Pickled Grapes

A decorative plate with two slices of roast pork and three bunches of pickled grapes.

These pickled grapes are made for roast pork [Editor’s Note: Such as pork belly porchetta, porchetta, or pork loin roast] and look fabulous in little branches served alongside slices of the sweet, fatty meat. However, they are also very delicious with most cheeses, pates, and terrines.

I started off making a sour version of these pickled grapes that I’d read about in Middle Eastern books but with my sweet tooth—and that British love of the sweet with the savory—I ended up doing them like this. You can alter the spices (star anise, cinnamon, and ginger are all good). At first, the grapes just wrinkle slightly in the syrup, but the longer you keep them, the more they shrink. I actually like them best after about a week.–Diana Henry

LC Why The World Needs Pickled Grapes Note

We know what you’re thinking as you curiously peruse this recipe. Does the world really need pickled grapes? One taste of these sweetly sour little lovelies and we assure you, you’ll not only be convinced but want to shout the recipe from the rooftops. As the author notes above, they are superlative alongside roast pork of any sort and they’re not too shabby alongside roast turkey. Also lovely as a prelude to dinner when served with cheeses.

Pickled Grapes

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  • 10 M
  • 10 M
  • Each kind of pickled grapes fills a 1-quart jar
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  • For the fragrant white pickled grapes
  • 3 2/3 cups white (green) grapes, muscat if you can find them (1 ¼ pounds)
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 cup white wine vinegar
  • 1 1/2 cups Riesling or other white wine
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 10 white peppercorns
  • For the spiced black pickled grapes
  • 3 2/3 cups seedless black (red) grapes (1 ¼ pounds)
  • 2 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 cups white wine or cider vinegar
  • 10 black peppercorns
  • 10 juniper berries, bruised
  • 1 small dried chile (optional)
  • 1/2 cinnamon stick


  • 1. Pull the sprigs of grapes off the main stem. Put everything else in a saucepan and bring to a boil, stirring to help the sugar dissolve. Boil for about 4 minutes and then remove from the heat and cool completely.
  • 2. Wash and dry the grapes and places them in a warm sterilized jar. If making these pickled grapes as old-fashioned pickles by hot-processing, pour the liquid over the grapes and seal with a vinegar-proof lid according to manufacturer’s directions. The grapes will keep, refrigerated, for up to 3 months. You can eat these immediately although the longer they are in the vinegar the more pickled the grapes will taste and the more wrinkled they will become. If making these pickled grapes as quick pickles that you’ll consume within a couple weeks, just screw the lid on the jar and stash them in the fridge. You can eat these immediately although the longer they are in the vinegar the more pickled the grapes will taste and the more wrinkled they become. They will keep in the fridge for up to a few weeks.

Recipe Testers Reviews

I made these pickled grapes as a refrigerator pickle. They were easy and quick and also colorful, tangy, and quite delicious. I could not stay out of the jars, especially the Spiced Black Pickled Grapes. I recommend using the dried chile or a generous pinch of pepper flakes in the Spiced Black Pickled Grapes, as the heat adds to the surprising flavor. The pickled grapes would be a wonderful complement to a cheese and charcuterie board.

I made the Spiced Black Pickled Grapes. I used a combination of black and red seedless grapes, cider vinegar, and did not use the optional dried chile. I made the refrigerator pickle version. As it was noted that these could be eaten immediately, I did so. When I tasted them, I understood the introductory notes about sour versus sweet pickles. These have the sweet and tart juxtaposition of a chutney, and so the allusion to the author's British love of the sweet with the savory made perfect sense. I was especially eager to make these because I had just attended a farm-to-table dinner where there were pickled grapes served with the farm's Little Bloom on the Prairie, that has been described as a soft goat cheese in a Camembert style. The cheese was served grilled with the pickles and pickling liquid poured atop the cheese. This cheese is now out of season, but I tried my pickles with both a mild chevre and a sharp English cheddar, and both were lovely accompaniments to this pickle, or the pickle was a lovely accompaniment to these cheeses! When the tiny Champagne grapes are in season next year, I will look forward to making this pickle again with those grapes, and I am, conversely, also interested in trying this pickle with the large red seedless holiday grapes that are now appearing in markets for the Thanksgiving to Christmas season. I also think the author's idea of incorporating ginger as one of the spices would be terrific.


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