Wine Jelly

It’s time for me to start thinking about Christmas gifts, and wine jelly is at the top of my list. I believe this may be the simplest jelly I’ve ever made.  It’s definitely easy enough for a first jelly, makes a great gift besides tasting extremely heavenly in a grown-up way.  It’s also unearthly beautiful . . .

I made these in 1/2 cup canning jars which is a good size for gifts.

Use a White Zinfandel or other flavorful dry or semi-dry wines that you love.  This recipe comes from Blue Ribbon Preserves by Linda Amendt.  That’s like Amen with a dt on the end, and in the end you’ll probably be saying Amen! because this is absolutely . . . ethereal . . . Her book is a new favorite of mine since I’m dreaming about next year’s fair.  Here’s a thumbnail of the book (I’m extremely visual and just love the covers of books . . .)

It’s also super simple in terms of ingredients:  4 cups of wine, 6 cups of sugar and 2 pouches of liquid pectin. It goes so fast I forgot all about the pictures until the end, so especially if this is your first jelly, get everything out and ready . . .

Wine Jelly

1. Measure 4 cups of wine into a pan and heat gently over medium heat.

2. Add 6 cups of sugar when wine warms and stir until completely dissolved. I know it sounds like a lot of sugar but it’s just right for a dry wine.

3. When wine almost simmers (tiny bubbles form on the bottom of the pan) stir in the contents of the two 3 oz pouches of liquid pectin.

4. Once the pectin is thoroughly stirred in and you’ve skimmed any foam, ladle into hot jars.

5. Leave 1/4 inch headspace, apply seals and screw on rings and process in hot water bath for 10 minutes at sea level and 15 minutes at 5000 feet if you are using half pint jars or smaller.  If using pint jars, increase processing time by 5 minutes.

I could easily see this spread over a thin layer of goat cheese on crackers . . . You wouldn’t even have to open a bottle of wine!

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14 comments to Wine Jelly

  • Jen

    This is awesome! Would you say it’s roughly $30 to make? (I guess it all depends on what quality wine you use)

    Also, how many jars would you say this makes? I’d assume 20 half-cup jars, but this would be my first jelly, and I don’t know anything about expansion/contraction from original measurements.

  • elizabeth

    Jen — it probably makes at least 14 half-pints — the sugar is going to dissolve into the liquids, so you’ll get less than the actual recipe measurements. Yes — price does depend on the quality of wine, and if this is your first, be sure to read all the liquid pectin instructions first. Set up everything (maybe even run through adding everything in your mind) and be sure to follow instructions for water bath canning if you are planning to keep these out of the fridge until opened. Good luck! I’m going to go open a jar now, it’s so yummy . . .

  • Claudia

    So……I only have powdered pectin. May I use that…and how much? I’d also like to make half a recipe. May I just divide ingredients by 2?

  • elizabeth


    I don’t usually use powdered pectin, and I don’t have any on hand, so I don’t know how much would translate to one pouch of liquid pectin. If you’re cutting the recipe in half, using 2 cups of wine, then see how much powdered pectin would set that amount of liquid. I think the liquid pectin would make a silkier texture of jelly . . .

  • Jasmine

    I made this with Cabernet Sauvignon and cooked it with a tea ball full of fresh rosemary and black peppercorns. It turned out amazing and will make a great addition to my homemade Christmas gift baskets. Thanks for sharing!

  • elizabeth

    That sounds really scrumptuous! Wish I was getting one of your Christmas baskets . . .

  • A bottle of wine was shy 3/4 C for me, though bottles may vary. I net 17 half pint jars

  • elizabeth

    I know — there are all different sizes. Hope you enjoy it!

  • Craig

    I’m finally getting around to this recipe, which I’ve wanted to try for some time now. I do have one question, though: Does this jelly have to be refrigerated, or can it be shelf stored? I ask because some wine jelly recipes call for lemon juice and this one does not.

  • elizabeth

    This wine jelly is made to be canned and then stored on the shelf for up to a year. it’s possible the recipes you’re looking at need lemon juice in order to set the jell, or to make the flavor more tart. The acidity level in this is high enough for shelf storage, and there should still be some alcohol remaining in the final product. Hope that helps!

  • Craig

    Thanks, that helps a lot because I made the jelly this morning (smelled so good with some way-too-sweet wine my mom gave me a case of). I’m glad I finally have a use for at least one bottle of the stuff. I used one 750 ml bottle and added about 1/4 cup of water to make four cups of wine (I couldn’t justify opening a second bottle just for so little wine).

    Now I can bring this wine, along with goat cheese and crackers, as an appetizer when invited to friends’ homes for meals (well, I wouldn’t take it for breakfast). Thanks again!

  • elizabeth

    Great idea, and glad you like it!

  • Theresa

    Do you have to use any type of pectin to get good results? Is it possible to just keep stirring to boil down the liquid which should thicken as it cooks with the sugar? I don’t like the idea of adding sure-jell or similar products.

    Thank you for your response.

  • elizabeth

    Hi Theresa — yes you can just cook down the liquid and it should thicken if there is enough natural pectin in your fruit and if you have the right proportion of fruit and sugar. You might want to look at recipes that use apples and other fruit, or make your own natural pectin using apple peelings.

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