Easy Red Wine Marinade for Steaks

Sliced medium-rare steak and asparagus spears on a plate

The Spruce Eats / Danielle Moore

Prep: 5 mins
Cook: 0 mins
Marinate Time: 4 hrs
Total: 4 hrs 5 mins
Servings: 3 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
1032 Calories
85g Fat
6g Carbs
45g Protein
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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.


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"I grilled the marinated sirloin strip steaks on a charcoal grill, and they were tender and flavorful. It's a super easy marinade to fix. Just start at least 4 hours before you plan to cook so the meat will have plenty of time to marinate. I used pinot noir for the red wine." —Diana Rattray

Easy Red Wine Marinade for Steaks Tester Image
A Note From Our Recipe Tester


  • 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.

    Ingredients for red wine meat marinade recipe gathered

    The Spruce Eats / Danielle Moore

  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.

    Marinade ingredients combined in a plastic zip lock bag placed in a bowl

    The Spruce Eats / Danielle Moore

  3. Add the steaks and seal the bag. Refrigerate for 4 to 6 hours, turning the bag several times to mix the marinade.

    Steaks and marinade in a closed plastic ziplock bag

    The Spruce Eats / Danielle Moore

  4. Prepare the steaks according to your preference and discard the rest of the marinade.

    Steaks with grill marks on a plate

    The Spruce Eats / Danielle Moore

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.