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Vintage jellies.

These are made with Chardonnay, Cabernet, other varietal wines

Like the varietal wines they're made from, these jellies have a vinous character, sparkling clarity, and color.

Wine, sugar, and liquid pectin are the only ingredients. The process is fast, compared to fruit jellies no fruit to cook, no juice to extract. Sugar reinforces the varietal character of the grape the wine is made from. Boiling cooks off alcohol.

But which wine to choose? The answer is easy: if you like to drink it, you'll enjoy eating it. We suggest, however, that you reserve costly wines for sipping and select moderately priced ones with a good level of fruit for jellies. Your wine merchant can suggest specific brands.

Here's a general overview to get you started. Sauvignon Blanc can be sweet or dry and austere, sometimes with vegetative overtones. Chardonnay, usually fuller and richer, often has a touch of vanilla from the aging barrels. Aromatic wines-Chenin Blanc, Gewurztraminer, Johannisberg Riesling-have delicate flavorings of flowers, fruit, or spices. Late-harvest versions of these wines, particularly those touched by botrytis, make intense jellies. Blush wines like white Zinfandel, pale to brilliantly pink and rose, offer their lovely hues as a bonus.

Sugar softens tannin-or astringent roughness-in red wine, so even young, puckery reds make good jellies. Red wines vary dramatically, but generally Merlot is soft with a berry flavor while Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir, and Zinfandel tend to be more complex. All are good. With jug wines, the same rule applies. If you like it, use it.

Serve jellies at occasions when wine is fitting. They go well with mild cheese and crackers, either before or after dinner.

You might want to make batches of jelly ftom different kinds of wine and assemble sampler packs-some for your own use, some for stocking-stuffers or hostess gifts. If jellies will be stored at room temperature, you must process them in a water bath. Otherwise, omit this step and just refrigerate the jellies for several months.

Varietal Wine Jelly

2 cups wine (see choices, preceding)

3-1/4 cups sugar

1 pouch (3 oz.) liquid pectin

Wash and rinse 4 half-pint canning jars and metal rings; drain. Sterilize 4 new lids according to manufacturer's directions.

In a 5- to 6-quart pan, mix wine with sugar. Bring to a full rolling boil over high heat, stirring constantly. Stir in pectin. Return to a boil and cook for exactly I minute, stirring constantly.

Remove ftom heat and skim off any foam. Ladle mixture into jars, leaving 1/4-inch headspace. Wipe rims clean. Put lids and bands on jars. Screw tightly; don't force. At this point, process the jellies for storage at room temperature or else let them cool. To process the jellies, place jars on a rack in a canning or other deep kettle of water at 180' on a thermometer. If needed, add hot water to cover jars I to 2 inches. Return water to 180'; maintain temperature, uncovered, for 10 minutes. Lift jars from water (do not tip) and set on a towel. Let stand until cool. Press center of lids to test seal; if lids stay down, jars are sealed. Serve jelly, or store sealed jars in a cool, dark place up to 2 years. Refrigerate unsealed or opened jars up to

3 months. Makes 4 half-pints. Per tablespoon: 40 cal; 0g protein; 10 g carbo.; 0 g fat,- 0 mg chol.; 0. 7 mg sodium.
COPYRIGHT 1988 Sunset Publishing Corp.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1988 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:recipes
Publication:Sunset
Date:Dec 1, 1988
Words:569
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