Add elegance to home-cooked meals with a reduced Red Wine Sauce. This classic French steak sauce is ideal for beef tenderloin, filet mignon, and other juicy cuts of premium beef, lamb, pork, and game meats.
Honor your French dishes and tender cuts of beef with a drizzle of Red Wine Sauce on top. It’s easy to make with simple ingredients but still boasts 5-star steakhouse-worthy flavors.
All you need is a short list of ingredients, like red wine, beef broth, shallots, flour, and butter. Once the sauce is whisked together on the stove and properly reduced, these simple ingredients transform into a tangy and savory sauce with a drizzleable consistency. Perfect for filet mignon, boeuf bourguignon, and coq au vin.
Does putting a rich red wine reduction sauce together sound challenging? Have no fear. This guide goes over the ins and outs of homemade red wine sauce to help you execute the recipe like a classically trained chef!
ℹ️ Sauce espagnole vs. red wine reduction sauce
Sauce espagnole is a savory brown sauce, typically made with aromatic mirepoix, dark stock, tomatoes, and a flour roux. It’s one of five mother sauces in French cuisine and found in most boeuf bourguignon recipes.
Just think of this red wine reduction sauce as a spin-off of espagnole sauce. The lavish red wine gravy has a similar consistency to espagnole, but the finished result is more umami-forward and tangy. Plus, its natural sweetness makes it the perfect companion to filet mignon, pork tenderloin, and short ribs.
To be fair, this red wine reduction sauce technically isn’t traditional because it isn’t made with demi-glace. It’s closer to bordelaise sauce, which is made with beef bone broth instead of veal stock and bone marrow.
🍷 The best red wine for red wine sauce
There’s no need to travel to Bordeaux for the most expensive bottle of burgundy. Ultimately, any good quality dry red like Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir, or Merlot will reduce nicely, resulting in a well-rounded red wine sauce for beef.
Remember: the better tasting the wine, the better tasting the sauce. Choose a palatable red that you personally enjoy drinking. You only need about ⅓ of the bottle, leaving a glass or so to sip on while you eat. Learn more about how to pair red wine with steak here.
🛒 Ingredients needed
In addition to the red wine, you’ll also need:
- Shallots – They bring a solid base of mouthwatering flavors and subtle notes of garlic.
- Thyme and bay leaf – This duo of herbs brings a warming, peppery element.
- Beef bone broth – I recommend making homemade beef bone broth in your Instant Pot or slow cooker for the very best flavor. A good quality beef stock will work in a pinch.
- All purpose flour – It’s mixed with equal parts melted butter to make a thickening roux.
- Kosher salt
📋 How to make a red wine reduction sauce
Add the wine, shallots, thyme, and bay leaf to a small saucepan. Bring it up to a boil over medium heat and cook until the liquid reduces by half.
Next, add the broth. Bring the mixture to a boil again and continue cooking until the liquid reduces by half.
Strain the reduced mixture through a fine mesh sieve, reserving the liquid and discarding the solids. Return the strained sauce to the saucepan and heat over medium-low heat.
For the roux, whisk equal parts melted butter and flour in a small bowl until smooth. Then slowly add the mixture to the sauce, whisking continuously until thickened. Serve hot.
ℹ️ Tips and tricks
- Be patient as the wine and broth reduce – Keep an eye on the liquid level in the pot and only simmer until it’s reduced by half. Most of the alcohol will cook off before the liquid begins to thicken into a vibrant, syrupy consistency.
- Be careful not to overheat – The sauce will break if it’s heated past the smoke point. To avoid this, keep the liquid at a low boil and continuously whisk it as it starts to reduce.
- To save an overheated broken sauce – If the sauce gets too hot and begins to separate, immediately remove the saucepan from the heat and whisk vigorously until it’s smooth again.
🌟 Customize it
- Add other flavor elements – Reduce the wine with shallots and other savory aromatics like diced carrots, mushrooms, celery, and leeks. Adding a splash of balsamic vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, or soy sauce is also a reliable way to boost the flavor.
- Make it without alcohol – Leave the recipe as-is but use an alcohol-free dry red wine instead. Do not substitute red wine vinegar for red wine.
- Gluten free red wine sauce – Use 1:1 gluten free all purpose flour to make the roux instead of regular flour. The remaining ingredients should be gluten free, including the red wine and beef stock, but always double-check the labels just in case.
🍽 Serving suggestions
Red wine sauce is perfect for braising and drizzling over cooked steaks as the finishing touch. It complements these recipes perfectly:
- Pork Chops
- Sous Vide Filet Mignon
- Traeger Steak
- Filet Mignon Bites
- Smoked Short Ribs
- Ribeye Steak
- Prime Rib
- Beef Burgers
- Lamb Burgers
- Rack of Lamb
🕕 Make ahead and storing
You can make red wine reduction up to 4 days ahead of time. Store it in an airtight container in the fridge until it’s time to reheat and serve.
It also freezes well for up to 6 months. Thaw the frozen sauce in the refrigerator overnight before reheating.
🥩 More steak sauce recipes
- Chimichurri Sauce
- Romesco Sauce
- Steak Diane
- Creamy Mushroom Sauce
- Bearnaise Sauce
- More → my must try steak sauces
Did you make this red wine reduction?
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Red Wine Sauce Recipe
- To a small saucepan, add wine, shallots, thyme and bay leaf. Bring to a boil over medium heat and cook until the mixture reduces by half, about 10 minutes.
- Add the broth and bring to a boil again. Continue cooking until this mixture reduces by half, 15-20 minutes.
- Strain the mixture through a fine mesh strainer and discard the solids. Return the strained sauce to the saucepan and heat over medium-low heat.
- In a small bowl, combine the melted butter and flour until smooth. Add this mixture to the saucepan and whisk until thickened. Enjoy immediately.
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