Not Sure What To Do With Your Leftover Wine? Try Turning It Into Jelly

Whether you uncork too many bottles during a get-together or can't finish a magnum before it turns flavorless, there's no reason to let wine go to waste. While you could reserve it for poaching or pan sauces, a sweeter solution to tackle leftover wine is to transform it into jelly. Easy to make and enjoyable to eat, wine jelly is even a fabulous way to revamp bottles that aren't to your liking. So, save yourself the sorrows of ever pouring wine down the drain and whip up a wine jelly, instead.

Wine jellies can be made with just a handful of ingredients. As a general guideline, for every bottle (equivalent to about 3 ½ cups of wine) used, recipes should also include ½ cup of lemon juice, 2 ounces of packaged pectin, and 4 ½ cups of sugar. Naturally, these amounts may need to be adjusted based on the quantity of wine that's leftover — modest amounts might even be better as a supporting ingredient to jazz up jams and preserves. 

In any case, crafting a sensational wine jelly is effortless. Start by adding the wine, lemon juice, and pectin to a pot to boil, before sprinkling in the sugar. Stir constantly to prevent scorching as the mixture bubbles away. After about a minute of boiling, the viscous jelly can be pulled from the burner and any foam that's accumulated can be removed all before ladling the confection into jars. Following a brief water bath, the jelly is ready to enjoy.

What to remember when making wine jelly

Any still or sparkling wine — red, white, rosé, or orange — can be used as the base ingredient of a wine jelly. Even fortified options like Port can be used, much like any selection of sweet dessert wines. That said, while a wine's flavors will be bold enough to speak for themselves, you can still amp up complexity in the confection. Customizing a jelly is simply a matter of infusing it with fresh herbs, citrus peels, or a few whole spices.

Regardless of what goes into your recipe, made-from-scratch wine jelly will keep for roughly 10 days when stored in the fridge. If you followed correct canning procedures, any unopened jars can last on pantry shelves for months. Just remember that once it's opened, jelly should be consumed in a timely manner, which won't be difficult given its deliciously decadent flavors and endless uses. Speaking of which...

Beyond charcuterie boards and baked brie, wine jelly can enhance a deli sandwich, grilled cheese, or PB&J. The confection can also be used as a glaze for meats like a batch of grilled wings or slow-cooker meatballs. Otherwise, a swipe of wine jelly can elevate sweet treats. Use it as a topping for cheesecake or filling for layered cakes. In fact, the boozy jelly can even be worked into cocktails. Guaranteed to tantalize taste buds, whisking together wine jelly is a must-try the next time you're stuck with loads of leftover wine!