What better way is there to relax on a hot summer’s night than with a cheese board, wine jelly (a wonderfully sweet counterfoil to strong and earthy blue-veined or chevre cheeses), and a good bottle of wine (preferably from the wine country in northern Israel)?
- Combine the wine and spices in a 2-quart saucepan. Heat the wine on high for about 5 minutes. Turn off the heat and allow the spiced wine to steep for 30 minutes.
- Add the sugar, then heat to a rolling boil. Stir constantly for about a minute, until the sugar totally dissolves.
- Add the pectin. As soon as the mixture returns to a rolling boil, stir for exactly 1 minute, until the mixture starts to thicken. Pour the jelly into 8-ounce jelly jars, a decorative mold, or a pie plate (if serving today).
- Allow the jelly to cool at room temperature for about 1–1 1⁄2 hours before covering with the jar lids. Refrigerate until it’s cold and very firm. (This mixture will refrigerate for weeks without spoiling; it can also be frozen. Do not store in your pantry.)
- Decorate the jelly with frosted grapes by tossing the grapes in slightly beaten egg whites or rinsing them under water, then rolling the moist grapes in a few tablespoons of sugar, and then placing the sugared grapes on a plate or rack, and allowing the sugar to dry completely before using as an edible decoration.
- Frosting grapes with egg white helps the sugar adhere better and longer, but if you are uncomfortable using raw egg whites, water will work almost as well.