There are many reasons I was eager to try Domaine de Grand Pre‘s Tidal Bay. First, I’ve had the pleasure of meeting Beatrice Stutz and Jason Lynch, the Restaurant Manager and Executive Chef of Le Caveau (the world-class renowned restaurant at Domaine de Grand Pre), at a number of different RANS events over the last few years (Le Caveau was recently heralded as one of the world’s 20 best winery restaurants by Wine Access magazine). Second, Tidal Bay is Nova Scotia’s newest wine appellation, launched only a few short weeks ago on June 11, 2012. The appellation is only granted to Nova Scotia wines that follow strict guidelines regarding varietals, growing conditions and production standards, much like the more familiar European names of Burgundy, Bordeaux and Chianti Classico. Third, Domaine de Grand Pre’s Tidal Bay took home the Gold Medal for White Hybrid Blends at the 2012 All Canadian Wine Championships this past May. And lastly, I have a lifelong love affair with the Annapolis Valley. Domaine de Grand Pre’s blend of L’Acadie, Vidal, Ortega, Muscat and Seyval grapes seemed like a perfect way to showcase my love of what I consider to be one of the most stunning places on earth.
Of course, anyone that knows me, or reads my blog will know that I couldn’t just open the cool chilled bottle, pour myself a glass and write about it. No no. I like to play – to experiment – and so at 8am on Canada Day morning, I found myself cooking Domaine de Grand Pre’s Tidal Bay down into a shimmering golden jelly. Upon first taste, straight from the pot, I was surprised by the remarkable depth of flavour. At first, it was sweetly reminiscent of white grape jelly but then – THEN – the fresh bright notes of the wine BURST through leaving me momentarily taken aback. It was absolutely terrific.
Jars cooling from the boiling water bath, slowly jelling into sparkling, spreadable gold.
Grand Pre Tidal Bay Wine Jelly
2 Cups Domaine de Grand Pre Tiday Bay White Wine
3 Cups Sugar
1 pouch Certo Liquid Pectin
preheat oven to 325 degrees – wash and dry Mason Jars – keep lids and rings simmering in a pot of boiling water until ready to use – put dried jars in oven at 325 degrees for 10 minutes minimum (keep in oven until ready to use)
in a large pot, bring wine and pectin to a boil – add sugar and stir until dissolved – once liquid is at a ROLLING boil, boil one more minute stirring constantly
remove from heat – skim foam from top – ladle into hot jars leaving 1/2 inch space at top – place lids on top and tighten rings – place on rack to cool – after about 10 minutes, your jars should start to ‘pop’
once all jars have popped, place a rack in the bottom of a large pot – place jars on rack and fill pot with hot water about 2 inches above jars – boil for five minutes then cool – your jelly should keep up to one year in your pantry
Tidal Bay Jelly ready for storage or gifting.
Now some friends of mine know that I’ve also developed a recipe for Raincoast Crisps – you know, those delightful little crackers that cost $6.99 for one small sleeve? I thought the Tidal Bay Jelly would be fantastic on one of those crisps so I made those too. Man oh man – it’s a perfect match!!
Raincoast Crisps before the second bake.
Homemade Raincoast Crisps (makes six mini loaves)
In a large bowl stir together 2 Cups Flour + 2 tsp Baking Soda + 1/2 tsp Salt
Add 2 Cups Buttermilk + 1/4 Cup Brown Sugar + 1/4 Cup Honey – stir in with a few strokes
Add 1 Cup Dried Fruit + 1/2 Cup Chopped Nuts + 1 Cup Seeds + 1 Tbsp Chopped Fresh Herbs (I used Dried Cranberries, Pecans, Sunflower, Sesame and Flax Seeds and Fresh Thyme) – stir until just blended
Pour batter into six small greased loaf pans. Bake 30-35 minutes until golden and springy. Cool, then refrigerate or freeze.
Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Slice loaves as thin as you can – I like to slice mine from frozen with a serrated knife (push down, don’t saw). Bake in a single layer for 10 minutes then flip over and bake 10 – 15 minutes more until evenly browned.
Tidal Bay Jelly with Willy Krauch’s Smoked Salmon and a Homemade Raincoast Crisp – a perfect Canada Day snack!