Minini Pinot Grigio
“This wine rains kisses in your mouth.” –Insatiable By Gael Greene
The first Wednesday of every month is Wine Wednesday! Spectacular wines under $10.00. Yep. Under $10.00. Sometimes wine is less expensive where I am, but most of the time it’s more expensive. Hopefully that means that I will pick wines that are well below the $10.00 limit for most of you.
I will post wines that I particularly like. I am no specialist by any means, but I do love wine. I know the basics of the different varietals, what regions generally produce, how wines are made, but this space is all about preference. We all like what we like, and you might like what I like too. I will post food pairings and why those pairings are suitable for the specific wine.
Minini Pinot Grigio 2015
Variety: Pinot Grigio (Gris)
Well well well. We’ve made it to June. Here on Long Island, the produce is finally beginning to emerge. One of the highlights? Strawberries! There are entire festivals here on the Island dedicated to them.
Honestly, I love strawberry flavor, but I am not a fan of actually biting into a strawberry. Something about the skin and seeds tend to get stuck in my front teeth. And chocolate-covered strawberries? I really don’t know how those have been sold as some sexy snack. I must be doing it wrong because every time I try to eat those damn things, the chocolate falls off and gets all over the place in addition to the whole seeds/skin problem I mentioned earlier. Not hot.
But strawberry things? Obsessed. Strawberry pie, strawberry syrup, strawberry ice cream, strawberry-based drinks…the list goes on. One of my favorites? Strawberry jam. I’ll slather it on anything. I think strawberry jam should replace chocolate-covered strawberries. Now that is something I can get behind.
This jam is super quick and uses white wine as an acidic back-note to balance the flavors. Of course, when selecting an acidic white, Pinot Grigio immediately pops to front of my mind. Have you ever wondered why Pinot Grigio’s tend to be acidic and especially crisp?
Pinot Grigio is a grape varietal that tends to thrive in cooler climates. Cooler temperatures favor a final grape with less sugar overall during the ripening process than a warmer region grape. That lower sugar percentage encourages lower pH in the wine leading to that acidic profile. And voila! A trusty acidic wine. Of course, some Pinots are on the sweeter side due to the wine maker’s preference, so be sure to check the label or a wine app to ensure you’re getting an acidic one.
Cocktail party fun fact: the main acid in grapes is tartaric acid which is unique amongst fruits!
This Minini Pinot Grigio is nice and acidic with some fruity notes like green apple and citrus. Serve it well-chilled, and you can sip it on a sunny afternoon to refresh. Hello June! Essentially, it’s not a diamond in the rough but instead an easy-going drinking wine. Perfect for pairing with strawberry jam on toast! Low maintenance here folks.
Strawberry Pinot Grigio Quick Jam
Adapted from Wit & Vinegar
*Note: This jam does not have pectin which is used to create the gel that is jam. Because of this, it’s a little looser, but it’s kind of amazing like that. It tastes fresher and the ease of preparation will have you finishing the jar in no time.
**Note 2: I used larger strawberries here because they have less sugar in them to keep the sweetness of the jam to a minimum. However, if you use the smaller, sweeter strawberries, reduce the sugar to ¼ cup and increase the number of strawberries to get to the overall listed weight
½ cup acidic Pinot Grigio
12-15 medium/large ripe strawberries, about 400 g
⅓ cup granulated sugar
- In a 2qt saucepan, bring the Pinot Grigio to a simmer and cook for about 5 minutes until the wine is reduced by half. Check by pouring into a measuring cup to see if you have ¼ cup. If not, cook for another minute and check again.
- While the wine is reducing, chop the tops off the strawberries and roughly chop. Blend until smooth. Strain into a liquid measuring cup. You should have a cup of strained puree. If you don’t want to strain, you may have a little over a cup. Use the rest of the extra puree for daquiris or margaritas.
- Add the strawberry puree, sugar, and salt to the wine reduction. Bring to a low boil and cook for 10-12 minutes until it thickens. You want it to just coat the back of a spoon. But it will be looser than what you’re used to if you make jam/jelly often.
- Let the mixture cool off the heat once thickened and transfer to a clean jar. Once at room temperature, store in the fridge. Use the jam within two weeks. Serve with a glass of the pinot for *best* results. 😉
PS I think Ramona would really love this jam. Turtle Time approved.