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An overhead shot of a bowl of red wine cranberry sauce with cinnamon and orange zest.

Homemade Red Wine Cranberry Sauce

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5 from 3 reviews


Adapted from Sally Schneider’s A New Way to Cook

Don’t be afraid to double this sauce and make it ahead of time. It reheats nicely. The sauce can be made with frozen cranberries and start to finish can materialize in 20 minutes.


  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup dry red wine or Port (an inexpensive Tawny Port)
  • 1 cinnamon stick 
  • 1 package fresh or frozen cranberries (about 12 oz.)
  • 1 tablespoon slivered tangerine, clementine or orange zest, or more to taste


  1. In a saucepan over moderate heat, combine the sugar, red wine and cinnamon stick; bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 3 to 4 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the sugar is dissolved and the wine is reduced slightly.
  2. Add the cranberries and zest. Simmer for 5 to 10 minutes, or until the cranberries are soft and the sauce has thickened. Serve at room temperature or chilled. (More and more, I simmer for 5 minutes; then turn it off. This preserves some of the texture of the cranberries.) 
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Category: Condiment
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: American