Red wine and balsamic vinegar reduction

When I was in Puglia a few years ago, overindulging on a delicious Italian meal, I had something like this recipe drizzled over a plate of local Italian cheeses and grilled vegetables and I have never forgotten about it. My husband and I had just spent the day with our new Italian friends sipping on wine and preparing a beautiful meal of various Italian dishes and desserts we had never tried before. When we finally sat down at the table to enjoy the fruits of our labor this little addition was ready and waiting for us. I had no idea that it was going to be a part of the meal that day but in the end it stole the show and I have wanted to re-create it ever since. I have wanted to see if it was as delicious as I remember or if it was just that pretty much nothing could have been bad that day. As it turns out, it is amazing…and easy. And now that I have had it again I will be making it a staple in my pantry from now on so that I can transport myself back to that oh so perfect meal…that day….and to that oh so perfect Italy (overindulgence not included.)

This recipe can be made ahead of time, which is one of the many things I love about it, and left ready and waiting in your fridge. I have included a few of my favorite ideas below…just to start the creativity flowing but there are so many dishes this could finish off or enhance. If you would like to try it the way I first had it, you can simply drizzle it over some cheeses and grilled vegetables. It is so delicious and addictive though that I think you will find yourself drizzling it on just about everything shortly.

I made this recipe using Primitivo wine from Puglia because that is what the original recipe used…and because I love it…and because I love it…and because I love it! Primitivo is easier to get your hands on now days but if you can’t find it, a Zinfindel could be used. These 2 wines are both clones from the same grape so they are very similar.

So….make this recipe….have fun with it… and remember that it definitely goes good with wine :)

~ Recipe ~

  • 1/2 Cup primitivo wine

  • 1/2 Cup balsamic vinegar

  • 1 Tablespoon honey

  • 1 Tablespoon sugar


 1. Add all the ingredients together in a small saucepan. Heat on medium high, stirring until the sugar is disolved.

2. Bring to a boil and simmer until the liquid is reduced by approximately half, about 12-15 min. The liquid should have thickened slightly, enough to cover the back of a spoon lightly.

3. Transfer to a jar or glass container and let cool completely before using.

Can be stored in the fridge for 2-3 weeks

~ My dish ~

Grilled Vegetable and cheeses - Grill zucchini, bell pepper and any other veggie you would like with olive oil, salt and pepper. Choose a selection of cheeses. I chose chèvre, mozzarella and pecorino. One of the cheeses I first tried this with was burrata which is an amazing mozzarella cheese with a creamy center….it is to die for! Arrange everything together on a plate and drizzle with olive oil (I prefer more olive oil on the veggies and less on the cheeses) and the wine and vinegar reduction.

~ ideas ~

Bruschetta - Slice a baguette, drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper and brown in the oven. Chop fresh tomatoes. Add torn fresh basil, olive oil and salt and pepper to taste. Top the toasts with the tomato mixture and drizzle with wine and vinegar reduction.

Arugula Salad with strawberries, almonds and chèvre - Put together in a bowl, fresh arugula, sliced fresh strawberries, sliced toasted almonds and crumbled chèvre cheese. Drizzle with olive oil and wine and vinegar reduction. Salt and pepper if desired.

Caprese Salad - Slice fresh mozzarella and fresh tomatoes. Layer them together with basil leaves. Drizzle with olive oil and wine and vinegar reduction. Salt and pepper if desired.

Fruit and Cheese - Slice fresh peaches, pears and strawberries. Top with chèvre cheese. Drizzle with wine and vinegar reduction.


Buon appetito!