Red Wine Sauce with Berries is a dessert sauce that is bursting with flavor. It has just 4 ingredients and is very simple to make. So very delicious over vanilla ice cream or your favorite vanilla flavored cake.
Are you a wine lover? Whether you are a wine enthusiast or haven’t quite found a wine you like, you will love this red wine dessert sauce with fresh berries.
I first created this recipe many years ago for a small get-together with friends that included dinner. I wanted an easy dessert that wouldn’t take a large amount of prep on the day of the event. So, I decided on serving ice cream… but wanted to make it extra memorable by serving it with a fruit sauce. It was summer and every berry was in season and in the stores. So, a berry dessert sauce seemed the best choice. But… it had to be very special.
A simple grilled seasoned steak was my entrée and I had chosen a lovely red wine, a Malbec from Catena Vineyards in Argentina, to be served at dinner. It was very fruit-forward with red berry flavors and had a lovely soft chocolate finish. So, I decided to use it, instead of plain water, as the basis of the sauce.
But, that wasn’t enough. I was going to make this sauce luscious with a bounty of berries. So, I added berries to the wine and sugar as it simmered and reduced. Plus I added more berries after it simmered and cooled.
Generally, fruit sauces are made by cooking sugar and water, which is the same as making a simple syrup and then adding fruit and possibly other flavors to make a sauce.
But, I wanted something more interesting and complex in flavor. This is why I chose to use red wine instead of water for the sauce and I decided to reduce the sauce to concentrate the flavor of the red wine and the berries. Those two simple changes take this sauce from good to Wow!
So, are you ready to make the best dessert sauce ever? Great! Let's Cook!!
Just 4 ingredients make this dessert sauce:
Red Wine - Choose a red wine you would like to drink that is fruit-forward with flavors of red and blackberries. Good choices are Malbec, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Bordeaux Blends, and Claret.
White Granulated Sugar - Just plain white sugar is used in this recipe. Please do not substitute.
Fresh Raspberries - Fully ripe raspberries that are bright red are best.
Fresh Blackberries - Choose blackberries that are bright deep purple and plump.
Now let's look at the simple steps to make this decadent berry dessert sauce:
Step 1 – In a medium saucepan, mix together red wine and granulated white sugar and bring to a boil over medium heat stirring constantly. Reduce heat to a low simmer and add ½ of the blackberries and ½ of the raspberries. Allow the sauce to simmer for approximately 30 minutes to thicken and reduce the sauce.
Step 2 - Midway through the simmering time, use a potato masher to crush the berries in the sauce.
Step 3 - Skim foam as needed as the wine and berry sauce simmers.
Step 4 – The sauce is ready when it is slightly thickened and coats the back of a spoon.
The sauce is now ready to be cooled and transferred to a bowl and refrigerated.
Just before my guests arrived, I took the sauce out of the refrigerator and I added even more fresh berries to the sauce. As we ate dinner the sauce warmed to room temperature and the freshly added berries became bathed in that luscious reduced red wine and berry sauce.
My guests were wowed. They had seconds… then asked if there was any more of the berry sauce to take home. That is when I knew this red wine dessert sauce was a hit!
My Top Tips
Use a Good Red Wine - Please do not use a "cooking wine". Use a wine that you enjoy drinking for this recipe. A fruit-forward red wine such as Malbec, Merlot, Bordeaux Blends, and Claret are excellent choices. Also, do not use a sweet wine or the sauce will be too sweet and cloying.
Get the Very Best Flavor & Visual Appeal - If you do not need to use all of the sauce at once, portion out the amount of sauce you need and add fresh berries to that portion.
This Sauce is More than an Ice Cream Topping! - You can also serve this berry sauce over cakes like pound cake, coconut cake, angel food cake, puddings like white chocolate and vanilla, and also over plain cheesecake and baked brie cheese.
Use Frozen Berries - If fresh berries are not available, use frozen. Add the frozen berries to the wine and sugar as it comes to a simmer. Then use more thawed frozen berries in the final step to have the fresh, whole berry look and taste.
Use Different Berries - Boysenberries, marionberries, and blueberries all will make a delicious sauce too.
I am not kidding. This red wine dessert sauce is so good you will want to lick the bowl!
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Red Wine Sauce with Berries
- 1 Cup Red Wine
- 1 Cup White Granulated Sugar
- 12 oz. Fresh Blackberries, Divided
- 12 oz. Fresh Raspberries, Divided
- In a medium saucepan mix together red wine and sugar. Bring the red wine and sugar to a boil over medium heat stirring occasionally. Reduce heat to a low simmer and add ½ of the blackberries and ½ of the raspberries. Set aside the remaining berries for later.1 Cup Red Wine, 1 Cup White Granulated Sugar, 12 oz. Fresh Blackberries, 12 oz. Fresh Raspberries
- Allow the sauce to simmer and reduce for approximately 30 minutes. Midway through the simmering time, use a potato masher to crush the berries in the sauce.
- Skim the foam as needed as sauce simmers.
- The sauce is ready, when it is slightly thickened and coats the back of a spoon.
- Remove the sauce from the heat and allow it to cool to room temperature. Transfer it to a glass bowl or container and refrigerate it until you are close serving time.
- Remove it from the refrigerator and add the remaining berries. Stir very gently to combine and allow the sauce to come to room temperature before serving.
- This sauce will keep in the refrigerator in a covered container for 1 week.
Encharted Cook Notes
Nutrition Per Serving
All nutritional information on this site is an estimate. Your results may vary.