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Red Wine Cranberry Sauce

We were feeling festive when we started our holiday cooking, but a bottle of wine was a bit more than we wanted to drink. I added half a cup to the cranberry sauce, in place of juice, and a new recipe was born! —Helen Nelander, Boulder Creek, California
  • Total Time
    Prep: 5 min. Cook: 20 min. + chilling
  • Makes
    about 2-1/3 cups


  • 1 package (12 ounces) fresh or frozen cranberries
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup dry red wine or grape juice


  • In a large saucepan, combine all ingredients; bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve sugar. Reduce heat to medium; cook, uncovered, until most of the berries pop, about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Transfer to a bowl; cool slightly. Refrigerate, covered, until cold (sauce will thicken upon cooling).

Test Kitchen Tips
  • Wine makes this a little more tart and less sweet than some cranberry sauces.
  • We tested this recipe with cabernet sauvignon, but you could also use merlot, pinot noir or sangiovese.
  • Cranberries are high in pectin. When heated with sugar, pectin gives cranberry sauce its jam-like consistency.
  • Nutrition Facts
    1/4 cup: 122 calories, 0 fat (0 saturated fat), 0 cholesterol, 1mg sodium, 30g carbohydrate (27g sugars, 2g fiber), 0 protein.

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    • Remenec
      Nov 18, 2019

      I made this for an early Thanksgiving family gathering, and it was a hit! I was nervous, since it was the first time I've ever made cranberry sauce. But it turned out perfectly and tasted delicious. I'll make this again next Thanksgiving!

    • AllisonO
      Nov 27, 2017

      I made this for Thanksgiving and it was a huge hit! I used grape juice in place of the wine, as suggested, and it was absolutely delicious with just the right balance of sweet and tart. The only change I made was to increase the cooking time slightly so the mixture would reduce some more and result in a thicker sauce. My previous cranberry sauce recipe has been permanently replaced!

    • BilliePock
      Nov 24, 2017

      So, so delicious! I did use coconut sugar. It's so cold hot or cold.

    • bicktasw
      Nov 21, 2017

      Oh my goodness! Where has THIS recipe been all my life? If you like cranberry sauce you have to try this recipe. It's very easy to make and the red wine gives it a slightly different flavor that is quite delicious! This is my new "go to" cranberry sauce recipe. Five stars for sure.