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A bowl of cranberry sauce on a stone slate, surrounded by a few fresh cranberries, and a spoon of sauce.
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5 from 2 votes

Spiced Cabernet Cranberry Sauce

This cranberry sauce is an absolutely perfect complement for Thanksgiving turkey or Christmas goose! It’s bright, complex, so simple to prepare and such an elegant alternative to jiggly, canned cranberry sauce.
Prep Time3 mins
Cook Time13 mins
Total Time16 mins
Course: Garnish
Cuisine: International
Servings: 6 servings
Calories: 104kcal


  • measuring cup
  • sauce pan
  • 3”x3” square of cheesecloth or tea egg
  • bakers string


  • 6 oz. cranberries - fresh or frozen
  • 2 oz. Cabernet wine
  • 2 oz. orange juice
  • 1 tsp. lemon juice
  • 4 oz. white granulated sugar
  • zest from 1 small orange
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 tsp. cloves
  • nutmeg - just a pinch


  • Use a little cheese cloth to make a tiny bundle of 1 tsp. of cloves, and tie it with a string. You can also use a tea egg if you don’t have cheese cloth.
  • In a sauce pan, add 2 oz. Cabernet wine, 2 oz. orange juice, 1 tsp. fresh lemon juice, 4 oz. white granulated sugar, zest from one small orange (about a teaspoon), 2 cinnamon sticks, a pinch of nutmeg and the bundle of cloves. Bring to a simmer over MEDIUM heat. About 3 minutes.
  • Add 6 oz. cranberries (fresh or frozen) and allow to simmer for 10 minutes on LOW, stirring occasionally. 
  • Remove from heat and pour everything, including cinnamon sticks and clove bundle, into a bowl or container to refrigerate for 1 hour. Don’t worry if it appears a little runny. It will congeal as it cools. Remove cinnamon sticks and cloves after 1 hour.


Cranberries pop while simmering, so watch out! They may not “explode” or burst in such a way that they’ll cause any harm, but they might splatter a little juice, so use a vented lid to safeguard your shirt.
Make this recipe with either frozen or fresh cranberries, just make sure they’re not too ripe. You want to be sure your cranberries are nice and firm, not soft and mushy before they go into the sauce pan. 
Keep sauce refrigerated for up to a week and a half, or freeze for up to 12 months. Thaw at room temperature when ready to serve.
Nutrition information is an estimate.


Serving: 1ounce | Calories: 104kcal | Carbohydrates: 25g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 4mg | Potassium: 61mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 21g | Vitamin A: 36IU | Vitamin C: 10mg | Calcium: 19mg | Iron: 1mg