Red Wine Sauce
5 (1)

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One of my favorite things about eating at a nice steakhouse is the abundance of amazing sauces you can order with your steak. I’m the kind of person who doesn’t just get 1 either and I’ll be sitting there with 4-5 different sauces to drench my lovely steak in. So why should that be any different when cooking a delicious steak at home? This recipe is for a classic Red Wine sauce, with a lovely reduced wine cooked with beef stock for a rich and velvety sauce

Red Wine Sauce – Sweet or Not Sweet?

Now the classic Red Wine reduction is quite a simple dish to prepare, shallots, wine, stock and butter. However, I’ve always found when I’ve followed this classic recipe the sauce doesn’t come out as rich and sweet as I personally like it. When I think of Red Wine Sauce I think of a rich, dark burgundy colored sauce which has a lovely, sweet stickiness to it. So, this recipe follows the classical approach. However, there is an optional element of adding sugar to get more of that sticky, sweetness. If you’re not a fan of sweetness and want a more classic sauce, then simply don’t add any sugar! Below we’ve got a bit more detail on how to best do this

Red Wine Sauce close up
The rule of thumb for Red Wine Sauce – always use a bottle of Red Wine you would be happy to drink yourself. If there’s any leftovers, you can always drink it!

What wine to use in Red Wine Sauce?

You cannot go wrong if you stick to the strategy of cooking with the wine that you would drink with the meal. The classic pairing for a steak is a full-bodied wine such as a Cabernet Sauvignon or Shiraz, so naturally this type of wine will work well with this recipe. Also, you’ll not need a full bottle for the sauce, so save the rest of the bottle to drink with your lovely meal

The key to making a great Red Wine Sauce is patience

Unfortunately, there’s no ‘secret ingredient’ that you add, and it will magically transform your sauce into 3 Michelin Star quality Sauce. No, the secret to making a great Red Wine Sauce is patience. What you want with this sauce is to reduce both the Red Wine, and the Beef Stock to concentrate the flavor

What this means is that in all forms of liquids, the primary component is water. Water doesn’t have any flavor. So, by slowly reducing the liquid, you are removing more and more water from the dish. Well, it may be obvious to some, but we’ll say it anyway. The Steam that is coming off the liquid when it’s hot is water!

When recipes tell you to ‘reduce’ the liquid, really this is all about concentrating the flavor. This goes for both the Beef Broth and the Red Wine in this recipe. The more you reduce the sauce, the more concentrated the flavor is. The more concentrated the flavor, the richer it will be. Which is a big goal when it comes to a good Red Wine Sauce. So, patience is the key ingredient!

An optional addition is to add a little bit of Sugar to the Red Wine Sauce for more sweetness

This may be considered the cheats way by many Red Wine Sauce enthusiasts, but we don’t care. The goal is yummy tasting food at the end of the day, and if you like your sauce on the sweeter side then adding a bit of sugar is a great addition

There are natural Sugars in the Red Wine anyway, so adding a little bit of sugar is just giving those sugars a super charge. Our recommendation is to only add Sugar once you’re happy with the reduction levels consistency. If the sauce still tastes a little bland to your palate then add ½ a tsp. of Sugar. Taste test it before adding more then keep tasting it until you’ve got the desired sweetness

Red Wine Sauce on a Ribeye Steak
There’s no doubt about it, pairing Red Wine Sauce with a lovely steak such as this beautiful Ribeye is the way to go

Recipe Details


4 people

Prep time

5 minutes

Cooking time

35 minutes

Total time

40 minutes

Red Wine Sauce Recipe


  • ½ bottle full bodied Red Wine
  • 1 cup Beef Stock (recipe here)
  • 1 Shallot, Finely diced
  • 1 tbsp. Flour
  • 1 tbsp. Unsalted Butter
  • 4 Sprigs Thyme
  • 1 tbsp. White or Brown Sugar (optional)


  1. Melt the Butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Once melted, add the Shallots, and cook through for 2-3 minutes
  2. Add the flour and whisk consistently until the Flour cooks through. Typically, this should take about 3-4 minutes.
  3. Pour in the Red Wine and Beef Stock and whisk to incorporate the flour and Shallots within the liquid. Add Thyme and Salt then bring to a gentle boil
  4. Drop the heat to a gentle simmer so we can begin to reduce the liquid. The goal is to reduce the liquid by half. Just measure the depth of the liquid on your whisk or spoon so you know how much to go.
  5. Once reduced, strain the liquid through a fine sieve then return to the pan. Check the taste and at this point add Sugar if you desire a sweeter sauce. Remove from heat and serve along with a delicious steak!

Check out this link for how to prepare an amazing Reverse Sear Ribeye steak which pairs magically with this Red Wine Sauce. Ribeye Steak and Red Wine Sauce are a natural perfect match. Here are some of our other favorite dishes to pair with this wonderful Red Wine Sauce:

Happy Cooking!

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