If you binge-watch food and cooking shows as much as I do, you’ve almost certainly heard of “wine reduction sauce.” Reducing wine might sound like a complicated gourmet chef move, but really it’s a simple technique that will totally enhance the flavor of many great dishes. This process allows the wine’s flavors to intensify. As with any other wine and food pairing, you want to make sure that the wine you are reducing complements the food you are cooking (more on that later). And if cooking with wine makes you extra thirsty, feel free to pour a glass or two of the remainder to enjoy with your meal. We can’t let anything go to waste, after all!
- 1 cup red or white wine (choose a wine that complements the dish you’re preparing)
- 1 tablespoon butter (optional, for added richness and flavor)
- Salt and pepper to taste (optional)
- Whisk or wooden spoon
- Measuring cup
- Strainer (optional)
Step 1: Choose the wine.
- Select a red or white wine that pairs well with the dish you’re preparing. For red meat, use a red wine like Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot. For poultry or fish, use a white wine like Chardonnay or Sauvignon Blanc.
Step 2: Pour the wine into a saucepan.
- Measure 1 cup of wine and pour it into a saucepan. Use a saucepan large enough to allow for evaporation and reducing the liquid.
Step 3: Heat the wine.
- Place the saucepan with the wine on the stovetop over medium heat. Allow the wine to come to a gentle simmer. Do not let it boil vigorously.
Step 4: Reduce the heat and simmer.
- Once the wine reaches a simmer, reduce the heat to low. You want to maintain a gentle simmer throughout the reduction process.
Step 5: Simmer and reduce.
- Let the wine simmer and reduce for about 15-20 minutes, or until it has reduced by about half. Stir occasionally to prevent sticking.
Step 6: Optional: Add butter.
- If desired, add 1 tablespoon of butter to the reduced wine. This step adds richness and a silky texture to the sauce. Stir the butter into the sauce until it melts completely.
Step 7: Strain the sauce (optional).
- If you prefer a smoother sauce, you can strain it to remove any sediment or solids. Place a strainer over a bowl or directly over the serving dish and carefully pour the reduced sauce through the strainer.
Step 8: Season to taste.
- Taste the wine reduction and add salt and pepper if desired. Adjust the seasoning according to your preference and the flavors of your dish.
Step 9: Serve and enjoy!
- The wine reduction is now ready to be served. Pour it over grilled meats, roasted vegetables, or other dishes that can benefit from a flavorful sauce. Drizzle the reduction over the food just before serving to enhance the flavors.
If you enjoyed this article or have suggestions on how we can improve it, please leave us a comment below. Also, make sure to check out other cooking lesson articles I’ve created – here.