Friday, November 23, 2007

Cabernet Sauvignon Cranberry Sauce

I was looking for a different way to make cranberry sauce and after doing some searching I read a recommendation on following the recipe on the cranberry bag but replacing the water with Cabernet. I also like citrus zest in my sauce so I added some orange and grapefruit zest as well as a cinnamon stick which didn't end up diffusing as much as I had hoped. If you do plan on making this I recommend using a full bodied tannic wine like Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, or Barolo. Other reds like merlots or pinot noirs are too delicate and light to stand up against the strong tart flavor of the cranberry. The sauce ends up tasting a bit grapey and musty with a slight tannic finish. Oh, I also used a cheap $2 Charles Shaw as it's a pretty decent wine and I see it as wasteful as using a real good wine in cooking. I mean, if it's a wine you'll drink why not drink it: just use a really good quality wine to cook with. Price doesn't always correlate with quality; Charles Shaw is better than a lot of $10 wines so don't be hatin'.

Cabernet Sauvignon Cranberry Sauce
--yields about 2.5 cups
1 12-oz bag of cranberries
1 cup of Cabernet Sauvignon or similar full bodied red wine
1 cup of granulated sugar
zest of one orange
zest of one grapefruit
1 cinnamon stick

Add all the ingredients to a non-reactive sauce pan. Bring to a boil over high heat and then reduce to a simmer and cook until cranberries pop; skim if necessary. If you prefer a thicker sauce as I do, continue cooking after all berries have popped and press berries against side of pan with a spoon. This produces a more jam-like sauce.

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