I have tried to make red wine sauce using this recipe, but it didn't end up so well.

One problem was this step:

Bring to a boil and let boil boil over high heat until mixture is reduced to a thin layer in bottom of saucepan.

How much is a "thin layer"?

Ideally, I would like to see a movie of how it should be done, but YouTube doesn't have such.

Does anyone know a recipe that is explained more in detail?

  • 1
    "Didn't end up so well" how exactly?
    – Aaronut
    Commented Aug 20, 2011 at 20:38
  • @Aaronut : It was too thin. When I order red wine sauce at a restaurant, it tastes so good, that it can be eaten alone =) Mine didn't have that nuances flavour. So I am a bit lost on how to improve. Commented Aug 20, 2011 at 20:58
  • 1
    What quality of wine are you using? It may be that the fancy restaurant wine sauces are being made from a higher quality wine, or maybe a wine with a more substantial body. Just a thought.
    – Katey HW
    Commented Aug 21, 2011 at 7:09
  • @Katey Ψ : I used just the cheapest I could find =) Tomorrow will I try to use a cheap one again, but this time with a strong flavour. Commented Aug 21, 2011 at 20:30

2 Answers 2


If the problem you're having is that it is too watery (I assume that's what you mean by "too thin"), there might be two causes:

  1. The recipe you linked to calls for a sizable amount of stock/broth, relative to the wine. It might be assuming that you have something closer to homemade stock, which has a high concentration of gelatin, as opposed to store-brought "broth", which is more like meat-flavoured juice.

  2. You might not have reduced it enough. A "thin layer" could mean anything, but it's not thickness you're concerned about, it's viscosity. When the sauce has been reduced enough, it should have the consistency of... sauce. As in thick, sticky, and slow-moving. If it still looks and pours like water, it's not reduced enough.

On the subject of taste, there's also the question of which wine you use. The wine sauce is going to taste like the wine (stronger, actually), which is one of the reasons why chefs will tell you not to cook with any wine that you wouldn't drink.

It's pretty easy to make a reduction - just continue to let water boil off until it turns into the consistency you want. If you overdo it, you can always add a little extra wine to compensate.

As noted in the comment clarification - if you're simmering at a reasonable temperature, expect to wait at least an hour, and for no less than half the water to evaporate.

  • When I boil the red wine to reduce it. How should this substance be? Very thick, thick, same a final sauce, thin, very thin? Commented Aug 20, 2011 at 21:47
  • 2
    @Sandra: The butter may help to thicken it very slightly as it cools, but those sauces you've had in restaurants? That's about the consistency you should be expecting. You may have to simmer for a fairly long time; if you've been waiting any less than an hour then you probably haven't waited long enough. You should lose at least half the volume.
    – Aaronut
    Commented Aug 20, 2011 at 21:55

Your recipe seems to have left out the flour to coat the butter.

Beurre manié is a paste made from flour and softened butter

Toss your butter cubes in flour first and you will get a velvety sauce.

  • 2
    No, this is changing the recipe. The recipe is for a liaison sauce, which is made with butter only. Using beurre manié is a different technique entirely.
    – rumtscho
    Commented Oct 27, 2013 at 10:09

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