Easy Red Wine Marinade for Steaks

Easy Red Wine Marinade for Steaks
The Spruce
Prep: 5 mins
Cook: 0 mins
Marinate Time: 4 hrs
Total: 4 hrs 5 mins
Servings: 3 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
1032 Calories
85g Fat
6g Carbs
45g Protein
See Full Nutritional Guidelines Hide Full Nutritional Guidelines
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 3
Amount per serving
Calories 1032
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 85g 110%
Saturated Fat 20g 99%
Cholesterol 165mg 55%
Sodium 800mg 35%
Total Carbohydrate 6g 2%
Dietary Fiber 1g 2%
Total Sugars 1g
Protein 45g
Vitamin C 3mg 15%
Calcium 53mg 4%
Iron 4mg 21%
Potassium 693mg 15%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Red wine and steaks are a classic combination that comes together in this low-hassle marinade recipe that can be thrown together in just a few minutes. It's the perfect way to use that last bit of red wine that won't be good tomorrow.

The marinade itself is very simple, using just a little pepper, onion, and garlic for spice. The rosemary plays well with the red wine, giving the steak a slight floral hint while allowing the full flavor of the meat to shine.

You will need to marinate the steak for at least a few hours, so this is the perfect morning or early afternoon project. You'll have all day to look forward to your steak. It's a lovely entrée for a homemade meal that would be fantastic with sweet potatoes or grilled vegetables. Serve with a red wine similar to the one used in the marinade for a guaranteed quality pairing.


  • 1 cup red wine

  • 3/4 cup olive oil

  • 5 cloves garlic, minced

  • 2 tablespoons diced onion

  • 2 to 3 sprigs fresh rosemary

  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice

  • 1 teaspoon sea salt

  • 1 teaspoon pepper

  • 2 to 3 (6-ounce) steaks

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Red wine marinade ingredients
     The Spruce
  2. Combine the red wine, olive oil, garlic cloves, onion, rosemary, lemon juice, salt, and pepper in a bowl and then pour the mix into a large plastic zip-top bag.

    Red wine marinade in a bag
     The Spruce
  3. Add the steaks and seal the bag. Refrigerate for 4 to 6 hours, turning the bag several times to mix the marinade.

    Red wine marinade and steaks in a bag
     The Spruce
  4. Prepare the steaks according to your preference and discard the rest of the marinade.

    Red wine marinaded steak with potatoes
     The Spruce

How to Use

  • If you love a good grilled steak, be sure to brush up on a few grilling tips before starting out. Remember that the grill should be very hot, the grate oiled, and that it will only take a few minutes on each side to reach medium or medium-well.
  • Or cook your steak in a cast-iron skillet on the stove, using high heat to form a nice crust, and then finish it in the oven until perfectly cooked. Don't forget to let the steak rest for a few minutes to keep its juices intact.

What Kind of Red Wine Is Good for Marinating?

When using wine in a beef marinade, you want to use the same style of wine you'd serve with the cooked steak. A medium-bodied to robust dry red wine like a cabernet sauvignon, zinfandel, or merlot are all good choices. A red blend using cabernet and syrah is also a natural choice. While there's no need to break the bank when choosing a wine for your marinade, you should still use a red wine you'd be willing to drink. Look in the low-mid to mid-priced range.

What Does Marinating Meat in Wine Do?

Wine is acidic, so using it as an ingredient in a marinade helps to tenderize beef as well as add lots of flavor. Red wine is a natural flavor pairing with steak, making it a good choice for a marinade. It's important to keep the ratio of ingredients intact and to not over-marinate since the meat will eventually become mushy.