Once you try this Homemade Cranberry Sauce with Zinfandel, you’ll never buy canned cranberry sauce again! Fresh cranberries made in a white zinfandel reduction with warm spices like clove and cinnamon is the perfect holiday side dish!
Honestly, I have never been a cranberry sauce kind of girl. There was always just something super freaky about that ribbed, gelatinous blob that came out of a can.
Until recently, it never really dawned on me that cranberry sauce could be homemade. For the past few years, my husband’s friend would always rant and rave over his homemade cranberry sauce recipe that he adapted from Epicurious.
According to him, it was one of those recipes that everyone designated to him, and could not live without during the holidays. I was sold on making it myself when the opportunity to enjoy some filet mignon roast came about. I had most of the spices needed in my pantry and just needed the fresh cranberries and Zinfandel wine.
How to Make Homemade Cranberry Sauce
This homemade cranberry sauce recipe might look intimidating, but it’s actually pretty easy.
The reason why this recipe is so delicious is the combination of quality ingredients. Fresh cranberries are essential. You need to use fresh berries, in order for the finished sauce to be that beautiful vibrant red color.
Red Zinfandel wine along with whole cloves, cinnamon sticks, and orange peel kick the flavors up several notches.
I usually make a double batch of Homemade Cranberry Sauce because my family of five love it that much. If you’re making this as a side dish for one of the big holiday dinners, you should also double the recipe.
We feature this cranberry sauce in our Thanksgiving Leftovers Casserole, so be sure to check that out!
- 1 bag of Ocean Spray Fresh Cranberries
- 1 3/4 cups red Zinfandel wine
- 1 cup white sugar
- 1 cup light brown sugar
- 6 whole cloves
- 2 full cinnamon sticks
- 1/4 teaspoon all spice
- half of a small orange peel
With the exception of the cranberries, all all the ingredients to a medium sized saucepan. Stir carefully over medium/high heat until all the sugars are dissolved.
Reduce heat and simmer for about 15 minutes until the sauce base is reduced to about 1 3/4 cups.
Place a strainer over a large pan and strain liquid into the pan. Since there are whole cloves, sticks, and such make sure the strainer is fine mesh.
Add your bag of cranberries to the stock pot of liquid and cook for about 10 minutes. Berries will be split and a little mushy.
Cool sauce, and transfer to a bowl and place it in the fridge to chill.
Honestly, when I was making this recipe I chuckled to myself because it smelled and looked like I was burning potpourri. The fragrance was amazing, but the final product was out of this world superb! I hope your family enjoys this Homemade Spiced Cranberry Sauce with Zinfandel recipe.
Here’s the Recipe
Homemade Cranberry Sauce with Zinfandel
- 12 oz cranberries fresh, whole berries
- 1 3/4 cup red Zinfandel wine
- 1 cup white sugar
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 6 cloves whole
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 1/4 tsp all spice
- 1/2 peel of orange
- With the exception of the cranberries, add all the ingredients into a medium saucepan.
- Stir carefully over medium/high heat until all the sugar is dissolved
- Reduce heat and simmer for about 15 minutes until the sauce base is reduced to about 1-3/4 cups.
- Place fine strainer over a large stock pot and strain liquid into the pot, leaving behind the whole cloves, cinnamon sticks, and orange peel.
- Add the fresh cranberries to the pot of liquid and cook on medium heat for about 10 minutes. The berrys will split and turn soft.
- Remove from heat and cool sauce to room temperature.
- Transfer to a bowl and chill inside refrigerator for a couple of hours or overnight.