How to Make Northern Michigan Wine Jelly

Northern Michigan Wine: Lissa Edward's Wild Grape Jelly has been one of MyNorth.com's most popular recipe articles, however, due to 2012's fluke weather, Northern Michigan saw a low-yield of wild grapes this year. So what do you do when you want to make wild grape jelly, but there aren't any wild grapes? You make wine jelly, of course!

With award-winning Northern Michigan wineries dotting Old Mission Peninsula and Leelanau Peninsula, you can turn our Northern Michigan wine haven into Northern Michigan wine jelly heaven! Follow the five easy steps below for a delicious homemade treat that will impress at your next gathering and make for a wonderful holiday gift.

How to Make Wine Jelly

You can use any type of Northern Michigan wine in this recipe: red, white or rose, and it can be sweet or dry. Good rule of thumb–if you like to drink it, you can use it in a wine jelly! Here are some suggestions to get you started:

  • Chateau Fontaine Pinot Gris 2011: Fresh pear, golden delicious apple and citrus.
  • Bowers Harbor Rosé of Pinot Noir 2011: Floral with a fruit core of strawberry, cranberry and melon.
  • Two Lads Cabernet Franc Rosé 2011: Rich notes of rhubarb, red berry and vanilla.
  • Chateau Grand Traverse Reserve Merlot 2008: Velvety black cherry, tellicherry pepper, cocoa and spice.

Step 1: What You'll Need

2 cups wine

3 1/4 cups sugar

1 pouch liquid pectin

4, 1/2 pint (1 cup), canning jars with lids and bands

2 big pots

1 smaller pot

Large tongs (for lifting jars)

Spoon for stirring

Optional: Canning rack, a large ladle, jar tongs, and a magnetic lid lifer. Unless you plan on doing a lot more canning, you can do without these.

Step 2: Getting Started

Wash all the jars, lids and bands in hot soapy water and rinse carefully. To sterilize, put the jars in a large pot with enough water to cover the jars by 1 to 2 inches and bring to a boil; put the lids in a small pot with enough to cover and bring to a little below a boil.

Measure out the wine and sugar. Cut the top off of the pectin pack and place near the stove.

Step 3: Get Cooking

Put the sugar and wine in a large pot. Bring to a full rolling boil over high heat, stirring constantly. Quickly stir in the pectin, squeezing the pack to get it all out. Return to a full boil and cook for exactly 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Pour the hot liquid into a large measuring cup that has a lip to make pouring it easier, or use a ladle.

Step 4: Into the Jars

Remove the jars from the water, but keep the water hot. Leave the rims in the hot water until ready to use. Pour or ladle the liquid into the jars to within 1/4" from the top. Be careful–this stuff is hot! After wiping the rims clean, put the lids and the bands on the jars.

Now you have two options:

1) Let the jellies cool in their jars, and refrigerate unsealed for up to 3 months, or;

2) Process jellies by sealing jars for room temperature storage to keep for up to 2 years in a cool, dark place. To process, place jars on a rack in the same pot the jars were in. Get the water to 180 degrees (somewhat below boiling), use a thermometer if you have one. If you don't have a canning rack, you can use a small round cake rack or even a a folded dish towel in the bottom of the pot. Heat the jars in the water, in the uncovered pot, for 10 minutes. Lift jars from water and set on a towel until cool. The jelly will set as it cools. Press the center of lids to test seal; if lids stay down, jars are sealed.

Step 5: Enjoy Your Homemade Wine Jelly

That's all there is! Now enjoy! Use on hot biscuits or croissants, to add wow to your cheese plate, in desserts and so much more! Or you can wrap a ribbon around the top of the jar and hand out as holiday gifts to wine-loving friends and family.

Learn more about Northern Michigan wine at MyNorth.com!

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