Pinot Noir Cranberry-Cherry Sauce

Yield 1 quart

This is based on a recipe originally given to me by Roger Riccardi. We are always looking for unique ways to offer traditional dishes. As we all do, I’ve made some changes over the years, but the basic concept has remained true.

The cherries and vanilla add another dimension that is often missing in cranberry sauce. Plus the added depth of flavor you get from adding a good zinfandel, makes this a wonderful accompaniment for a Thanksgiving turkey. I also serve it with pork roast, and it is exceptional with wild boar.

For the best use after the holidays, puree some of the sauce, add it to your favorite ice cream base and make your own Cranberry-Cherry ice cream!

  • 1 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 each zest of orange, thinly sliced
  • 1 pound cranberries, fresh preferred
  • 1/2 stick vanilla bean, split in half
  • 2 each  cinnamon sticks
  • 1/2 cup  sun-dried cherries
  • 1 1/2 cups zinfandel
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup  orange juice, fresh squeezed


  1. Place the sugar and orange zest in a food processor and grind until it is very fine. Place the sugar mix and all ingredients EXCEPT the cranberries in a non-reactive medium sauce pan and turn the flame to medium-high. Boil until the volume is reduced to 1/2 of the original volume.
  2. Add the cranberries and simmer. Once the berries start to burst, let the pot simmer for another 5 minutes. Remove form the heat and using a whisk, break up the berries. Remove the vanilla bean and cinnamon sticks and let cool. Refrigerate over night.
  3. The next day, stir the cranberry sauce and check for flavor and the consistency.

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