The Ultimate Red Wine Reduction Steak Sauce Recipe – Cook Like A Chef

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If you love rich flavors, try getting into the world of Red Wine Reduction Steak Sauce Recipe. This sauce is one of the most commonly chosen companions for steaks, adding a deep and robust layer to the dish. It’s necessary to use good quality red wine for best results. I recommend simmering it with fresh herbs and shallots until it thickens. You might find that this enhances your steak to an entirely new level. You’ll want to pair it with a tender cut for a great dining experience. It’s better if you serve immediately for optimal taste. Enjoy!

Are you tired of the same old steak sauces? During a recent trip to a Middle Eastern country, I dined at a quaint restaurant tucked away in a bustling alley.

To my surprise, they served a steak with a sauce not commonly found in the region: a Red Wine Reduction Steak Sauce Recipe. 

It was a taste revelation, bringing a hint of European elegance to a Middle Eastern setting. Back home, at a friend’s dinner, I was reminded of that exquisite flavor when they presented a steak drenched in a similar sauce, claiming it was the secret to making their dish irresistible. 

My kids, usually not big on sauces, repeatedly requested it. Seeing this, I realized many might miss elevating their steak game. So, I recommend diving into this Red Wine Reduction Steak Sauce Recipe for those looking for that next level of flavor. 

It gives your steak a sophisticated twist and brings back beautiful memories of distant travels.

What Is Red Wine Reduction Steak Sauce Recipe?

Red Wine Reduction Steak Sauce is a rich and flavorful sauce made by simmering red wine with various ingredients until it thickens and intensifies in flavor. Commonly combined with shallots, garlic, herbs, and sometimes a touch of stock or butter, this sauce brings a deep and luxurious taste. 

It complements the natural flavors of steak, elevating its profile. Originating from European culinary traditions, this sauce has gained popularity worldwide. If you’ve got a steak dish that feels a tad bland, adding this sauce is a great way to enhance its appeal and satisfy your palate.

History Of Red Wine Reduction Steak Sauce Recipe

The exact origins of the Red Wine Reduction Steak Sauce Recipe are still being determined. Still, it’s deeply rooted in European culinary traditions. The French, known for their rich sauces, are commonly credited for popularizing this method. 

By the late 19th century, reducing wine for sauces became standard in many French kitchens. Chefs from regions like Bordeaux, famous for its wines, would likely have been among the first to realize the potential of reducing their local wines for savory dishes. 

While the exact inventor remains unknown, the sauce’s presence in European cuisine suggests a long-standing appreciation for its robust flavors.

Interesting Facts About Red Wine Reduction Steak Sauce Recipe

  • Versatility: While commonly paired with steak, this sauce also complements dishes like pork, lamb, and poultry.
  • Wine Choices Matter: The quality of the red wine used can drastically change the sauce’s flavor. It’s better if you select a wine you’d enjoy drinking.
  • Health Benefits: Red wine contains antioxidants, and when reduced, these compounds remain, offering potential health benefits.
  • Global Presence: Though rooted in European traditions, the sauce has found its way into diverse cuisines, from American to Asian.
  • Not Just for Meat: Some chefs use the sauce as a base for vegetarian dishes, proving its adaptability.
  • Cooking Time: A genuine reduction requires patience. The longer it simmers, the more intense and flavorful it generally becomes.
  • Variations: Different regions add unique ingredients, like Middle Eastern spices or Asian soy, creating a fusion of flavors.

What Are The Regional Adaptations Of This Sauce?

  • French Twist: Often infused with herbs like thyme or rosemary and paired with classic dishes such as “steak au poivre.”
  • Italian Influence: Incorporates tomatoes or sun-dried tomatoes, giving it a tangy undertone.
  • Middle Eastern Take: Enhanced with spices like cinnamon or cumin for a warm flavor profile.
  • Asian Fusion: Some chefs introduce soy sauce or star anise, adding depth and umami.
  • American Style: You might find variations with added fruit preserves, like blackberry or cherry, for a hint of sweetness.
  • South American Spin: It’s common to see the inclusion of local peppers or herbs infusing a distinct zest.

What Will Make You Love This Red Wine Reduction Steak Sauce?

  • Rich Flavor Profile: It offers a harmonious blend of sweet, savory, and tangy notes, enhancing your steak’s taste.
  • Versatility: Beyond steak, it’s great for poultry, pork, or vegetarian dishes, making it a kitchen staple.
  • Health Boost: The antioxidants in red wine remain in the sauce, offering potential health benefits.
  • Culinary Adventure: Experiencing regional adaptations helps you explore global flavors from the comfort of your kitchen.
  • Perfect for Special Occasions: Elevate regular meals, making them memorable feasts.
  • Easy Customization: You’ll want to adjust ingredients to match your preferences, making it a uniquely personal culinary experience.

Ingredients List 

Butter3 tablespoons
Yellow onion (chopped)1/2
Red onion (chopped)1/2
Large shallots (chopped)2
Minced garlic2 tablespoons
Roma (plum) tomato (chopped)1
Carrots (chopped)1 pound
Fresh mushrooms (sliced)3/4 pound
Beef broth (canned)1 (14 ounce) can
Merlot wine1 1/4 cups (divided)

Ingredient Tips

  • Butter: Opt for unsalted butter, allowing better control over the sauce’s saltiness.
  • Onions: Freshly chopped onions release more juice, enhancing the sauce’s flavor.
  • Shallots: They add a mild and delicate flavor. Don’t substitute them with more onions; their uniqueness is key.
  • Minced Garlic: Fresh garlic generally offers a more potent taste than bottled.
  • Roma Tomato: This variety is less watery, making it great for sauces. Ensure it’s ripe for best results.
  • Carrots: Choose firm, bright-colored carrots. They not only add sweetness but also a rich color.
  • Mushrooms: Clean them with a damp cloth instead of washing them; they retain less water.
  • Beef Broth: Opt for low-sodium versions to manage the salt content better.
  • Merlot Wine: Use a wine you’d enjoy drinking. If you’ve got a favorite Merlot, it’ll enhance the flavor.
  • Storage: Store leftover ingredients in airtight containers, ensuring they remain fresh for future use.

What Are The Variations Of Red Wine Reduction Steak Sauce Recipe? 

  • Creamy Version: Incorporate heavy cream for a luscious, velvety texture.
  • Fruity Twist: Add fruit preserves or fresh berries like blackberry or raspberry for a sweet undertone.
  • Spiced Up: Infuse with star anise, cloves, or cinnamon for an aromatic flair.
  • Herbaceous: Introduce herbs like rosemary, sage, or tarragon for an earthy touch.
  • Tangy Take: Incorporate balsamic vinegar or citrus zest to brighten the flavors.
  • Umami Punch: A dash of soy sauce or Worcestershire can elevate the depth and umami.
  • Heat Kick: Add red pepper flakes or hot sauce for a spicy zing.
  • Dessert Sauce: Reduce the garlic and onions, adding vanilla or chocolate for a sweet sauce over desserts.

Recipe Directions 

Cooking Method

  • Prepare all the vegetables by cleaning and chopping them as required.

Sauté Vegetables

  • In a saucepan over medium-high heat, melt the butter.
  • Add the yellow and red onion, shallots, garlic, tomato, carrots, and mushrooms.
  • Cook and stir until the onions appear translucent, and the carrots soften. This process takes around 10 to 15 minutes.

Add Liquids

  • Pour in the beef broboil, ensuring you scrape and dissolve any browned bits from the bottom of the pan, and 1 cup of Merlot wine.
  • Bring the mixture to a 


  • Once boiling, reduce the heat.
  • Let it simmer until the vegetables turn soft and the pan juices reduce by half. This takes about 20 minutes.


  • After simmering, strain out the vegetables and discard them, retaining only the liquid.

Final Reduction

  • Return the sauce to the pan and bring it to a boil over medium-high heat.
  • Add the remaining 1/4 cup of Merlot wine.
  • Reduce the heat and let it simmer until the sauce reaches 1/4 of its original volume, stirring occasionally. This should take another 20 minutes.


  • Once reduced, the sauce is ready. It’s better if you serve immediately over your preferred dish.

Scaling The Recipe 

  • Doubling: If you have more guests or want leftovers, double each ingredient. Adjust cooking time, letting the sauce reduce a bit longer to ensure the desired consistency.
  • Halving: For smaller servings, reduce every ingredient by half. Monitor closely during the reduction phase, as it might thicken faster.
  • Proportions: Always maintain ingredient proportions. Adjust other ingredients proportionally to retain flavor balance if increasing or decreasing the Merlot wine.
  • Taste Test: Always taste and adjust seasonings if necessary when scaling up or down.
  • Cookware: Ensure the saucepan’s size suits the adjusted quantity, avoiding overflow or uneven cooking.

Can This Sauce Be Used As A Marinade, Dipping Sauce, Or Dressing For Salads?

  • Marinade: Its rich flavor makes it an excellent marinade for meats, especially beef or lamb. Marinating can help tenderize and infuse flavors if you’ve got tougher cuts.
  • Dipping Sauce: You might enjoy it as a dip for bread or grilled vegetables. The robust taste generally complements various appetizers.
  • Salad Dressing: While less common, it can be used as a base for dressings. You’ll want to dilute it with olive oil and maybe a splash of vinegar for acidity, creating a unique dressing for robust salads.

What Are The Best Dishes To Accompany Red Wine Reduction Steak Sauce Recipe? 

  • Steaks: Naturally, cuts like ribeye, sirloin, or filet mignon are elevated with this sauce.
  • Grilled Meats: Lamb chops, pork tenderloin, or grilled chicken can significantly benefit from a drizzle.
  • Roasts: Beef or lamb roasts are classic pairings, enhancing the meat’s natural flavors.
  • Mashed Potatoes: A side commonly pairs perfectly with the sauce’s richness.
  • Grilled Vegetables: Asparagus, bell peppers, or zucchini can be enhanced with this sauce.
  • Pasta: Think rich, meat-based pasta dishes like ragù or bolognese.
  • Rice Dishes: Wild rice or pilafs can be transformed with a splash.
  • Seafood: Bold fish like salmon or tuna steaks can also be paired for a unique combination.

What Are Some Classic Dishes That Feature Red Wine Reduction Steak Sauce Recipe?

  • Steak au Poivre: A pepper-crusted steak drizzled with this sauce.
  • Beef Wellington: A tender beef fillet wrapped in puff pastry, often served with the reduction on the side.
  • Ossobuco: Slow-cooked veal shanks, where the sauce complements the meat’s tenderness.
  • Coq au Vin: Chicken braised with wine, mushrooms, and garlic, elevated with a reduction drizzle.
  • Lamb Shank Ragout: Slow-cooked lamb shanks paired perfectly with this rich sauce.
  • Grilled T-bone Steak: The sauce adds depth to this classic cut.
  • Braised Short Ribs: Slow-cooked ribs become even more decadent with the sauce.

What Are The Key Flavor Profiles And Taste Sensations That Red Wine Reduction Steak Sauce Offers?

  • Richness: Combining butter and beef broth creates a deep, savory foundation.
  • Sweetness: The natural sugars from the wine and vegetables like onions and carrots lend a subtle sweetness.
  • Umami: The sauce offers a savory, mouthwatering depth commonly associated with red meat and wine.
  • Tartness: The red wine introduces a gentle acidity that brightens the sauce.
  • Bitterness: The reduction process can introduce a slight bitterness balanced by the other flavors.
  • Astringency: Wine tannins offer a puckering sensation, adding complexity.
  • Depth: Melding vegetables, broth, and wine creates a multi-layered taste sensation.

Can This Sauce Be Stored And Preserved For Future Use? What Is Its Shelf Life?

  • Cooling: Before storing, allow the sauce to cool to room temperature.
  • Refrigeration: Transfer the sauce to an airtight container and refrigerate. Generally, it will last 3-5 days.
  • Freezing: For longer storage, you might consider freezing the sauce. It maintains quality for up to 2 months. Thaw in the fridge before reheating.
  • Reheating: Heat slowly on the stovetop, stirring occasionally to retain its consistency.
  • Shelf Life: While refrigeration offers short-term storage, freezing helps you extend its life significantly.
  • Signs of Spoilage: If it develops an off-smell, mold, or changes in texture, discard it.

What Are The Substitutes For Red Wine Reduction Steak Sauce Recipe?

  • Balsamic Reduction: Simmer balsamic vinegar until it reduces by half. It provides a tangy, sweet flavor similar to the wine sauce.
  • Beef or Veal Demi-Glace: A rich, concentrated stock reduced with wine or sherry.
  • Brown Gravy: A quick alternative, especially if flavored with herbs or a splash of wine.
  • Mushroom Sauce: Made with sautéed mushrooms, broth, and seasonings. Can add a dash of wine for depth.
  • Bordelaise Sauce: A classic French sauce using red wine, bone marrow, shallots, and beef stock.
  • Madeira or Marsala Sauce: These wines offer a distinct taste when reduced with stock and butter.
  • Beef Broth Reduction: Reduce beef broth with herbs for a lighter alternative.

How To Adjust The Consistency Of The Sauce?

  • Thickening: If the sauce is too thin, add a slurry made from equal parts cornstarch and water. Bring the sauce to a boil, then stir in the slurry until desired thickness.
  • Further Reduction: Simply simmer the sauce for a longer period, allowing more liquid to evaporate and the sauce to thicken.
  • Adding Liquid: If the sauce is too thick, you’ll want to add more beef broth or wine gradually, stirring until you achieve the preferred consistency.
  • Butter: Whisking in cold butter can enrich and slightly thicken the sauce.
  • Straining: If the sauce has lumps or is uneven, strain it through a fine sieve.

Should We Serve The Sauce Cold Or Warm?

  • Texture: When warm, the sauce maintains a smooth and pourable consistency. If chilled, it might thicken excessively or separate.
  • Flavor Profile: Heat accentuates the sauce’s myriad flavors, making them more pronounced and balanced on the palate.
  • Pairing: Warm sauce complements hot dishes like steak, roasts, and grilled meats, ensuring both elements are at a harmonious temperature.
  • Reheating: If you’ve stored the sauce, reheat it slowly on the stovetop, stirring occasionally. Avoid bringing it to a boil to maintain its consistency and flavor.

Nutritional Values 

Red Wine Reduction Steak Sauce recipe typically contains approximately 50 calories per 2-ounce (60ml) serving, with negligible fat content and around 5 grams of carbohydrates, primarily from the wine and added sugars.

This sauce is rich in flavor due to the reduced red wine, complementing the savory qualities of a perfectly cooked steak.

What Are The Total Calories In Red Wine Reduction Steak Sauce?

A rough estimate for a serving (about 2 tablespoons) might be 50-70 calories. For precise nutritional details, I recommend using a dedicated calorie calculator or nutrition software, inputting specific ingredient quantities and brands.

Dietary Restrictions Of The Red Wine Reduction Steak Sauce

  • Alcohol: Though the wine is reduced, traces of alcohol might remain. It might not be suitable for those abstaining completely.
  • Gluten: Ensure the beef broth is gluten-free, as some brands contain gluten.
  • Lactose: Contains butter, making it unsuitable for lactose-intolerant individuals unless a lactose-free alternative is used.
  • Vegetarians: The beef broth excludes it from vegetarian diets. Substitute with vegetable broth for a vegetarian version.
  • Vegans: Contains butter and, potentially, beef broth. Use vegan substitutes for both.
  • Low-Calorie Diets: Moderation is necessary due to butter and wine.
  • Sodium: Pre-made beef broth can be high in sodium. Opt for low-sodium variants if on a salt-restricted diet.

Nutrition Table 

What Are The Common Mistakes While Making This Sauce?

  • Over-reducing the Wine: Simmering the wine for too long can become overly concentrated and bitter. It’s better to keep a watchful eye and taste as you go.
  • Not Straining Properly: Leaving vegetable remnants can affect the sauce’s texture. A fine-mesh strainer helps you achieve a smooth consistency.
  • High Heat: Cooking on high heat can cause the sauce to burn or reduce too quickly, impacting its flavor. A gentle simmer is generally recommended.
  • Using Poor Quality Wine: The wine’s flavor is central to the sauce. I would recommend using a decent-quality wine that you’d enjoy drinking.
  • Not Tasting As You Go: This sauce can vary in flavor depending on the wine and broth used. It’s great to taste as you cook and adjust seasoning accordingly.
  • Inconsistent Simmering: If the sauce isn’t simmered consistently, it can lead to an uneven reduction and flavor profile.
  • Adding Salt Early: Given that the sauce reduces and intensifies in flavor, you’ll want to add salt towards the end to avoid over-salting.

What Are Some Creative Uses Of Leftover Sauce? 

  • Pasta Drizzle: Mix with cooked pasta for added depth and flavor.
  • Sandwich Spread: Enhance sandwiches or burgers with a smear.
  • Gravy Base: Use as a starting point for richer gravies.
  • Meatloaf Glaze: Brush over meatloaf before baking.
  • Stir-fry: Add to stir-fried vegetables or meats for a gourmet touch.
  • Baked Potatoes: Drizzle over or mix with the fillings of stuffed potatoes.
  • Pizza Base: An alternative to traditional tomato sauce on gourmet pizzas.
  • Bruschetta Topping: Drizzle over tomato and basil bruschetta.
  • Soup Enhancer: Stir into soups for added richness.
  • Egg Dishes: Drizzle over omelets or scrambled eggs.

Special Tools & Equipment Needed

  • Heavy-bottomed Saucepan: Ensures even heating and reduces the risk of burning.
  • Fine-mesh Strainer: For achieving a smooth sauce by removing solid ingredients.
  • Wooden Spoon: Helps you stir without scratching the saucepan.
  • Whisk: For blending and ensuring a smooth consistency.
  • Measuring Cups and Spoons: To measure ingredients accurately.
  • Heat-resistant Glass Bowl: Useful when straining the sauce.
  • Ladle: For pouring and serving the sauce.
  • Digital Thermometer: To monitor the sauce’s temperature if you want precision.
  • Silicone Spatula: Helps you scrape every bit of sauce from the pan.
  • Storage Jars or Containers: For storing any leftover sauce.

Frequently Asked Questions 

Can I Use A Different Type Of Wine Other Than Merlot?

Yes, you can. While Merlot provides a specific flavor profile, other red wines like Cabernet Sauvignon or Pinot Noir can also be used based on your preference.

How Long Can I Store The Sauce In The Refrigerator?

Consuming the sauce within a week is recommended when stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Always reheat gently before serving.

Is There A Vegetarian Or Vegan Version Of This Sauce?

Absolutely! Substitute the beef broth with vegetable broth and, for a vegan version, replace the butter with vegan butter or a suitable oil.

Why Is My Sauce Too Thin/Thick? How Can I Adjust It?

If the sauce is too thin, you’ll want to simmer it longer, allowing more liquid to evaporate. If it’s too thick, add more broth or wine and heat it through.

Can I Freeze The Red Wine Reduction Steak Sauce For Future Use?

Yes, you can. Pour the cooled sauce into freezer-safe containers, leaving some space at the top for expansion, and store it in the freezer for up to 2 months. Thaw in the refrigerator and reheat gently before serving.

The Ultimate Red Wine Reduction Steak Sauce Recipe – Cook Like A Chef

Course: Hot Sauces


Prep time


Cooking time




Rest Time


The Red Wine Reduction Steak Sauce is a rich, flavorful accompaniment crafted from merlot wine, fresh vegetables, and beef broth. Reduced to perfection, this sauce adds depth and gourmet flair to steaks and various other dishes.


  • 3 tablespoons 3 Butter

  • 1/2 1/2 Yellow onion (chopped)

  • 1/2 1/2 Red onion (chopped)

  • 2 2 Large shallots (chopped)

  • 2 tablespoons 2 Minced garlic

  • 1 1 Roma (plum) tomato (chopped)

  • 1 pound 1 Carrots (chopped)

  • 3/4 pound 3/4 Fresh mushrooms (sliced)

  • 14 ounce 14 Beef broth (canned)

  • 1 1/4 cups 1 1/4 Merlot wine (divided)

Step-By-Step Directions

  • Preparation: Gather all the ingredients and have them ready.
  • Melt the Butter: Heat the butter over medium-high heat in a saucepan until it’s fully melted and starts to foam.
  • Sauté the Vegetables: Add the yellow and red onions, shallots, garlic, tomato, carrots, and mushrooms to the saucepan. Stir and cook until the onions turn translucent and the carrots soften. This usually takes around 10 to 15 minutes.
  • Add Liquids: Pour the beef broth and 1 cup of Merlot wine into the saucepan.
  • Deglaze: As the mixture boils, scrape the bottom of the pan to release any browned bits. These add a depth of flavor to the sauce.
  • Reduce Heat and Simmer: Once boiling, reduce the heat to a simmer. Allow the sauce to continue cooking until the vegetables are very soft and the liquid has reduced by half. This process generally takes about 20 minutes.
  • Strain the Sauce: Using a fine-mesh strainer, strain the sauce to remove and discard the vegetables, retaining the liquid.
  • Final Reduction: Return the strained sauce to the saucepan and place it over medium-high heat. Once it starts boiling, stir in the remaining 1/4 cup of Merlot wine. Reduce the heat and let it simmer. Continue simmering until the sauce has reduced to about a quarter of its original volume, which will take approximately 20 minutes. Ensure to stir occasionally to prevent sticking.
  • Serve or Store: Once done, serve immediately or let it cool and store in a sealed container.

Recipe Video


  • Wine Selection: While Merlot is preferred, other red wines can also impart unique flavors.
  • Vegetable Use: After straining, repurpose the vegetables in stews or blends to reduce waste.
  • Adjusting Consistency: Modify with extra broth or extended reduction based on your preference.
  • Storing: Keep in a sealed container in the fridge; use within a week for the best taste.
  • Dietary Adaptations: Opt for vegetable broth and vegan butter to cater to vegetarian or vegan diets.

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