Spiced Red Wine Butter

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Makes ¾ cup , enough for



Appears in

The Mediterranean Kitchen

By Joyce Goldstein

Published 1998

  • About

This compound butter is imbued with the flavors that entered Italian cooking during the Renaissance when the spice trade was flourishing. It is excellent on baked, poached, or grilled fish, such as salmon, tuna, and halibut.


  • 1 cup plus 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 cup finely diced onion
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 cup full-bodied red wine, such as Côtes du Rhône or Zinfandel
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper


Melt 3 tablespoons butter in a medium sauté pan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until tender, about 10 minutes. Stir in the cinnamon and cloves and cook 1 minute longer. Add the red wine and cook over high heat until reduced by half and syrupy. Let cool.

Process the remaining 1 cup softened butter and the cooled wine mixture in a food processor until completely blended. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Roll the butter into a log in plastic wrap. Refrigerate or freeze. Cut 1-inch-thick slices from the log as you need it. Let warm to room temperature before using.