Spicy Cranberry Sauce with Pinot Noir

Here is a delightful spin on a fall favorite – cranberry sauce. The cranberries are cooked in Pinot Noir and spiced with curry, ginger, fennel seeds, and other spices. Simply Recipes reader John Klem passed this Epicurious recipe on to me, which so sounded intriguing, we just had to try it. I reduced the sugar and the curry powder a bit and the cranberry sauce came out beautifully – sweet, but not too sweet, seeped in the flavor of a good Pinot Noir, and enlivened with a rich blend of spices. I highly recommend it if you would like to stretch a bit beyond the standard cranberry sauce.

Spicy Cranberry Sauce with Pinot Noir Recipe

  • Yield: Makes 2 1/2 cups.


  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 2 cups fresh or frozen cranberries (about 8 ounces)
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
  • 2 cups Pinot Noir or other dry red wine
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons chopped crystallized ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon curry powder
  • Large pinch of Chinese five-spice powder*

*How to make your own Chinese five-spice powder

Chinese five-spice powder Ingredients:
1 teaspoon peppercorns
4 star anise
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoon ground fennel seeds

In a dry skillet, roast peppercorns by shaking the pan over low to medium heat until the aroma of the peppercorns is released (about three minutes). Grind the roasted peppercorns and 4 star anise in a blender or pepper mill. Strain the blended seasonings. Mix in ground cloves, ground cinnamon, and ground fennel seeds. Grind the seasonings until very fine. Store in an airtight container.


1 Heat oil in large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add cranberries and fresh ginger; stir until cranberries begin to burst, 3-5 minutes.

2 Add wine and sugar; boil until mixture is reduced to 2 1/2 cups, about 15 minutes.

3 Add crystallized ginger, curry powder and five-spice powder.

Serve sauce cold or warm.

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Showing 4 of 19 Comments

  • jeannette

    That cranberry sauce sounds great! I make a very similar one with apples, onions and celery added and i add a spoonful of Patak’s Garam Masala curry paste. Delicious! As this weekend is the Canadian Thanksgiving, I added some leftover Reisling to my cranberry sauce since I didn’t have any Pinot Noir on hand. It just came off the stove and smells lovely. Thank you for the wine inspiration.

  • Rebecca.

    Wow. Thanks so much for making me a cranberry sauce hero. Both men at my table who dislike cranberry sauce had seconds!!

    Wonderful site. I absolutely love it. Thanks so much for offering such tremendous information.


  • Kristen

    Elise, this recipe was WONDERFUL. I served with a hazelnut crusted pork tenderloin and it was a PERFECT compliment. I can’t wait to make again!

  • Homesick Texan

    I like to make my cranberry sauce with roasted chile peppers and cilantro for a little kick.

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