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How to Make Wine Salt

Making Wine Salt - LivingHomegrown.com

I love wine salt and have been making it for years.

Basically, it is a simple season salt which combines a wine reduction with salt and herbs.

And…it is pure awesomeness!

It is delicious, simple to make and will last up to 6 months on your pantry shelf.

It also makes a very cool gift!

I made this particular wine salt recipe for Growing A Greener World TV a few years ago.

And we created a short video of how to make it for fun. (Click below to watch)

Video on Making Wine Salt.

Below, you will find the full recipe.

You can also listen to an audio version on how to make and use it here: Wine Salt Podcast.

Enjoy!

A few tips:

  • Always use a wine that you enjoy drinking. The finished wine salt is only as good as the wine you start with. If you don’t care for the wine, reducing it will only concentrate the flavors you do not like. Eeek!
  • You can skip adding the herbs if you wish.
  • You can also change out the thyme and lemon zest I use here for whatever strikes your fancy. Rosemary with cabernet is particularly nice. I also like to combine sage with Merlot. Be experimental!
  • Your finished salt will last at least 6 months in the jar. After that, the flavors start to dissipate and it is time to make a new batch.
  • When using wine salt, go easy…it is salt. You don’t want to over do it.

 How to Make Wine Salt - LivingHomegrown.com

Ingredients:

Click here for a printable version of the recipe

 

  • 1 bottle of wine (or about 2 cups if you pour yourself a glass of wine first)
  • 1 cup kosher salt
  • 1 tsp. lemon zest
  • 1 tsp. freshly chopped thyme leaves

 

1) Pour wine into a heavy-bottomed pan over medium heat. Start simmering until the entire contents are reduced down to just about 3 tablespoons. This takes about 20 minutes. Stir occasionally. You will know when it is done because it will suddenly turn syrupy. (Which means it thickens a bit and coats the back of a metal spoon.) Don’t go past that stage or it will burn!

2) Add the salt and whatever spices you like to use. (Citrus zest and savory herbs like rosemary, thyme, oregano, or sage all work well).

3) Stir well and spread the mixture onto a cookie sheet.

4) There are several ways to dry out the salt before storing, but the most important part is that you dry it completely without burning it. Use one of the following methods:

  • Oven: Dry slowly in a very low oven for 1-2 hours (the lowest setting your oven will go). Keep the door ajar if possible and check every 20 minutes or so. The wine salt can easily burn – so watch closely!
  • Dehydrator: A dehydrator is actually the easier way to go and you do not have to worry about burning it if you do it that way. Depending upon your setting, it will take several hours or overnight to dry completely.
  • Counter: You can also just set the pan on the counter to dry, stirring it every few hours. This is the slowest method and takse a day or so to dry completely.

5) Take out the salt and let it cool completely before pouring it into a tightly sealed container. Use within 6 months for best flavor.

6) Use the wine salt as you would any seasoning salt. Sprinkle it over foods before or after cooking.

Try it on:

  • Steaks and roasts
  • Stew
  • Roasted veggies
  • Root vegetables
  • Any grilled meat
  • Any savory dish that can use a splash of wine for flavor

But remember, it is a salt with very concentrated wine flavors. A little goes a long way!

So Tell Me…

Had you heard of wine salt before?

Are you going to try it?

Tell me in the comments!

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About the Author:

Theresa Loe is the founder of Living Homegrown® and the Canning Academy® and is the Co-Executive Producer & Canning Expert on the national PBS gardening series, Growing A Greener World®. Theresa homesteads on just 1/10th of an acre in Los Angeles with her husband, two teenage boys and several disorderly but totally adorable chickens. Learn more about Living Homegrown here and about the Canning Academy here.

17 Comments:

  • Martha Beattie says:

    Haven’t heard about wine salt before. How genius this is !
    Certainly want to try this. Thanks Teresa, you are so inspiring
    to me. I’m learning all the time .

  • Amy says:

    This sounds lovely for holiday gifts, and it would help me plan if I knew how much this makes. Any amount, in ounces, or if it fills a half pint jar, or something, would be helpful!

    • theresa says:

      Hi Amy,
      You end up with one cup of finished salt. The liquid is completely absorbed into the 1 cup of salt that you start with. And the herbs are not enough to make much of a difference in measurement. For my own use, I place mine in a 1/2 pint jar.

      But for gifts, I split among several decorative jars. (Each jar does not need to be filled to the top. A little goes a long way) So the best thing to do is find some tiny, decorative jars and split the 1 cup of salt among several of those. You can give each person 1/6 to 1/4 cup and you can get 4-6 gifts from one batch. (Depending upon the size of your decorative jar)

      Hope that helps!
      T

  • Manon says:

    Love this idea, thanks. Did you also try it with white wine? I think it would be lovely on grilled fish.

  • Rebecca says:

    I am amazed to know that there is such a thing called wine salt and hope to try making it. I have several questions: Do you have to use a red wine, do you need to use a drier type wine? I love sweeter wines so would they work with this recipe? Thanks for your advice.

  • Amy P. says:

    I am trying this today! Really been looking forward to giving it a shot ever since the podcast on wine salt came out. I had never heard of this food craft before.
    Wish me luck! Oh, and I love how your finished product looked in your Weck jar!

  • Lori P. says:

    I’m struggling with getting my salt to dry. I’ve left it on the counter for 2 days and it’s still not dry – it’s sticky. I put it in the oven on 170 (the lowest my oven will go) with the oven door open but only for about 20 minutes, then turned the oven off. It is still sticky. I’m afraid if I keep it in there, it’s going to turn into one big clump. I’ve also added some more salt as well, but I’m afraid I’ll lose the nice deep cranberry color if I add anymore. Any suggestions?

    • theresa says:

      Hmmm…Perhaps you had more liquid left than I usually have. So if that is the case, adding more salt would help a lot. Also make sure you have is spread pretty thin on the cookie sheet. Spreading it out more would also help it dry faster – so try putting half on a second cookie sheet and making sure it is spread out well. Then I would put both cookie sheets in the oven again (as you did before) and letting it sit after you turn the oven off. You may have to repeat that more than once. But do it just 20 min at a time so you don’t burn it. Now that it is spread thinner, one more time may do the trick. {fingers crossed}

  • Cathy says:

    I made this for the first time today and it made the house smell wonderful as well as making a beautiful finished product!

    I followed your recipe this time, but I have a couple of questions for next time:
    – can another salt be substituted for the kosher salt?
    – could this be done with fruit juice or another liquid and still be safe?
    – is there any chance you can add a photo of the back of the spoon at syrup stage? (The video is great, but I can’t quite see it).

    I got to what I *thought* was syrup stage, but when I swiped the back of the spoon with my finger, the line it made spread and got bigger, so I kept going. I did this twice more until I got to the point where I could get the finger line to just stay without running or getting much bigger. Is that the right point at which to add the salt?

    • Cathy says:

      Okay, new question:
      In drying the salt in the oven on the lowest temp, I had 1 batch that turned slightly off-color (from purple to tan-ish) after 10 mins in the oven. That must have been too long, the salt doesn’t smell burnt, just… done. Is it still edible without spoiling the flavor?

      • theresa says:

        Hey Cathy,
        Your salt should be fine. The color will change and that does not affect the flavor. It is bright purple when wet and can look dark or even purple/gray when dry. It depends upon the wine used. I think your salt is okay!

    • theresa says:

      Hi Cathy,
      Excellent suggestion for adding a photo of the syrup stage. I will have to do that. If you ever make this and are not quite at the syrup stage it would only mean that you have to dry it out longer in the oven or dehydrator. So it would not ruin it. {So that is good to know.}

      Let me see if I can answer your questions here:
      Yes, you could use another salt and it would still be safe. The issue would be if it is a fine grain salt, I worry that the salt would dissolve rather than stay whole as it does with large, grain Kosher salt. So I would try to stick with salts with large grains. You could certainly experiment with something finer. If you do and it works, let me know!

      Good question on the fruit juice and salt. Yes, it would be safe to use fruit juice because you are essentially dehydrating it. Plus you have the addition of salt which keeps the dangerous bacteria at bay. If you have a different liquid in mind, I would have answer that separately…not sure what other liquid you might want to try. But fruit juice is safe.

      I hope that helps!
      t

  • Anne says:

    My local bulk food store sells Kosher salt with fine grain, much like table salt, much less coarse than pretzel salt. Does Kosher salt in this recipe mean larger grains than table salt,i.e. coarse salt?

    • theresa says:

      The grain size in this recipe was larger. If you want to use a smaller grain for this recipe, it would be okay from a safety standpoint. But if the grain is super fine, you may have a problem with some it dissolving completely in the wine.

  • Heather says:

    How do you know if you burned it? I stopped drying mine because it was looking a little dark, I tasted it and it just tastes like salt.

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