1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 cups pinot noir wine*
1 sprig rosemary, plus 1 teaspoon finely chopped rosemary
1 tablespoon good-quality balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon butter
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
* The first and most important rule: Use only wines in your cooking that you would drink. Never, never use any wine that you would not drink! If your do not like the taste of a wine, you will not like the dish you choose to use it in. If necessary, you can substitute another type of red wine.
Cook sugar over medium-low heat in a heavy-bottomed nonstick saucepan. NOTE : I find that by maintaining a low heat, I have more control over the caramelizing process, as it is really easy to burn. Do not stir (shake the pan occasionally to redistribute sugar) until sugar liquefies and begins to turn brown, about 10 minutes.
Immediately remove the pan from the heat and slowly add the wine, stirring with a whisk until the caramelized sugar has dissolved; add the sprig of rosemary.
Return to high heat, cook, stirring occasionally, approximately 10 to 15 minutes or until the sauce becomes a syrup and reduces to approximately 1/2 cup.
When sauce is reduced, stir in balsamic vinegar and butter; turn heat to medium-low. Cook until butter melts. Season to taste with salt and pepper and remove rosemary sprig.
Storing: Pinot Noir Wine Sauce can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to three weeks or frozen for up to two months.
Reheating: To reheat: If stored in a microwave-safe container at room temperature, microwave it on high power for 1 minute, stirring twice. If cold, it will take a few seconds more.
Yields approximately 1 cup Pinot Noir Wine Syrup.