Years ago I owned a retail business that I ran from my home. I had a small shop in my finished basement and I would hold regular open houses for local clients as well as ship orders from online sales. I carried a wide array of items that were related to both wine and entertaining. That’s right…wine. This was BC (Before Cocktails) which are now my passion. One of the things I loved were these small jars of fantastic jelly made from Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay or Rosé wines.
While I used to have a ready supply, I haven’t had any in a couple of years and I was inspired to try making my own for this month’s Progressive Eats group event. Jenni Field with the blog Pastry Chef Online is the host for this month’s event and has chosen the theme of Wine and/or Cheese. This is amazingly simple to do and while I’ve made Pinot Noir Red Wine Jelly this time around, use the same recipe for your favorite wine whether it be red or white; this one was fantastic so I’m looking forward to trying other variations too.
It could not be simpler even if you are not someone who does canning on a regular basis. It only made a little more than 4 jars so if you don’t want to put them in a hot water bath, just give the extra jars to friends and don’t bother with that step. The only thing I’ve done differently this time around was to follow a tip I saw on an episode of America’s Test Kitchen. A bit more than a cup of the wine is reduced considerably and then added back in at the end; that really does help to intensify the flavor.
Before a client sent me a tall, large stockpot I just used my largest regular stockpot for the hot water bath. I found canning racks that fit in the bottom of my stockpot and it makes the perfect vessel for the amount that I do. These are actually cooling racks for cakes but I bought them for canning and was happy to have something with a multiple use! Some jars and a jar lifter and I was set without having to spend a ton of money on a large canning pot that I had no room to store.
I used a bottle of Mark West Black Pinot Noir for this recipe. I think Pinot is the perfect type of wine for a project like this and this wine, with aromas of ripe black plums and blackberries along with mocha and vanilla notes, brought a great flavor profile to the mix. I don’t recommend that this is the recipe for a cheap bottle of $3 Chuck either; use something you would enjoy drinking but without breaking the bank. Try something in the $8-10 bottle price range. My only regret with this wine is that after I tasted it I poured the entire bottle into the pot. What was I thinking…I should have saved a small glass to drink while I cooked! It’s rich and smooth and a great pour.
This jelly is not something I would normally just spread on toast; I prefer it served with fluffy homemade biscuits or even better as part of an appetizer as shown in this post. The combination of crisp cracker, Mascarpone Cheese and this Pinot Wine Jelly was addictive. Seriously I considered sitting down at the kitchen table with a jar of jelly, the cheese and crackers and a glass of water for lunch. Nothing else. I stopped myself but really…I could have!
Want to surprise someone with a great homemade gift? This would do quite nicely. Mother’s Day is coming up and I can promise you this…mom’s LOVE something from the heart. They really don’t need perfume or lotions or another scarf. You show up with a gift basket with some cheese, crackers, a bottle of nice wine and this jelly and if you think they love you now? Watch out…you will totally slay your mom; I promise.
Make sure you check out my friends contributions to Progressive Eats this month after the recipe. Such a talented group of people; each and every single month I wish we were neighbors and could actually share the bounty from our combined efforts.
Wine and Cheese
- Port Wine Cheese Ball from Pastry Chef Online
- Cheese Fondue Pasta Ragout (Gluten-Free) from The Heritage Cook
- Apricot Riesling Mustard from All Roads Lead to the Kitchen
- Chicken Scallopini from Stetted
- Chicken with Mushrooms in White Wine Sauce from Never Enough Thyme
- Red Wine Jelly from Creative Culinary
- Italian Wine Biscuits from Mother Would Know
- Moscato Zabaglione with Strawberries from The Wimpy Vegetarian
- Pears Poached in Wine with Lemon Mascarpone from SpiceRoots
- Mascarpone Cheesecake from That Skinny Chick Can Bake
- Sarasota Lemonade from Miss in the Kitchen
Welcome to Progressive Eats, our virtual version of a Progressive Dinner Party. This month’s theme is Wine and Cheese and is hosted by Jenni Field, who blogs at Pastry Chef Online. For our Wine and Cheese Theme, everyone has made a recipe that contains wine, cheese or both. We have some sweets for you, some savories and even a refreshing wine-based beverage!
If you’re unfamiliar with the concept, a progressive dinner involves going from house to house, enjoying a different course at each location. With Progressive Eats, a theme is chosen each month, members share recipes suitable for a delicious meal or party, and you can hop from blog to blog to check them out.
We have a core group of 12 bloggers, but we will always need substitutes and if there is enough interest would consider additional groups. To see our upcoming themes and how you can participate, please check out the schedule at Creative Culinary or contact Barb for more information.