Straight From the Cranberry Bog

Cranberries, blueberries and Cabernet wine are the Foundation for a beloved cranberry sauce. My family loves this sauce versus canned and as soon as I can get my hands on fresh cranberries, I’ll cook up a batch to enjoy throughout the fall and winter. 

Cranberry and Blueberry Cabernet Sauce

We love homemade cranberry sauce, cranberry breads and muffins or roasted with Brussels sprouts, butternut squash and pecans. Here's a riff on that recipe that includes bacon (a favorite ingredient). (

I first began making cranberry sauce many years ago. The first one I made as a raw sauce with grated oranges, spices and cranberries didn't go over well with anyone. The second one was a recipe right off the Ocean Spray cranberry bag and it sufficed for a number of years. About seven years ago, I started experimenting with combining cranberries and other berries--strawberries, blueberries and cherries, to be exact. And pineapple. I recalled a simply delicious cranberry sauce I'd enjoyed from a small store called June and Ho, a gourmet food and produce store in Rye Brook, New York. It had cranberries, walnuts and pineapple. Oh so good! I eagerly waited each November for this delectable sauce which I put on sandwiches, and mostly ate right out of the jar.

I tend to change up recipes depending upon what's available and my mood. Heres a yummy sauce that has loads of possibilities and is just in time for Thanksgiving. Add other berries, if you like. Here's a photo of my sister Susan checking out a spice store in 2019.


 Fresh spices are the key to this recipe. Refresh your pantry spice stash before you start holiday cooking.

Spiced Cranberry Sauce with Zinfandel


  • 1 bag (12 oz.) Fresh cranberries
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries
  • 1 ¾ c. Zinfandel (red)
  • 1 c. Sugar
  • 1 c. packed Golden brown sugar
  • 6 whole Cloves
  • 6 whole Allspice berries
  • 1 tsp. Nutmeg, ground
  • 2 Cassia cinnamon sticks
  • 1 3x1-inch. strip Orange peel OR
  • grated rind from one medium orange
  • 1/2 cup toasted walnuts or pecans (optional)
  • 1/2 cup crushed pineapple (optional)


  • 1. Combine all ingredients other than cranberries, blueberries, nuts and pineapple in medium saucepan. Bring to boil over medium-high heat, stirring until sugar dissolves.
  • 2. Reduce heat and simmer until reduced to 1 ¾ cups, about 10 minutes. Strain syrup through cheesecloth or fine sieve into large saucepan.
  • 3. Add cranberries, blueberries, nuts and pineapple to syrup and cook over medium heat until berries burst, about 6 minutes. Cool. Transfer sauce to medium bowl. Cover and refrigerate until cold.
  • 4. Can be made 1 week ahead. Keep refrigerated.

You could also stir 1/4 to 1/2 cup of this sauce into a homemade cranberry batter for bread or muffins. I’ve even made a cranberry ice cream soda with vanilla ice cream and seltzer—now that was good!

Check out the Spice for Life website for additional condiment recipes, and visit their store in the Van Aken District in Cleveland.

Need more ideas on sweet and savory cranberry recipes?

Check out Fresh Cranberry Recipes and Best Cranberry Recipes Beyond Thanksgiving


Pat Bennett is the founder and President of Pat's Granola, a Cleveland based food and lifestyle company. 

Hear Pat's story on Food Founders Podcast OR


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