Easy Low Sugar Wine Jelly

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy.


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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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!

Red Wine Jelly
Rate this recipe
9 ratings

Category: appetizer

Yield: makes 3 1/2 cups

Serving Size: 1 Tablespoon

Calories per serving: 23

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


  • 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


  1. Pour your bottle of wine into a heavy bottomed pot.
  2. 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.
  3. Strain the cardamom from the wine and return the wine to the pan.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.

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!

This Easy Low Sugar Wine Jelly Recipe enhances everything from cheese plates to turkey sandwiches.  #jam #preserves #wine #bestpartyappetizer #bestwinejelly #cocktailparty #entertaining #holidayappetizer #foodgift #hostessgift #redwine



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




You Might Also Like

Leave a Reply


  • 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!

  • 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!

  • 1 2