Garden Chores: Preserving Grape Vine Leaves

If you have a grape vine that still has tender leaves on it you may be interested in our latest YouTube Garden Chores video. Jim from Cloves Deli in Courtenay shows us how to preserve grape vine leaves for use in making dolmades or wrapping yummy things like feta or brie. Gathering and thus thinning out your grape vines of its leaves also provides the added benefit of providing more sunlight to those bunches of grapes that should now be forming. To view this 10-minute video, please click here:

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Thanks for a great video! Does anyone know if all grape leaves work? Or, are there particular varieties that are better for culinary uses?

Jim does say that the best varieties are the ones with shallow lobes (better for wrapping—nothing to do with the taste). All grape vine leaves are edible. Not sure about which ones may taste better—definitely you want them to be young.

Thanks Lorna, yes, there’s really no information (that I could find at least) that discusses differences between different varieties of grape leaves so maybe that’s because there’s nothing to say. I did have a Lebanese friend once say that some varieties were better than others, but she didn’t know which, and I found one article that said wild grape leaves tasted better than the cultivated ones…

Looks like I went down the same search path as you…I couldn’t find anything, which seems very odd to find NO information on the internet. I guess it must be a trial and error thing or talk to your elders while you can!

LOL, I’ve researched this on and off for years and so far my elders have either shrugged and looked mystical or asked me why I want to fuss around with grape leaves! Which leads me to believe that a) there’s really no difference between different varieties of grape leaves; or b) there’s a difference but not one I can readily find out online or through my existing contacts. So trail and error it will have to be. One of these days I’ll beg some leaves from friends with grape vines and see if I can do a comparison…this issue is becoming important as I’m hoping to start a garden next year and would like to plant some grape vines. But only those with tasty leaves!

Funny! It was interesting talking to Jim (of the video). He said that the Greeks grew grape vines for the leaves, rather than the grapes. I have red flame seedless vines and you are welcome to try those next year if you like (too tough now probably). They are not shallow lobed however so a poor choice probably. Good luck with your garden next year. I’m impressed with your research!

Thank you Lorna, I’ll take you up on your kind offer next year!

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