Muscat grapes are grown locally, just down the road in Strete. The weather here is warm enough for them to develop the full muscat scent to balance out their intense sweetness. The best of grapes, they are awaited with keen anticipation as autumn begins. Look out for imported Italian muscat grapes, plump and at their peak as they mature from green to a pale honey colour.
Here they are set in a Beaumes de Venise jelly, which echoes the muscat flavour. If you have time, set the grapes in two or three layers rather than in the single one suggested.
Heat the water and syrup until hot but not boiling. Add the gelatine and stir until it has dissolved. Leave to cool until tepid. Stir in the wine and lemon juice to taste.
Set half the jelly aside, and divide the rest between four glasses. Leave in the fridge to set. Pile about 12 grapes into each glass, and pour in the remaining jelly. Return to the fridge to finish setting.
© 1990 Joyce Molyneux. All rights reserved.