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 ~
- Cabernet Sauvignon
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
- 750 ml Merlot, or other red wine
- 10 cardamom pods, optional
- 1.75 ounces Sure-Jell, 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 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.
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!
Cooking with wine is such fun!