Red Wine Reduction Sauce Recipe
Difficulty: Easy, fun, and you can drink while you cook. Preparation: <5 minutes depending on how fast you can dice a shallot. Cook Time: 5-10 minutes.
A red wine reduction sauce is perhaps my favorite go-to sauce recipe. It’s easy to make, savory, and best of all it’s a great excuse to open a bottle of red wine and drink while I cook. Now, if you look online for red wine reduction recipes you’re going to find most focus on steak with little emphasis on the red wine. Below I’ll go into how to pick the right red wine and some alternative uses for a red wine reduction sauce. Bon Appétit!
Interested in making a white wine sauce instead?
Red Wine Reduction Sauce Video Overview
Picking the Right Red Wine
Old World Adds Herbaceous Earthiness
It’s more common to use an old world wine when making a red wine reduction sauce as they are less sweet and pair especially well with beef and mushrooms. (The elephant in the room being a mushroom red wine sauce for a Filet Mignon.) Old world wines to look for include Italian Sangiovese, Spanish Tempranillo, and most any southern French table wine. If this is your first attempt at making a red wine sauce, stick with old world. For those of you feeling more adventurous…
New World Adds Zesty Fruit
New world wines are big, bold, and fruity when reduced as a sauce. The higher alcohol will also break down into more sugar, making a sweeter sauce. These can work well over any dish that you want sweet and spicy such as pork, chicken, salad dressings, or even desserts. New world wine varietals include California Zinfandel, Argentinian Malbec, and Washington Syrah.
Ahh yes.. Good old Cabernet Sauvignon. This is an especially flexible wine varietal because it can bridge the gap between New World and Old World. You can make a sauce for pancakes if you pick a high alcohol fruit-bomb California Cabernet, add a little sugar and then reduce it enough. For savory, red, or tough meats use a peppery, smoky old world Cabernet. The important part when picking a Cabernet is alcohol level and complimentary flavor profile. Remember, higher alcohol will reduce to a sweeter sauce; and the more you reduce a sauce, the more alcohol breaks down into sugar.
- 3/4 cup red wine
- 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
- 1 shallot, diced
- 1 tbsp butter
- 1 tbsp flour
- fresh rosemary sprig
- Sauté shallots, butter, and flour for 3 minutes over medium heat.
- Stir in red wine, vinegar and rosemary.
- Bring to a simmer and reduce by 1/2 volume.
- Add salt and pepper to taste, serve immediately.
Get creative with your ingredients. Add mushrooms to the sauté, substitute a few dashes of mustard for balsamic vinegar, or maybe add chopped chives to the finished dish!
3 Uses for a Red Wine Sauce
Salad Dressing Try adding a little sugar and whisking in some olive oil to make a simple salad dressing. Toss into salad with some feta or gorgonzola to get a little cheese and wine pairing right in your salad!
Roasted Vegetables Chop up some vegetables, toss them in your red wine sauce and then drizzle olive oil over them. The alcohol will completely burn off and leave a delicious caramelized coating. Works especially well with onions, brussels sprouts, kale, and potatoes.
Sandwiches Marinate a few vegetables in the finished red wine sauce before putting them in your sandwich. Try it with eggplant, portobello mushrooms, or zucchini. Alternatively, just drizzle a little sauce over the lettuce.