I know what you’re thinking. “But person whom I will probably never meet”, your thought process begins, “ why in the name of the dark Mines of Moria would anyone ruin a good bottle of wine in this barbaric manner?” That’s a fair question, individual reading this article, and the answer is as simple, as it is obvious – because we’re not talking about good wine, here. We are talking about turning a bottle of cheap, nearly disgusting and ghastly wine into a (somewhat) delicious treat. It can be served with cheese and crackers so you can further mask the taste of the cheap drink. Jellying (is that even a word? If it’s not, I just made it up so it is) it will add some gustatory value to inexpensive nectar and instead of looking like a cheapskate for buying the worst wine in the history of the world, you will leave the impression that you are some kind of a culinary guru who treats his guests with fancy, steamed lobster-grade foods. Of course, it’s all smoke and mirrors, but like any magician you are going to deceive your guests into believing you did something special. Nobody will know your secret and everyone will think you’re the best host in the whole wide world (article may contain ludicrous exaggerations). So let’s see what we can do about that cheap wine you bought…
Whereas most people will tell you to pour the bottle into a container, add some sugar and cook it, this is the best way to fail in your little venture in a colossal way. You won’t be able to fool anyone into thinking you had even a grasp of what you were doing and you will look like a clueless little puppy. Is that what you want? No, no it is not. That’s why don’t listen to people telling you to take shortcuts and do it right. The first step should be reducing the wine (which does not mean drinking a part of it, if that’s what you’re thinking). Reduction in a culinary context means boiling a liquid to intensify the flavor and thicken the substance (in this case that cheap wine of yours). The taste will be intensified as the water it was thinned down with evaporates. You just need to take a part of the wine and reduce it so you can add it into the mixture later on.
This is step two (and possibly the most important one) of making wine (or any other kind) of jelly. Adding lots of sugar will deal with what I can only assume is a terrible taste of the wine you’re using as a basis of your jelly. However, don’t overdo it because if you add too much sugar, it will be too sweet. Too little sugar, however, will cause it to lose form and not become real jelly. You have to get the quantity just right. After all, you want wine jelly, not wine caramel (Note to self: try making wine caramel and see what happens)…
Time to pour in the pectin and see the magic happen. Of course, adding a bit of lemon juice will further mask the taste of the wine and create the illusion that it’s actually something good (because it won’t taste like wine). Adding a bit of butter or milk will help with the residual foam created in the process.
Reinforcing and finishing
Remember that wine you reduced? It’s its time to shine. Add it to the mixture in order to intensify the flavor of the whole thing. Leave on the stove for a little while longer, then transfer it in jars, let it cool and then throw it into the fridge (I don’t mean literally throw it, by the way). After that, serve it with a bit of cheese and crackers with a fancy expression on your face and hope for the best (and that none of your guests have read my article). Good luck!
Author Bio: Margaret Donney is passionate freelance blogger and cook. She really loves to invent new recipes. She currently works a part time job at Quality Cleaning London and she is really happy with that because she has enough time for cooking.