Easy Low Sugar Wine Jelly

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This Easy Low Sugar Wine Jelly recipe takes just minutes, and its mellow, not-too-sweet flavor enhances everything from cheese and crackers to turkey sandwiches.  Make some for yourself, then post the recipe on the fridge, you’re going to want to make it for every party you throw, and for every party you’re invited to, from here on in.

Easy Low Sugar Wine Jelly with water crackers and a knife

Have you ever had wine jelly?  I didn’t even know this stuff existed until I stopped to sample some at our farmers market.  What a fabulous idea, and it couldn’t be easier (really! Check out my short video, below)  I’m excited to share this with you because we love cheese plate nights in our house, and this gives us a whole new flavor and texture to play with.

Does wine jelly taste like wine?  Yes!  The flavor is all there, it’s smooth, mellow, and absolutely delicious.

Easy Low Sugar Wine Jelly with cheese and crackers

This is such fun, you can use virtually any bottle of wine you like.  I think full bodied reds make the best jelly, but if you’re a white wine lover, go for it!  I used Merlot today, but I’m going to try a nice Malbec, next time.  And after that, maybe a pretty pink rosé.

Bolder red wines that work well for jelly ~

  • Merlot
  • Malbec
  • Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Zinfandel
  • Bordeaux

The gorgeous silky texture of wine jelly is just lovely.  You’ll have fun mixing and matching with your favorite cheese and crackers.

Easy Low Sugar Wine Jelly in Weck jars

I infused my first batch of wine jelly with cardamom pods, and I have to admit it was a last minute decision after I poured a bottle of Merlot into my big cast iron pot ~ it just looked a little naked.   The cardamom adds a little extra layer of mystery to the flavor and really complements the wine.  You can use as few as 10 or as many as you like for a stronger flavor.  You can strain them out, or even leave them in, just be sure to crack them first to release the little seeds.

TIP: Mulled wine jelly makes a fabulous gift during the holidays.  Go all out and add a cinnamon stick, some cloves, and a star anise along with the cardamom pods for a really festive flavor.

Easy Low Sugar Wine Jelly in a glass jar

Most recipes for wine jelly use way too much sugar, in my opinion.  I’ve reduced it down quite a bit here, and I’m really pleased with the results.  If you sweeten this too much you lose that fabulous earthy wine-y flavor and it can start to taste like grape jelly.  Not what you’re looking for.

TIP: It’s quite important that you use the right pectin, formulated for low sugar recipes.  It’s called Sure-Jell For Less or No Sugar Needed Recipes, and it comes in the pink box.   This pectin insures a reliably firm set to your jelly.

Easy Low Sugar Wine Jelly with cheese and crackers

I think any host would just love to receive a jar or two of this wine jelly.  And if you’re called upon to bring the appetizer, bundle it up with some crackers and cheese ~ you’ll get invited back, I promise.

Check out the little video I made to show you just how easy this is!

Add to Your Recipe Box
3.07 from 80 votes

Red Wine Jelly

This easy low sugar wine jelly is delicious with cheese or on sandwiches, and makes an ideal host gift. Stock your fridge for the holidays! Recipe adapted from America's Test Kitchen
Course Appetizer
Cuisine American
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Calories 23kcal


  • 1 750 ml bottle red wine, I used Merlot
  • 10 cardamom pods optional
  • 1 1.75 ounce box of Sure-Jell for Less or No Sugar Needed Recipes (be sure to use this one, in the pink box)
  • 3/4 cup sugar divided


  • Pour your bottle of wine into a heavy bottomed pot.
  • Lightly crush the cardamom pods with the side of a rolling pin and add them to the pot. Don't lose any of the little black seeds! Bring the pot to a simmer, then turn off the heat and let steep for 20 minutes.
  • Strain the cardamom from the wine and return the wine to the pan.
  • Mix 1/4 cup of the sugar, the pectin, and 3/4 cup water in a small bowl and stir to combine. Add to the wine and bring to a boil over high heat, whisking constantly.
  • Once the wine is at a boil, add the remaining 1/2 cup sugar, and continue to stir or whisk until the mixture is boiling again. Boil for 2 minutes, stirring all the time.
  • Remove from the heat and skim any foam off the top of the wine. Use a funnel to fill your jelly jars with the hot liquid. I suggest using several smaller jars rather than one or two large ones.
  • Let cool completely at room temperature, then cover and refrigerate for 12 - 24 hours until firm. The jelly will keep in the refrigerator for up to 2 months, I don't recommend freezing.


Serving: 1g | Calories: 23kcal

Make it your own ~

  • Try making a black pepper wine jelly with a bite ~  steep 1 tablespoon of black peppercorns in the wine instead of the cardamom.
  • I plan to make a hot pepper wine jelly soon, with jalapeños…one of you might want to beat me to it and let me know how it goes…


Don’t forget to pin this Red Wine Jelly!

Wine Jelly pin.



Cooking with wine is such fun!

Parmesan Crusted White Wine Salmon

Crock Pot Beef Bourguignon

Red Wine Spaghetti

Marsala Chicken Thighs

Split Pea Soup With Red Wine and Ham

Pork Loin with Wine and Herb Gravy

Coq au Chardonnay



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    Leave a Reply

    Please rate this recipe!

  • Reply
    W Grant
    October 10, 2020 at 6:06 am

    5 stars
    Super easy recipe!!
    I used an inexpensive Cabernet.
    Next time I will use a rich, bold wine for more flavor.
    *Recipe made 9 – 4oz. jars.

    • Reply
      October 10, 2020 at 6:31 am

      I love to experiment with different wines, there are so many possibilities.

    • Reply
      Lisa Sellers
      October 17, 2020 at 11:43 am

      Thank you! I looked everywhere for the yield on this!

  • Reply
    Joanne Maxwell
    June 29, 2020 at 5:50 pm

    2 stars
    Did not set…I have jars of thick wine. ?

    • Reply
      June 29, 2020 at 6:10 pm

      Were you sure to use the ‘low or no sugar’ pectin Joanne? It’s necessary for the jelly to set.

    • Reply
      Karen Stickel
      July 31, 2020 at 2:49 pm

      Sorry…spoke too soon. The jelly DID set! Looks great! Haven’t tasted yet! It had to chill first!

  • Reply
    home sense
    June 28, 2020 at 11:26 am

    3 stars
    I made this today but was disappointed that I discovered as I was making it that this did not last long- I thought this was like every other jelly I made that it would have a longer shelf life. Looks like I will score points with friends because I won’t be able to eat all this in a month.

  • Reply
    November 12, 2019 at 9:44 am

    Can this be done with a water bath canning method? I’d love to send some to relatives back East.

    • Reply
      November 12, 2019 at 10:24 am

      You would need to make this more acidic to can it safely. I have seen recipes that add 1/2 cup lemon juice, but be aware that that will change the flavor.

      • Reply
        J Savoie
        November 21, 2019 at 8:21 am

        For canning any product safely you should check out Ball Blue Books or extension services at any state university webistes –look for Master Food Preservers. The acidity level does matter! Cook books and these resources use only science based recipes to elleviate the risk of contamination. Be safe when canning.

  • Reply
    November 11, 2019 at 12:59 pm

    Hi, do the jars need to be sterilized even though they go in the refrigerator? So excited to make this!

    • Reply
      November 11, 2019 at 2:40 pm

      It’s always a good idea to clean them thoroughly, but I don’t sterilize.

  • Reply
    Denise Stevens
    August 11, 2019 at 4:28 pm

    What about using honey instead of sugar?

    • Reply
      August 11, 2019 at 5:45 pm

      That should work fine, although I haven’t tried it that way. The honey will give the jelly a slightly different flavor, but that’s not a bad thing.

    • Reply
      September 2, 2019 at 8:28 am

      How strong is the wine flavor? I’ll be using it as part of another recipe, and I want to be able to taste it. Also, how well does the cardamom come through? Should I leave it out if I want to focus on the wine flavor?

      • Reply
        September 2, 2019 at 12:42 pm

        The wine flavor is nice and pronounced, but sweeter, of course. If you’re focussing on the wine flavor, I’d leave any spices out.

  • Reply
    Jennifer Hilbert
    December 11, 2018 at 8:15 am

    Hi, Ecited to try thia and I’m wondering if this jelly can be canned? Thank you , Jennifer

    • Reply
      December 11, 2018 at 8:49 am

      I haven’t canned it, but if it has a ph of 4.6 or lower it can be safely canned. I think wine generally has a ph of 3 to 4, so it should be fine. Recipes that I have seen also add lemon juice to boost the acidity.

  • Reply
    Stephanie Spong
    December 2, 2018 at 6:57 pm

    Can you can this recipe?

    • Reply
      December 2, 2018 at 8:38 pm

      I believe you can, but the ph needs to be a 4.6 or lower, so I keep a set of test strips around to check for sure. It might depend on the specific wine you use.

  • Reply
    Danny B
    November 22, 2018 at 1:43 pm

    Hi Sue,
    I’m wondering something, Id like to make a wine jelly for my other mother. she loves a nice full bodied dry red. So, if adding a 3/4 cup sugar to it, wouldn’t that sweeten it up a to much?
    I know that you can make no sugar with the pink box but if I did would it still come out jelly like?

    • Reply
      November 22, 2018 at 5:13 pm

      I haven’t experimented with this Danny, but I’m thinking that you could leave out the sugar. I think the sweet factor is nice, especially with cheese and crackers, but I don’t see why you couldn’t leave it out.

  • Reply
    Dawn Krueger
    November 19, 2018 at 7:40 pm

    I’m going to make this wine jelly tomorrow. It sound PERFECT for the cheese board I’m bringing to Thanksgiving with the whole family. I can’t find the cardamom pods and am intrigued by the potential flavor, have you tried it with ground cardamom?
    Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours! Love your website!

  • Reply
    November 18, 2018 at 1:04 pm

    I used chipotle intead of jalapeño and the resulta was awesome!

  • Reply
    August 13, 2018 at 2:12 pm

    This looks like fun! Would it be possible to use this as a decorative gel for dessert plating?

    • Reply
      August 13, 2018 at 3:25 pm

      It’s not super firm like gelatin, Lee, but I think it could be used.

  • Reply
    March 11, 2018 at 11:53 am

    Do you think you can sub stevia for the sugar? I would like to make it sugar free and lower the carbs.

    • Reply
      March 11, 2018 at 12:11 pm

      I did some quick research Marlene and the results are mixed. I did read that Pomona’s Universal Pectin includes specific instructions for using Stevia, so that might be worth a shot. You could try it with my recipe and see, but I can’t guarantee anything.

  • Reply
    November 11, 2017 at 4:13 pm

    Would love to try this recipe of yours but have you “canned” this before? In a water bath. Wondering as I’d like to make this soon for some Christmas hostess gifts but if they don’t use it up in 2 months then it was all for naught. Thank you. I’m ready to try some more of your yummy goodness Sue

    • Reply
      November 12, 2017 at 7:57 am

      I haven’t canned this, I keep it in the fridge and it lasts at least a month. I did a little research and you can ‘can’ it, but the recipes I saw used more sugar and some lemon juice. The added sugar and acid helps with preserving. Up to 4 cups sugar and 6 Tbsp lemon juice.

  • Reply
    September 20, 2017 at 5:25 pm

    Excuse me, but did you just say WINE JELLY?!?! Where have you been keeping this magical elixir all my life? I want to make it, pet it, and whisper sweet nothings into its delicious ears. Is that weird? I hope not because me and your recipe just became besties.

    • Reply
      September 20, 2017 at 7:18 pm

      hahah, I totally know how you feel Christina 😉

  • Reply
    Laura | Tutti Dolci
    September 18, 2017 at 6:08 pm

    Just gorgeous! I bet this would pair wonderfully with brie as part of a fall cheese platter!

  • Reply
    September 18, 2017 at 6:45 am

    Thanks for this recipe. Made a batch yesterday and can’t wait to try it for a Happy Hour I am hosting this week. Do you have any recommendations for cheese pairing?

    • Reply
      September 18, 2017 at 7:43 am

      Great question, Jane, I should have included that, maybe I’ll amend the post. I like it best with soft goat cheese, or a Brie or Camembert. I think a relatively bland creamy cheese is best. If the cheese is too srong, like a blue or a cheddar, it will compete with the lovely flavor of the jam. Cream cheese would be ok, too.

  • Reply
    Robyn Gleason
    September 18, 2017 at 2:49 am

    Wow, this is perfect, Sue! I’ve got Thanksgiving coming up so I will make this for our guests. Last year I made your Cranberry Apple Butter for everyone and it was a big hit. Thanks again. You’re my go to for holiday food gifts

  • Reply
    September 17, 2017 at 11:55 am

    If I make a little bag from cheesecloth to put the crushed cardamom pods & seeds into, would the flavour be changed? just think it might save me from having to strain everything = less dishes & less work.

    • Reply
      September 17, 2017 at 12:18 pm

      Great idea!

      • Reply
        Gabriela Rodriguez
        July 31, 2019 at 11:58 am

        What cheeses do you recommend with the jelly? Particularly if I used cabernet sauvignon or malbec?

        • Reply
          July 31, 2019 at 3:02 pm

          I generally just serve it with anything mild and soft, like creamy goat cheese, triple cream, Camembert, etc.

  • Reply
    September 17, 2017 at 9:00 am

    Thank you for the beauty !

  • Reply
    Tricia @ Saving Room for Dessert
    September 16, 2017 at 10:50 am

    WOW – this jelly is brilliant! I love the color, the multiple ways to serve, everything about it. This is a must make for the holidays. Thanks for sharing!

  • Reply
    Gerlinde @ Sunnycovechef
    September 15, 2017 at 9:07 pm

    I can see serving this around the holidays with cheese and crackers, yummy! Pinned!

    • Reply
      September 16, 2017 at 11:36 am

      It can be so festive, Gerlinde, especially with some mulling involved…

  • Reply
    September 15, 2017 at 12:46 pm

    Sue, this is so good! I think it may also go well as is, in multiple individual servings! Great thinking, and thank you!

    • Reply
      September 15, 2017 at 2:11 pm

      Yes, if you can find cute tiny jars, I used two pretty small Weck jars in my assortment and they were perfect single servings.

  • Reply
    September 15, 2017 at 11:10 am

    This sounds so fantastic, and as others said, what a great idea for gifts. Most of us have too much already, so something like this would be great. I have also had red wine, black pepper bisquits that are great. Need to figure out how to make those to serve with wine jelly.

    • Reply
      September 15, 2017 at 11:14 am

      Oh Cathy, now you’ve set me on a quest to make those black pepper biscuits!

  • Reply
    Joy Massa
    September 15, 2017 at 9:28 am

    I count on Pomona’s Universal Pectin for necessary schooling about any & all jam and jelly making rules/safety/ideas!! When I had a windfall from a friend of organic concord grapes, I dove into low/no sugar jelly making with Pomona’s at my side! This company is family & friends who have knowledge deep and wide and big hearts to go along with their knowledge! ANY problem encountered can be solved and their connection to jam & jelly making has created a network of folks whose expertise is unaccountably confidence boosting!
    Your post, today, sent me back to their website and I appreciate how you riff on whatever recipe presented with ideas that soar! Thank you, TVFGI, I always enjoy hearing from you!
    Hope you check out Pomona’s! Your imagination will go WILD, over there!

    • Reply
      September 15, 2017 at 9:52 am

      You are right, Pomona’s is a great company, and their universal pectin would probably work with this low sugar jelly, too, but I haven’t personally tried it. I hate to recommend anything I haven’t personally tried. I’m off to explore their site, thanks Joy!

  • Reply
    Chris Scheuer
    September 15, 2017 at 9:17 am

    Way cool! I’ve never heard of this but I love the idea. Love your video too. It really shows how super easy it is! Well done!!

    • Reply
      September 15, 2017 at 9:53 am

      Thanks Chris, especially for the vote of confidence on the video 😉

  • Reply
    Tina Dawson | Love is in my Tummy
    September 15, 2017 at 7:58 am

    Unbelievable!!! Wine Jelly! Wouldn’t these make amazing holiday gifts!

    • Reply
      September 15, 2017 at 8:03 am

      They really would, and it’s nice to make something unexpected for a change.

  • Reply
    Lisa | Garlic & Zest
    September 15, 2017 at 7:45 am

    Wine jelly? I mean, we should be sisters. Seriously.

    • Reply
      September 15, 2017 at 7:58 am

      Agreed 😉

  • Reply
    Jennifer @ Seasons and Suppers
    September 15, 2017 at 7:04 am

    I love wine jelly, but have never made it, so you’ve inspired me! Can’t wait to try it 🙂 And thanks for sharing my pork recipe. Lots of wine in that one 😉

  • Reply
    Annie @ Annie's Noms
    September 15, 2017 at 7:03 am

    No, I did not know there was such a thing as wine jelly! How amazing, I’ll have to make this for my wine loving friends; love how you’ve made it low sugar too! 🙂

    • Reply
      September 15, 2017 at 7:11 am

      Thanks Annie, I do think the low sugar is crucial to the flavor being so nice. I’m sure you’ll enjoy making it for your friends…you can customize it with their favorite wines.

  • Reply
    September 15, 2017 at 7:03 am

    I’m limited on refrigerator space and would like to do a bunch ahead for gifts. Do you think I could hot bath process the jars to store longer?

    • Reply
      September 15, 2017 at 7:10 am

      Yes, you can, Sharon. I’m always hesitant to mention that because I’m not a canning expert and I worry about saying the wrong thing. But you can ‘can’ this, I think as long as you follow safety guidelines and process it for at least 10 minutes.

  • Reply
    September 15, 2017 at 6:56 am

    Would this work with port?

    • Reply
      September 15, 2017 at 6:59 am

      It would absolutely work with port, Elly, it would just be on the sweeter side. But come to think of it, what a great idea for serving with cheese for dessert!

  • Reply
    Haley D. Williams
    September 15, 2017 at 6:52 am

    I’ve heard such good things about wine jelly! Now you have me sold. This will be great to have around for the holidays!

  • Reply
    Jean | DelightfulRepast.com
    September 15, 2017 at 6:22 am

    Sue, I’ve always wanted to make wine jelly, but it remains one of those “never quite got around to it” things. That changes now!

    • Reply
      September 15, 2017 at 6:35 am

      I’m thinking that it might be a throwback to the 80s or something, anyway, it missed me, somehow, but I’m glad I discovered it, I’m in love!

  • Reply
    Mary Ellen
    September 15, 2017 at 5:46 am

    This sounds amazing! I never thought of using wine before for jelly. This will make great Christmas gifts for a few of my friends. Thanks!

  • Reply
    [email protected]'s Recipes
    September 15, 2017 at 3:21 am

    This is a fun recipe. Can I use the standard plain gelatin instead of pectin from the picture above?

    • Reply
      September 15, 2017 at 5:11 am

      I think you can use gelatin, Angie, that should work too. In fact if you use gelatin you probably don’t need to heat the wine at all, so you’d get a little more booze in your jelly, not a bad thing 😉