We went away for a few days and left half a bottle of Pinot Noir on the counter. By the time we got home, it wasn’t in a very drinkable condition. I’ve always read about turning leftover red wine into a reduction sauce, but truth be told, I rarely have leftover wine.


I spent a little time reading various methods of reducing red wine into a sauce, and chose to go about it as simply as possible. Some recipes or instructions had several herbs in them. Some said you should reduce the wine and the stock in separate pans than bring them together. In the end, I closed my laptop, and with the knowledge of all I’d just read, went about making a red wine reduction sauce to put on top of steak.




  • 3/4 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 shallot, minced
  • 2 cups dry red wine
  • 2 cups beef stock or broth
  • 1 tbsp unsalted butter



  1. Heat the olive oil in a 10-inch skillet over med-high heat.
  2. Add the garlic and shallot and sauté, about 5 minutes.
  3. Add the red wine, increase heat to high. Allow wine to reduce for 15 minutes or so until it becomes very thick and syrupy and at least 3/4 of the liquid has evaporated.
  4. Add the beef stock or broth. Allow to reduce until there is about a half cup of liquid left in the pan.
  5. Add the butter and allow it to melt, stirring to mix it through.
  6. Taste for seasoning. Depending on the beef stock or broth you used, you may need salt.
  7. Run the reduction through a fine sieve to remove the shallot and garlic pieces.

My notes


  • This sauce can be served on top of steak, duck or even salmon.
  • The sauce splattered a lot while reducing. I don’t have one of those mesh splatter screens, but if I did, I would have used it.
  • A little goes a long way. Just a small drizzle of this rich sauce was plenty for the steak.
  • I still had half the sauce left, and I’ve put in the freezer. I’ve read that it freezes well. I’ll find out.

Robin Shreeves ( @rshreeves ) focuses on food from a family perspective from her home base in New Jersey.

Make your own red wine reduction sauce
After a few days, leftover red wine’s quality diminishes quickly. But don’t throw it away. Make a red wine reduction sauce to pour over meats. Our food blog