Several years ago, my guy and I went on our first wine-tasting trip to Sonoma. Not intentionally, we positioned ourselves smack in the middle of Dry Creek Valley and, as we somewhat cluelessly meandered our way through, we discovered Zinfandel. And I mean discovered. Not the pale pink white Zinfandel of the 1980s, oh no, Zinfandel is generally a big, jammy, drinkable red that, in my estimation, kicks the heck out of all other reds.
I wore white, and a woman approached me and looked me up and down. Laughing, she told me I was brave. I didn’t get it. Several wineries later, as I swirled my wine like an amateur, I splashed precious Zin all down my front. I didn’t really care, though, because I’d discovered the single greatest red wine in all the land. (Having several tastings under my belt didn’t hurt, either).
So why waste my very favorite wine on a batch of cranberry sauce?! Oh, my friends, it’s not a waste. I mean, you may not want to use the $50 stuff (YUM – my fave splurge) or anything, but don’t feel bad about sacrificing a hefty splash of reasonably priced Zinfandel in this Raspberry Red Wine Cranberry Sauce. (Plus, now I’ve given you an excuse to crack open a bottle. You’re welcome!)
Because zinfandel often smells to me like the most luscious of raspberry jams, I thought it would pair perfectly with raspberries for this unique (but super simple!) red wine cranberry sauce recipe. Instead of using water like we typically do for homemade cranberry sauce, we’ve got this rich red wine thing going on. Yes, yes, yes. Cinnamon, meanwhile, plays off of zinfandel’s spicy tendencies and brings us back around to fall, Thanksgiving style.
I’ve already made up a big batch of this cranberry sauce, and it eagerly waits in the freezer for this year’s Thanksgiving. I’m going to take it, along with a bottle of Zinfandel, to Thanksgiving dinner. And I’m going to wear white, dang it!
Bravery. It’s a good thing.
Raspberry Red Wine Cranberry Sauce
- 12 ounces fresh or frozen cranberries
- 6 ounces fresh or frozen raspberries
- 1/2 cup honey + more to taste (can substitute granulated sugar [will not be refined-sugar free] or pure maple syrup)
- 3/4 cup red zinfandel wine (not white zinfandel!)
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Rinse cranberries and discard any unripe or shriveled berries. Pick over raspberries and do the same. Place in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add 1/2 cup honey, zinfandel, and cinnamon.
- Cook uncovered, stirring occasionally, until cranberries pop and the sauce has thickened, about 20 minutes. Taste and add additional honey until the sauce has reached your desired level of sweetness. Remove from heat and let cool. Serve.
- Keeps for up to one week refrigerated in an airtight container, or for up to two months in the freezer.