Wine jelly is a sweet and flavorful spread that is made by combining wine, sugar, lemon juice, and pectin. The wine used in the recipe can vary, with some popular choices being red wine, white wine, and port. The jelly has a smooth and firm texture, making it perfect for spreading on toast, crackers, or even as a glaze for meats.
I’ll be honest, I hadn’t heard of wine jelly until recently. Though it was popular among some of the first Presidents of the United States, and beyond… it’s not something I knew existed.
Once I heard of it, I knew I had to try it for myself. Jelly made from wine? Sign me up. It’s by far the easiest jelly recipe I’ve ever made. No straining the fruit through a jelly bag like in peach jelly or blueberry jelly. Just pour ingredients in a pot and get to work.
This recipe is incredibly simple and only takes about 15 minutes, plus canning from start to finish making it something you could whip up for a last-minute Christmas gift if you needed to even on Christmas Eve.
What is Wine Jelly?
Wine jelly is exactly that… jelly made from wine. Any wine can be used to make this delicious treat depending on your tastes, preferences, and what you have around.
For this particular batch, I actually used a blackberry fruit wine, and it turned out splendidly. But, you can use any red wine, white wine, or rose to make wine jelly. The recipe will be exactly the same, regardless.
What Does Wine Jelly Taste Like?
It tastes like wine! Only slightly better, if that’s even a possibility. Regardless of what wine you use, it’s full of delicious flavor. It’s smooth without being too sweet.
I recommend using a wine that you like when making this recipe, but even a wine you aren’t particularly fond of can be transformed into something you love when you turn it to jelly. The lemon juice and sugar add just enough to transform the flavor without overpowering it, so it still tastes like delicious wine, but better.
What Do You Do With Wine Jelly?
Wine jellies are a fantastic addition to a cheese board. But, there are multiple ways you can use them from the traditional ways you would typically use a jam or jelly to a little different.
- Top Some Homemade Biscuits
- Dress up your peanut butter and jelly game on a slice of homemade bread
- Add it to some cream cheese for a delicious cracker spread or dip
- Use it as a meat marinade. It’s the perfect marinade for pork and chicken, but could even be used on venison or beef!
- Put it inside some homemade pastries.
- Use it as a glaze on lamb chops or duck.
- Make a vinaigrette salad dressing with it
- Give it away as a gift!
Is There Alcohol in Wine Jelly?
Most of the alcohol is cooked out of the wine while boiling to create the jelly. So you’re probably looking at a negligible alcohol content. In fact, if the alcohol content in your wine is higher than 12% you’re going to want to boil it for a minute before you even add anything else in to start to reduce the amount of alcohol or you may have trouble getting it to gel.
That said, if you’re particularly concerned, you can absolutely purchase a hygrometer and measure the alcohol content in the jelly.
How to Make Wine Jelly
You only need a handful of ingredients to make this delicious jelly!
- 750 mL Bottle of Wine
- Lemon Juice – to increase the acidity
- Sugar – look at the recipe notes for a reduced sugar version!
- Powdered Pectin – just one 1.75 oz box of regular powdered pectin, if you want to reduce the sugar amounts, you’ll want to use a 1.75 oz box of low-no sugar powdered pectin.
You’ll also need five half-pint jars, and if you’d like to, you can grab some quarter-pint jars. This recipe will make five 8-ounce jars and one 4-ounce jar. They can all be processed, or you can keep the quarter pint as a taster and place it in the refrigerator.
Step 1: Wash jars, lids, and rings in hot soapy water. Place jars in a water bath canner, heating the jars to 180°F and keeping them there until ready to use.
Next, combine wine, lemon juice, and pectin in a large saucepan and whisk to dissolve the pectin.
Note: if your wine has an alcohol content over 12%, you may want to bring just the wine to a boil over high heat to reduce the alcohol content. Then, allow it to cool just slightly before adding in the lemon juice and pectin, bring it back to a boil, and follow the rest of the instructions.
Step 2: Bring the wine, lemon juice, and dry pectin mixture to a full rolling boil over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally.
Step 3: Add in the sugar all at once, and bring to a full boil over medium-high heat that cannot be stirred down, stirring constantly. Boil hard for TWO minutes. Not one, this will not get the mixture hot enough to gel.
If you have a candy thermometer, you can measure how hot the mixture is and boil it until you reach 220°F. However, two minutes seems to be the sweet spot when I’ve tested this in the past.
You can also test the gel stage by placing a cold spoon in the mixture and waiting until the mixture pours off the spoon in sheets.
Step 4: Remove the jelly from the heat, skim foam, and ladle hot jelly into the hot jars, leaving a 1/4 inch headspace. Wipe jar rim with a cloth dampened with vinegar, center lids, finger tighten screw bands, and place jars back into the waiting boiling water canner.
Step 5: Ensure the tops of the jars are completely covered by at least 1 inch of water. Place the lid on the canner and bring everything to a boil over medium-high heat. Once boiling, process jars for 10 minutes, adjusting processing time for altitude if necessary.
Once processed, turn off the heat, and carefully remove the lid. Allow the jars to sit inside of the canner for 5 minutes before removing to a towel-lined counter to cool.
Cool jars for 12-24 hours before checking seals and removing rings. Label and store in a cool dark place.
Alternatively, the jars can be cooled to room temperature and refrigerated or frozen if you do not want to process them.
How to Store Wine Jelly
Wine jelly will store in properly processed and sealed jars for a minimum of 18 months. However, it can also be frozen for up to six months in airtight, freezer-safe containers.
Wine jelly will keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to two months, once opened or if not processed.
Wine jelly can be enjoyed in a variety of ways, from pairing it with cheese and crackers to using it as a topping for ice cream. It also makes a great gift for wine lovers or anyone who appreciates homemade treats.
- 750 mL Bottle of Wine (any variety)
- 1.75 Oz Package Powdered Pectin
- 1/2 Cup Bottled Lemon Juice
- 4 1/2 Cups Sugar
- Prepare canner, lids, and jars.
- Combine wine, dry pectin, and lemon juice in a large pot. Whisk to dissolve pectin then bring mixture to a rolling boil over medium-high heat.
- Pour in sugar all at once, stirring to combine. Bring the mixture back to a rolling boil over medium-high heat, stirring constantly. Boil hard for two full minutes.
- Remove the jelly from the heat and ladle hot jelly into hot jars, leaving 1/4" headspace. Wipe rims with a vinegar-dampened cloth and center the lids. Finger-tighten screw bands and place jars back in waiting canner.
- Ensure the tops of the jars are covered by at least 1" of water. Place the lid on the canner and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Process jars for 10 minutes, adjusting for altitude.
- After processing, turn off the heat and remove the lid from the canner. Allow the jars to sit for five minutes before removing a towel-lined counter. Allow the jars to sit for 12-24 hours before checking for proper seals. Remove rings, label, and store them in a cool, dark place.
Low Sugar Option:
Use a 1.75 ounce package low-sugar, no-sugar powdered pectin, and reduce sugar to one cup. Follow the recipe otherwise.
0-1,000 ft 10 Minutes
1,001-3,000 ft 15 Minutes
3,001-6,000 ft 20 Minutes
6,001 ft+ 25 Minutes
Serving Size:1 Tablespoon
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 49Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 2mgCarbohydrates: 11gFiber: 0gSugar: 10gProtein: 0g