These are very basic wine sauces which can be served with pretty much anything. The kind of wine used is more a matter of personal taste than anything else; still, I recommmend using a dry wine in the white wine sauce (see Cooking With Wine).

Red Wine Sauce1

Serve with tuna (or other meaty fish), steak, or, if you're French, horsemeat.


Ideally, this is made in the same pan in which you've cooked the steak or whatever. If you're making the sauce on its own, it helps to add a few drops of olive oil or a little butter to the pan before starting.

  1. Saute the shallots on medium-high heat for 1 minute
  2. Add garlic, saute for 1 minute
  3. Add wine; boil rapidly until reduced to about 1/2 cup
  4. Stir in chopped herbs
  5. Add salt and pepper if desired

This makes enough sauce for 3 or 4 people.

White Wine Sauce

This sauce goes well with chicken or a white fish.


  • 6 tablespoons chopped shallots
  • 6 to 8 tablespoons white wine (the drier the better
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 stick butter2
  • 1/2 teaspoons rosemary (optional)
  1. Boil shallots, wine, and lemon juice until they're reduced to about 2 tablespoons. This should take about 4 or 5 minutes.
  2. Remove from heat; add rosemary. Add 1/8 stick butter, whisk until melted.
  3. Put pot over low heat, add butter in 1/8 piece increments, whisking until melted. Add salt and pepper if desired

This, too, makes enough sauce for 3 or 4 people.

1Adapted from Anne Willan, "Cooking with Wine." Harry N. Abrams, 2001.
2Yes, that is a lot of butter. If you choose to use less butter, don't boil the wine as long.