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Jun 20, 2007 11:10 AM

Red Wine Reduction Sauce

What is the best type of red wine to use for a reduction sauce to be used for beef tenderloin?

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  1. Any good red will suffice. Standard rule of thumb is don't use anything you wouldn't drink. If you are serving a red to drink with the beef using it for the sauce is never a bad idea. If you want a red with a peppery quality than a South African Cotes de Rhone wine would be great. If you're leaning toward a sweeter sauce than perhaps a well rounded Chilean merlot.

    1. A couple of months ago the NY Times had a great article on cooking with wine. The link is below but to read the whole article from the archive you must buy it.

      The gist was you do NOT need to buy great wine to cook with and that in fact it is pretty much a waste to spend a lot on a bottle to cook with. Back when Julia Child first taught us not to cook with a wine you wouldn't drink, "cooking wine" had salt added to of course you wouldn't want to drink or cook with that!

      Many complex wines lose all their complexity when they are cooked. So, buy a cheaper version of a wine you would drink with beef...or use the bottle already open and approaching (not past) it's last legs.

      1 Reply
      1. re: lrhr

        Good summary! Do you work in Abstracting & Indexing? As I recall the point of the article was that the nuances that make a good wine great are lost once you boil it for a while.

        Consider the wine you'll drink with the meal then pair it with the wine you'll cook with. Want fruit, then I like (cheap) Black Swan Shiraz. Want spice, then a Rhone style will be wonderful.

      2. Pinot Noir is my favorite. I wouldn't spend more than $10 or less than $5 on the bottle. Reduce two cups of the wine and then whisk in some high quality butter. There are different recipes but I always do it to the taste and consistency I want. Delicious.