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I was looking for some ways to use up some older wine and red wine butter came up as a possible use. I see that it is supposedly pretty tasty on many meat-based dishes; how does the wine change the butter so as to make it a more attractive alternative than just using butter or oil?

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well you're adding wine flavor to butter, if that taste is more attractive to you than butter or oil, you've answered your own question. –  boxed-dinners Jan 4 '11 at 13:43

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The main point, IMHO, is to make an easy to use and flavorful compound butter. It can be put on top of grilled meats, tossed in with a sautee of meat/veggies/pasta, etc.

I would finely mince some onion or shallot and garlic. Lightly sweat them, then add wine and reduce. Add some fresh herbs and the butter and melt to combine. I then cool this until lightly set, then roll it in a tube in some plastic wrap and freeze it. It can then be sliced off, like tubed cookie dough, and placed on top of grilled/baked meats, etc...

The wine and herbs add a rich, deep flavor that can be used in a variety of ways.

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