I wrote this sweet Italian red wine vinaigrette recipe to elevate the flavor of my loaded veggie hummus wraps, but honestly, it’s delicious on just about anything.
I find myself mostly most often reaching for my perfect balsamic vinaigrette or dressing my salads with a simple squeeze of lemon juice and glug of extra virgin olive oil, but it’s easy to get into a salad rut when you have the same things on repeat day after day.
Sweet Italian red wine vinaigrette is here to change things up!
It’s super simple to prepare, and you may already have all of the ingredients on hand.
Sweet Italian red wine vinaigrette ingredients:
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Can’t have a vinaigrette without good ‘ol EVOO. I like to buy mine on Thrive Market because of its high-quality and great price.
Red Wine Vinegar
You could use just about any vinegar here, but the mild tanginess of red wine vinegar is perfect. And if you’re curious, no, red wine vinegar does not have alcohol in it. It’s a great non-expensive ingredient to keep in your kitchen. I also buy mine on Thrive Market.
I don’t keep white sugar in the house and like to use honey here to add sweetness because it’s a natural sugar. Maple syrup would probably be too strong of a flavor. If you’re allergic to bees or honey or want this to be true vegan, then plain ol’ white sugar would be the closest flavor match (but try to keep your white sugar consumption in check for your health, k?).
If your honey is too thick or has crystalized, boil some water and pour it in a bowl, then let your honey container sit in the bowl for 5-10 minutes. That will loosen it up.
Some of you might ask, isn’t this a lot of honey/sugar in proportion to the other ingredients?! Well, this is a sweet Italian red wine vinaigrette recipe 😉 Also, the amount per serving is quite low, so feel free to just enjoy it.
I almost always prefer fresh herbs but this is a case where dried Italian seasoning works perfectly. I like to buy my dried herbs from The Savory Spice Shop (locations across the US or online), or Thrive Market. (This post is not sponsored, I just like them!) Dried Italian seasoning is typically a blend of mostly dried oregano & dried basil, with a little dried thyme & dried rosemary, and perhaps some dried marjoram.
I occasionally add a smashed garlic clove to this when I shake it up, but to be honest I usually leave it out unless I’m using it on a salad with chicken or roasted veggies because it can easily take over the entire flavor profile here.
To prevent that raw garlic taste that doesn’t go away for a few days, just remove the skin and smash a garlic clove open and let it sit in your vinaigrette for a few minutes. Discard it after a few minutes, or—if you really want a strong garlic flavor—let it marinate for a while.
Don’t forget the salt! Salt enhances the flavors of each individual ingredient. I use a finely ground sea salt (Real Salt) so it dissolves easily. Avoid traditional table salt as it contains anti-caking agents and has been stripped of minerals. Kosher salt can work, but the crystals are bigger and won’t dissolve as well.
I give you two methods below to whip up your sweet Italian red wine vinaigrette.
Shake: Shaking it all up in a mason jar is by far the easiest way. Professional chefs think that is cheating but for most of us regular folks who are just trying to get a meal on the table, it works great. Just shake it up before use again as it will separate.
Whisk: Alternatively, you can make a proper emulsion with a whisk. Either way, this dressing is great.
Sweet Italian red wine vinaigrette elevates the flavor of just about any salad, and it’s also perfect on a sandwich (or loaded veggie hummus wraps), or even drizzled on roasted veggies. If you love it, please leave a star rating in the comments below to help other readers in our community.
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons honey
1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
1 clove garlic, smashed open (optional)
1 teaspoon sea salt
Shake (The easy way, but it will separate):
Shake it all up in a mason jar. Remove the garlic clove (or leave it in to continue to make the flavor stronger, if desired.) Shake again right before using it. Keeps covered in the fridge for about a week.
Whisk Method (Traditional emulsion method that prevents separating):
Whisk the red wine vinegar, honey, Italian seasoning, and sea salt in the bottom of a medium mixing bowl. (If using the garlic clove, smash it open and let it sit in the vinegar mixture for 5 minutes then discard.) Slowly drizzle in the extra virgin olive oil while you continue to whisk continuously to create an emulsion. Store in an airtight glass container in the fridge up to a week.
Here are the proportions for a small batch for one big salad, a few small salads, or to dress a few wraps (make this if you’re not sure if you’ll use the larger batch withing a week):
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar, 1 tablespoon honey, 1/2 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning, 1 small garlic clove, smashed open (optional), 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
Keywords: Italian red wine vinaigrette, Italian vinaigrette, red wine vinaigrette recipe