Cranberry Sauce with Pinot Noir

Image and recipe from the New York Time's The United States of Thanksgiving
"Oregon Cranberry Sauce with Pinot Noir" recipe by Leah Nash for The New York Times

From coast to coast, across the United States, everyone will be sitting down on Nov. 27th to enjoy a warm and hardy Thanksgiving meal. To the common tongue, that “meal” might be known as supper, dinner, din-din, or chow but however you call it, we’re all noshing the same.  A golden brown turkey, a savory pepper gravy, a creamy potato mash, and a pungently fresh cranberry sauce will be highlights on every plate.

Each year, I look forward to the fresh antioxidant-rich cranberry sauce. It cuts through the weight of the gravy and adds a kick to the smokey ham and buttery biscuits. Cranberry sauce recipes vary greatly from family to family – some are canned, some are fresh, some are peppered, and some are... wined?  This Oregon Cranberry Sauce with Pinot Noir is made with red wine, cloves, orange juice, peppercorns, and (of course) honey!  Robust, bright, and juicy – this sauce will prove to be everyone’s favorite side dish this year.

20 minutes, plus cooling 2 1/2 cups


  • 10 whole allspice berries
  • 10 whole cloves
  • 10 whole black peppercorns
  • 4 cups fresh or thawed frozen cranberries
  • 1 ½ cups Oregon pinot noir
  • 1 cup light brown sugar, loosely packed
  • 1 cup clover or wildflower honey
  • 1 cup fresh orange juice
  • 6 strips orange zest, about 1 inch by 3 inches, removed with a vegetable peeler
  • 2 (4-inch) sprigs rosemary
  • 1 small cinnamon stick
  • 1 vanilla pod


  1. Combine allspice, cloves and peppercorns in a spice grinder or coffee grinder and pulse until finely ground.
  2. In a medium saucepan, combine cranberries, wine, brown sugar, honey, orange juice, orange zest, rosemary, cinnamon stick and ground spices.
  3. With the tip of a paring knife, split vanilla pod lengthwise. Use the back of the knife to scrape seeds from pod. Add seeds and pod to pot.
  4. Bring mixture to a boil, then reduce heat to a gentle simmer. Cook, stirring often, until cranberries have burst and liquid thickens slightly, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat and discard zest, rosemary sprigs, cinnamon stick and vanilla pod. Transfer mixture to a bowl and let cool.

This wonderful recipe (and article) "Oregon Cranberry Sauce with Pinot Noir" is by Leah Nash for The New York Times.  It is a wonderful read to learn more about the different Thanksgiving traditions from state to state! 

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