My take on that is this. Know the basics of what you are doing, keep it simple, don't try to complicate things, and definitely understand the difference between shit and Shinola. That said, here are some things I've observed over the past few months.
There are only a few of what I'll call "stand alone" wine or beer jellies that have an appeal to people who taste them. I think I went overboard when I started and made too many choices, which had the opposite effect of what I envisioned. Our best "stand alone" jellies now are the Duck-Rabbit Milk Stout, FullSteam Carver Sweet Potato Lager, Highlands Oatmeal Porter, Dante Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon and the Cortija Rioja jellies.
Next, I see that any jelly that has an element of heat or spice out-sells the others by a wide margin. The Natty Greene's Old Towne Brown/Chipolte, Pinot Grig-Inferno and Broadbent Vinho Verde/Piri Piri jellies are winners!
Any jelly that I've added fruit to enhance a certain flavor profile of the wine or beer has also done very well. That can be seen in our Natty Greene's Wildflower Wit/Strawberry, Big Boss HighRoller IPA/Three Fruits Marmalade and our Victory Storm King Stout/Fig Jam.
I am very please with my latest creation, the Craggie Antebellum Jelly. It is brewed with molasses, ginger and spruce tips. I believe this one will be another "stand alone" winner.
So, let's start thinking about the holidays and what you're going to get for your wine and beer lovers on your shopping list. One thing I have seen over the past few months is how many people have commented on what a great gift idea this is. Another is how creative our customers have been in their uses of our jellies in their kitchens. There are so many applications of these jellies as glazes on meats, sweetening agents in viniagrettes and many other ways.
Cheers to the upcoming holiday season! You can find us on-line at www.thefermentedgourmetshop.com. You can also "like" us on Facebook, www.facebook.com/mainstreetproducenc.