Homemade Red Wine Cranberry Sauce

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This homemade red wine cranberry sauce with orange zest and cinnamon has become a staple on the Thanksgiving table. It’s a fun and delicious twist on traditional cranberry sauce, and it’s a touch less sweet than classic cranberry sauce recipes, too.

Don’t be afraid to double it and make it ahead of time. It reheats nicely. The sauce can be made with frozen cranberries and start to finish can materialize in 20 minutes.


The Story …

My sister Lindsey LOVES cranberry sauce. And by LOVES I mean she enjoys a little turkey and stuffing with her cranberry sauce.

When I think of Thanksgiving, I think of Lindsey mounding cranberry sauce onto every food group on her plate.

And then I think of her finishing up her meal, dragging mom’s homemade bread across her plate, mopping up every last morsel of sauce.

And then I think of the days following Thanksgiving, when she would assemble cranberry sauce sandwiches — yep, just two slices of bread flanking as much sauce as their structure will allow.

And then I picture her sitting at the kitchen table, elbows bent as she holds her creation in front of her face, laughing as she bites into her favorite sandwich, giddy that this time of year has once again arrived.

  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup dry red wine or Port (an inexpensive Tawny Port)
  • 1/2 cinnamon stick (1 1/2 inches)
  • 1 package fresh or frozen cranberries (about 12 oz.)
  • 1 tablespoon slivered tangerine, clementine or orange zest, or more to taste

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