White wine sauce

White wine sauce
This classic white wine sauce is the perfect accompaniment for white meat, fish or seafood. The process is very simple, but as with all sauces, it requires patience and attention to do properly.
An often overlooked step when making a white wine sauce is selecting a decent wine. Though the wine need not be expensive, it is still important to use a wine that is palatable. For a white wine sauce, I would avoid using “cooking wines” as they tend to be of low quality and often lack the complex subtleties that make a white wine sauce enjoyable.
White wine sauce is often used to moisten and add flavour to chicken, fish, and vegetable dishes. It is also commonly used as a base for other sauces, such as beurre blanc and béarnaise sauce.
White wine sauce pairs well with a variety of foods, including seafood, chicken, and vegetables. It is often served with fish dishes, such as sole or cod, and with chicken dishes like chicken piccata.
In addition to complementing meals, white wine is also a fantastic base for making other sauces that bring out rich, subtle flavours; and we have an excellent article about the mother sauces which goes into more detail.
White wine sauce can be made ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator for several days. It should be reheated gently on the stovetop or in the microwave to avoid separating.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Side Dish
Cuisine French
Servings 4


  • 300 ml white wine
  • 250 ml fresh double/heavy cream
  • 2 tbsp plain flour (optional)
  • 2 shallots (diced)
  • 1 tbsp dijon mustard
  • 25 g butter
  • 1 tbsp fresh thyme
  • squeeze of lemon juice


  • Melt the butter in a pan, and gently fry the shallots and thyme for a few minutes or until the onion is soft but not coloured.
  • Add the wine, bring to the boil and boil the mixture for 10 minutes or until the liquid has reduced by half. Stir in the cream and mustard and warm through thoroughly. If you want to thicken the sauce further, you can add one or two tablespoons of plain flour and mix it through the sauce.
  • Add a squeeze of lemon juice and some salt and black pepper to taste.
  • Strain into a jug and serve.
In ancient Greece, a dinner host would take the first sip of wine to assure guests the wine was not poisoned, hence the phrase “drinking to one’s health.”