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Smithy

What to do with an overly sweet Riesling

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I took a small flyer on a bottle of Riesling from the San Felipe Winery (New Mexico) yesterday.  I failed to notice the profile note on the label that says "Sweet".  I hate sweet wines, with rare exceptions, and this is not one of them.  I poured myself a glass last night, took a few sips, and switched to a sauvignon blanc. (*Ahhh!*) There's nothing wrong with the quality, that I can tell: it isn't corked, for instance, and there are no off flavors that I can detect. It's just too cloyingly sweet for me.

 

Of course I can just shrug, write off the $10 I paid and pour it down the drain. Maybe I can find someone else who would appreciate it.  I'd prefer to find a creative and flavorful use for it that we would appreciate in our household.  Use it in a sauce for a savory dish? (What?) Save it until I'm baking a sweet dessert that would benefit from its notes?

 

Ideas, anyone?

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15 minutes ago, Dave the Cook said:

My first thought is to turn it into jelly.

 

 

That's an appealing thought.  Cook it down, use pectin? I've never tried to make an alcohol-based jelly.

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Sangria?

 

Or use in dessert - make sabayon and serve over berries or stone fruit. Or poach/cook dried apricots in it to make a compote, eat over ice cream or pound cake.

Poach pears with it or freeze it into a sorbet or granita. 

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17 minutes ago, Smithy said:

 

That's an appealing thought.  Cook it down, use pectin? I've never tried to make an alcohol-based jelly.

 

I admit to having no idea. I've never made jelly of any kind. It just struck me that context matters: something that's too sweet for drinking (I share your general dislike of sweet wines) might be just right for spreading on a scone or muffin.

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I'd go with the fruit-poaching idea, I think. Then cook the liquid down to make a sauce. Serve over a pound cake or even ice cream.

 

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Make jelly. I have done this twice when friends brought sweet wine to a party and no one drank it. The jelly is really pretty and tastes good - nice on toast or with cream cheese on a cracker.

 

I used the recipe for Gewurztraminer Jelly from Christine Ferber's Mes Confitures - just substituting the wine I had (I'm pretty sure one was a riesling). She uses apples for pectin - cooking down 750grams ( 1 3/4 lbs) of apples then using a jelly bag or cheesecloth to collect the juice. Let it sit, refrigerated overnight so any particulates settle out. Combine 500 grams (2 cups 1oz) apple juice with the wine (750 grams or 3 cups 2 oz) ,1 kg (4 2/3 cups) sugar, juice of 1 small lemon and the grated zest of an orange in a preserving pan. Bring to a simmer, skim cook over high heat 10 - 15 minutes. Check for set, put in jars and process 5 minutes. I had to cook it longer before it set. 

 

Helen Witty has a simpler recipe in Fancy Pantry -  I haven't tried this one but her recipes are usually good. 

Combine 3/4 cup water with 1/4 cup lemon juice in a large pan. Add  1 (1 3/4oz) box powdered pectin. Stir well, set over medium-high heat, stir constantly until all pectin lumps are gone. Boil hard for 1 minute Add 3 cups wine and 4 1/2 cups sugar Lower heat and stir until sugar dissolves. Do not allow it to boil or even simmer. Remove from heat, skim and put in jars. Process 5 minutes.

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Braised chicken in dry Riesling is nice. Have never tried it with a sweet Riesling. Also, I don't touch sweet Riesling.

 

My favourite white wine!

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i save my sweet wines..  I add it to my cooking sauces..  One example spaghetti sauce

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Ah, the vineyards of New Mexico. Not really where I would look for a good Riesling.;)

You won't be the first to pour a bottle down the sink.

If its been open all this time it ain't good anyway 

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I was once given a bottle of a very sweet "black moscato" and added it to plum sorbet I was making. It was really good.

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3 hours ago, Paul Fink said:

Ah, the vineyards of New Mexico. Not really where I would look for a good Riesling.;)

 

 

Why not? Significant portions of the state are in USDA temperature zones 4a - 6b, plenty cool enough for riesling. 

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There are some great ideas here! Thanks to the responses, I probably have more possibilities than wine. I especially like the compote and jelly ideas - thanks for those jelly recipes, @ElainaA

 

@JAZ, do you remember making any adjustments to the sorbet recipe?  I can read up on it in the sorbet topic, if you don't have concise tips.

 

It sounds like I can use it up pretty easily instead of throwing it away...and next time I'll read the label more carefully before I buy. There's nothing like expecting a nice, crisp, off-dry wine and getting syrup.

 

 

 

 

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I wonder that no one has mentioned what my wine fanatic friends do.  They blend very sweet wines with very dry wines of the same varietal, always have a decanter of that in their wine fridge because they know people who don't like either very dry or very sweet and are not very picky, as long as it tastes good to them.  

 

They never "throw away" wine. Some that they consider "undrinkable" after a day or so, they save for me and I make vinegar from it.

And from time to time give them a bottle of my very good vinegar which I have been "cultivating" for 20+ years.

 


Edited by andiesenji (log)
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22 hours ago, Smithy said:

There are some great ideas here! Thanks to the responses, I probably have more possibilities than wine. I especially like the compote and jelly ideas - thanks for those jelly recipes, @ElainaA

 

@JAZ, do you remember making any adjustments to the sorbet recipe?  I can read up on it in the sorbet topic, if you don't have concise tips.

 

It sounds like I can use it up pretty easily instead of throwing it away...and next time I'll read the label more carefully before I buy. There's nothing like expecting a nice, crisp, off-dry wine and getting syrup.

 

 

 

 

 

I'm sorry -- it was so long ago, I'm afraid I only have a vague idea of what I did. I generally use the proportions in Harold McGee's Curious Cook, if that helps.

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