by Beth Heiserman, Reyes Winery
I’m sure everybody has seen how abundant and beautiful the cherries are at the market this year. This week I decided to buy some cherries and make some jam. And of course, like always, I infuse wine into everything, so jams and jellies are no different. When I think of cherries, there are a couple wines that come to mind, but the one that I thought of most was 2014 Reyes Julia’s Blend.
Julia’s blend always screams “summer” to me, and of course, July Fourth. This is an amazing red wine blend for summer. It’s bold but dry, and can go with so many versatile summer dishes, so it’s the perfect Fourth of July barbecue wine. Many years ago, my mom worked with someone that made a barbecue sauce from grape jelly. I always think how tasty that sauce was on top of chicken and even cocktail meatballs. She just mixed a pot barbecue sauce with grape jelly and added a few herbs to it. I of course have updated and changed the recipe to my style, which is a little bit more homemade. But there’s nothing wrong with substituting sometimes.
My recipe for cherry jelly is a great alternate in this barbecue sauce recipe. You can find my barbecue sauce recipe on our website, Reyes Winery.com/blog. This sauce works really well with barbecue chicken or ribs. I also have many other recipes for different jellies and jams, and another one that would work really well is my plum jelly, in which I use Robby’s blend. It would give it more of an Asian twist. Here is my recipe for the cherry jam.
4 ½ cups cherries, chopped and pitted
4 cups of sugar
1 lemon, juiced
4 star anise
1 package of Sure-jell Certo liquid pectin
1/3 cup of Reyes 2014 Julia’s Blend
1. Pour sugar into large pot and cook over medium to high heat.
2. When sugar starts to melt and the sides of pot look caramel-colored, add cherries, lemon juice, star anise and pectin.
3. When it starts to boil, continue to cook until frothy.
4. When the back of the spoon looks like it is sticking (take a finger and go down the back of the spoon, if you make a line and it feels thick, it’s done) turn off the heat.
5. Remove the star anise.
6. Add Reyes 2014 Julia’s Blend.
7. Chill and then serve.