Sunday, May 2, 2010

Making & Using Jalapeno Wine


A few years ago I was introduced to cooking wine by Amy at Labelle Winery in Amherst, NH. At the time she had two different cooking wines available, one made from sweet onions and one from jalapenos. Since then she has also added an heirloom tomato cooking wine to her collection. To help buyers using the wines she also has recipe cards available with suggested uses for many of her creations, including a chili recipe using the jalapeno wine. I could not resist. The wine sat on my rack until early 2009 when I used it and the recipe to make a wonderful turkey chili that I shared with some of the guys at work. The wine was not extremely hot, I could actually take a sip and taste the flavors comfortably, but the flavors it imparted to the chili were out of sight! The chili did not last long and I have often thought of it since. Thank you Amy! Check out the entire collection from LaBelle Winery at their website at http://www.labellewinerynh.com/.

Earlier this year I happened across seven pounds of perfectly good jalapenos on the reduced produce rack on the day they were packaged for quick sale. I brought them home and promptly washed them and stored them in the freezer. I then headed over to Jack Keller's winemaking site and found a recipe for jalapeno wine. Check out the recipe at http://winemaking.jackkeller.net/reques32.asp. The recipe targets one gallon and with 85 clean and cut jalapenos I was going to end up with five gallons!

I am on the second day of the recipe right ahead of the yeast infusion. The aroma from the bucket is strong of fresh jalapenos and the liquid is a mildly hot sweet juice. Kind of weird, but I am sure this is going to be a very good project indeed. The solution has a greenish hue, which can be seen in the picture above. I expect the finished product to be gold in color and crystal clear. (You might be wondering what is floating in the wine at the top of the picture. That is tied off portion of the nylon bag with the peppers and raisins from the recipe in it)

You may still be asking yourself, "what can you do with jalapeno cooking wine?", and what am I going to do with five gallons of it. Rest assured I have many plans for this new batch of wine when it is ready.

I plan to try it in the following ways:
  • Chili
  • Spicy Bloody Mary's
  • Marinades for chicken & beef
  • Salad dressings
  • Sauces & reductions
  • A little sipping perhaps, depends on how hot it is
  • Who knows what else, I am taking suggestions
Cheers!

--Jason

3 comments:

shizuokagourmet said...

Dear Jason!
Greetings from Shizuoka, Japan!
Well done,mate! as they say in Australia!
thanks you so much for converting your Comment Box!
Jalapeno wine! That's evil!LOL
Will have a few sake tastings coming soon!
Better resume that series on Cote Chalonnaise wines introduction, too!
Looking forward to talking drinks!
Cheers,
Robert-Gilles

Sandy said...

I would never have thought to make jalapeno wine. But why not? Interesting way to use it, and I can imagine chili would be much more complex with it. thanks!

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