Beef with red wine sauce on a plate
Beef - Beer, Wine & Cocktails - How To

Tips for Making Fantastic Red Wine Sauce

Last updated on January 1, 2021 by Liza Hawkins

Do you want to surprise your guests by making fantastic red wine sauce at home? Highlight any meal or dish you prepare by adding sauce made from red wine! Wine sauces are perfect for enhancing the taste of any dish you make. With a wine sauce, the natural flavors of any dish are emphasized which makes them exceptionally tasty. Not to mention potential health benefits of red wine!

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Beef with red wine sauce on a plate


Ingredients to Prepare a Fantastic Red Wine Sauce

  • A bottle of red wine (something you’d drink)
  • Butter
  • Beef, chicken or vegetable stock (try my homemade chicken stock)
  • Flour
  • Pepper (freshly ground, if possible)

With a little planning, you will be able to make perfect red wine sauce. You don’t need a lot of experience, as it is simple and easy to put together. All that you need to do is to follow some basic principles and you will have your friends totally impressed with your cooking skills. Ideally, you end up with a red wine sauce that’s light and doesn’t overpower the flavors of any dish you choose for an accompaniment.


Steps to Make Red Wine Sauce

The first thing you need to do is choose the correct wine. This is important since the sauce gets the flavor of the wine. If you make a wrong choice you may not be able to get the desired taste.

TIP: Avoid wines that have a high tannin concentration as they can create a sharp, bitter taste. Peppery flavors should also be avoided as they can overpower the sauce and mask the natural flavors. You may be surprised to know that inexpensive red wines are the preferred choice in most restaurants as they do not have an intense flavor.

Reduction is the first step in making sauce from wine. Take a bottle of wine and pour it in a large pot and let it simmer on low. You need to ensure that the pot does not get very hot as it may lead to scorching and a burnt taste. It’s best to let the wine simmer from low to medium-low heat so the water boils away while the wine becomes consistently thick.

TIP: The sauce may be ruined if you let it get too hot or if it boils.

When the wine gets to the consistency where it can coat the back of a spoon, remove the pot from the burner. Let it cool to when the bubbling stops and then add the butter. After the butter melts, it’s time to add the flour and stir to blend together. Waiting for the right temperature is important.

TIP: If you add the flour when the pan is too hot, it may ruin the sauce by causing lumps.

Add the stock slowly and let the sauce simmer until it reaches a slightly thick consistency. Add pepper to taste. When you are happy with the consistency remove the pan from the heat. Let it cool a bit, five minutes or so before serving on meats or vegetables.

TIP: You may be able to save the wine sauce for later if it’s saved in an airtight labeled container — this will enable you enjoy it another time with any dish you like. If the sauce thickens while stored in the refrigerator, all you need to do is add a teaspoon of water or stock when you heat it up before serving. Add the red wine sauce to your dish for a tasty addition to the main course and in main courses and side dishes to help make a simple dish taste more robust.

The amazing fact about wine sauce is it can be prepared within a short time period it preserves fairly easily. Although this sauce is thought to be a wonderful addition to red meat, it can be used with chicken, fish, pork or vegetables dishes too. Some dishes that red wine sauce enhances are coleslaws, burgers, salmon, lamb shanks pork chops and steak. Experiment to create your own variation with red sauce to make a new taste.

Guest Post: Nicole Nowlen is a full-time businesswoman. Full-time DIY enthusiast. Living in old London town, but with a burning desire to go everywhere and see everything!

Hi, I'm Liza — a self-proclaimed word-nerd who loves getting lost in whimsical stories and epic movies. I have laid-back, practical attitude towards life and am always on the hunt for good eats, easy recipes, binge-worthy shows, relaxing road trip destinations, the perfect fizzy gin cocktail, and time to finish my novel!

3 Comments on “Tips for Making Fantastic Red Wine Sauce

  1. It is really tricky to make a good red wine sauce even for experienced cooks. These tips you give to me are awesome, I think I could make it.

    1. Hi Kerry – Agree that this one probably needs a recipe card with specifics for a red sauce, rather than just tips and approximates. Thanks for the nudge for updating some of the older posts here!

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