and allow to cool. Store for up to one year in the pantry.

To Make the Lemon and Rosemary Chardonnay Jelly:

  • Measure 3 and 1/2 cups of wine into a pan and heat gently over medium heat.
  • Add 6 cups of sugar when wine warms and stir until completely dissolved. I know it sounds like a lot of sugar but it’s just right for a dry wine.
  • When tiny bubbles form on the bottom of the pan stir in the lemon juice, lemon zest and rosemary along with the two 3 oz pouches of liquid pectin and the remainder of the wine.
  • Once the pectin is thoroughly stirred in; skim off any foam; continue to cook on medium heat until jelly dropped on a plate kept in the freezer firms up and 'wrinkles' when you gently push it with a spoon.
  • Ladle the jelly into hot jars; leaving 1/4 inch headspace, apply seals and screw on rings and process in hot water bath for 10 minutes at sea level or 15 minutes at 5000 feet if you are using half pint jars or smaller. Increase processing time by 5 minutes if using pint jars.
  • Remove from pot and allow to cool. Store for up to one year in the pantry.

Notes

Some more ideas:[br][br]Vanilla Bean Paste in white wine, 1 tsp cracked black pepper in a dark red or even cranberry liqueur in a rose. I've even thinking about bacon and wine jelly...crazy sounding but I bet it would be good!

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37 Comments

    1. I wouldn’t. Those are already processed and you would be doing it twice. Of course you can always try it but I think it would be way too sweet to use an already sweetened product.

    1. I put that variation on there because it does depend on what size jars you use. I used Weck jars that are a bit less than 6 oz each, using an 8 oz jar or larger will mean less jars of the jelly.

      Honestly it’s been a couple of years since I’ve made this so of course I’d like to make it again now that I’m reminded. I’m going to guesstimate that 6 oz jars will get you closer to the number of 12 and the larger your jars are the closer you get to only eight.

      Hope that helps!
      Hope that helps!

  1. yumm ..i just started canning and have been searching for a great wine jelly, and this will be the one i try!! you said you had a fav cracker, what are the ones you used for the cherry wine jelly? im dying to replicate that picture:) lol

    1. oh yeah, and i have only ever used fresh fruit, because cherries aren’t in season yet, i can just add the frozen cherries to the pot?

      1. Yes, you can use frozen fruit too. I love the crackers by 34 Degrees; they’re in Denver but pretty sure available nationally. Very light and pretty and not with a ton of flavor actually; they serve as the perfect vessel for a wine jelly (which I like combined with cream cheese on a cracker the BEST!).

  2. I was wondering if you could use powdered pectin like I do for making other various Jellies instead since I already have quite a bit of it in my stockpile?? If so, how much would equal the same effect as 2 pouches of liquid pectin?

  3. I’ve been playing with making jellies and jams out of beer and wine, and people have been asking to buy them, but I want to make sure I can. I’ve been searching the net all day trying to discover if jellies made with beer and wine have an alcohol content? Have you ever had a problem with that? Gorgeous pictures by the way.

    1. I’ve never worried about it but they must have some; though the wine and or beer is cooked; I don’t try to boil out the alcohol either. Maybe just do a web search on what it takes to remove alcohol during cooking?

  4. I’m a recent fan of small batch preserving, but intend to drag out my big preserver when the tomatoes are ready to be dealt with.
    Cherries have a very short season here and get quite pricey, but I can’t wait to try the lemon & rosemary chardonnay jelly – I have lemons and rosemary aplenty!

    1. If you don’t have cherries you can just use the plain wine too; follow the directions on the lemon one. I had cherries so put them in but I did another batch without and it’s great too.

  5. Oh, I love 14 Hands wine!! There are always 2 bottles that end up in my cart when I shop at Costco. I’m intrigued by the jelly and to can it with a crock pot. I would love to learn how to can but sadly both my grandma’s have passed away and never shared that knowledge with me. Someday I’m gonna try it.

    1. For some reason I can’t get myself to use them for breakfast toast…so I’m getting some English Muffins today; they seem more appropriate to serve with a wine based jelly for some odd reason. Maybe cause they’ll hold more? 🙂

  6. I am thoroughly enjoying these jellies. The red wine jelly is perfect for crackers with cheese as you’ve shown and I like the option you mention of making it with frozen cherries to enjoy it all winter long. Seems like a great holiday appetizer. I used the chardonnay jelly to make a glaze with cider vinegar and dijon mustard to baste a roast chicken and it was gorgeous. Thank you thank you for sharing!!!

    1. Glad you are enjoying them Holly; literally could not have done it without you and your canner! That glaze sounds amazing, right up my alley.

  7. Some of my best ideas come to me in the middle of the night…while I’m sleeping. You certainly came up with a great one somewhere between sleep and awake that evening! These jellies are beautiful Barb! I think you are right suggesting that vanilla bean paste would be good in the white wine jelly and teeny bits of bacon (!) certainly 🙂

    You have to start marketing these Barb…I’m sure wineries would love to serve use your jellies during their tours.

    1. I would have to do that job in the wee hours…though they can always come to me for flavors…I have a bunch of ideas!

  8. I bet bacon and wine jelly would be fantastic!! If you need a taste tester, don’t hesitate to ask 😉 The two jellies you’ve created here sound divine! I adore the combinations you’ve come up with. Lovely!

    1. I was thinking if I did bacon and wine jelly I would have to call it ‘Elvis’ – just seems a combo he would put together on a sandwich to me. But the idea of sweet, tart, salty and smokey might just work huh?

    1. You’ll have to try this one; it’s my favorite of the two…I guess I just like red wine all the way around.

  9. These recipes both look wonderful Barb! I use Bing Cherries in my jam too–the tart ones are too difficult to find here in Florida. I didn’t realize that you were a canner, I learn something new about you all the time. Would love to hear more about your family’s stores, sounds like so much fun. Great shots too.

    1. A friend gave me a handful of sour cherries she got from a neighbors tree and even those were only half good; I know your pain. But the bing cherries were great in it; they still have my love. Thanks again for your advice. Priceless!

    1. Everyone has loved it Claire; definitely on the list for holiday goodies. Thinking I’ll make my own crackers too and make gifts of cheese, crackers and the wine jelly.

    1. Glass of wine in one hand; always pouring it into something on the stove with the other. That’s pretty standard practice here and one I wholeheartedly condone. 🙂

    1. Thanks Lori and really quite easy; mine are almost gone…seems my friends won’t leave MY home without one. 🙂

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