Wine Education: Making a Wine Reduction Sauce
The dishes you eat at home can have the same deep flavor you find at your favorite restaurant. Learn how to make simple wine reduction sauces you can enjoy anytime.
Understanding wine reduction:
In cooking, a reduction refers to heating a liquid so it becomes thicker and more concentrated. When enough water evaporates, you wind up with a sauce. You can do it with wine or other liquids like balsamic vinegar. While most wine reduction recipes call for red wine, you can also use white if you prefer.
How to make a wine reduction sauce:
You'll be glad to know that you can reduce your wine the quick way or the even quicker way. You'll find a variety of recipes in cookbooks and online. Basically, you combine wine, shallots, herbs, and whatever other ingredients you want in a pan over high heat, and start reducing them as you stir in stock that you've already reduced separately. Then you strain everything through a sieve to remove the solids, and add in mashed butter at the end for a velvety finish. If you need to streamline things, you can reduce the wine and stock together, and skip the straining and butter. However you do it, you're looking to reduce the liquids enough to get a syrupy consistency that will stick to a spoon.
How to use a wine reduction sauce:
For many people a wine reduction sauce is almost synonymous with a pan sauce because it's often made using the juice and fond created by searing steak or other meat. In case you didn't know what to call them, fond means base or stock, and it's those brown particles you get when you brown meat or vegetables. In that case, you deglaze the pan by scraping the fond off and adding wine or another liquid. You can also use a wine reduction for salad dressing or a sauce for other dishes like roasted vegetables.
At Vino Fine Wine & Spirits, we're happy to help you select wines for whatever you have on your menu. Contact us today to find a bottle you'll love.
- Adam Linet