I'm not a wine snob. We sample and drink a fair amount of wine through The Market and they are usually really decent wines. I also like to buy wines I'm not familiar with, for their labels and bottle colors/shapes and or unusual varieties. It's a way to get out of my comfort zone with wine drinking.
Occasionally we come wines that are nasty. If I don't want to drink them, I don't want to cook with them either. I dumped them down the drain for the longest time until I decided to make wine jelly after tasting some lovely Italian wine jelly made from Lambrusco wine.
The first couple batches I made from really lovely wines and they turned out fantastic. Then I made a batch of wine jelly with a hideous Rose from Spain...and it was delicious!!! Since then, I have strictly used wines I don't care to drink and time after time the jelly turns out great! Red, White or Rose, it doesn't make a difference and I have been known to throw in whatever wine is hanging around, regardless of color.
I usually buy some fun stemless wineglasses to fill for gift giving with a hunk of cheese, but any glass jar will work if you don't want a truly preserved jelly (no sealing of jars) and recipients should store refrigerated. The jelly is an incredible accompaniment to salty, soft cheeses but also works great in thumbprint cookies and on toast/bagels/quick breads for a lovely brunch item.
2 cups Wine (any will do!)
3 ¼ cups sugar
1 pouch liquid pectin
Bring wine and sugar to a boil. Add the pouch of liquid pectin and boil for exactly 1 minute! Pour into clean, hot jars and process in a water bath for 10 minutes. (You can find directions on water bath processing in the pectin instructions.)
I think you'll love this recipe! Let me know how your icky wines turn into beautiful jellies!