Red wine vinaigrette is super easy to make, just measure and shake. Make it fresh for every salad, no preservatives needed!

Image of red wine vinaigrette in a small jar. A tossed salad and chopped vegetables are pictured in the background.

Tangy red wine vinaigrette, with good extra virgin olive oil and seasoned with chopped shallots is pretty much a perfect dressing. It tastes great on all kinds of salads: fresh greens and vegetables, pasta salads, grain bowls, you name it. 

I’ve been making my own salad dressings for years. Once in awhile, I pick up bottled dressing at the grocery store in a weak moment, use it once, and then it sits in the refrigerator until I finally toss it. It just doesn’t taste as good as homemade.

Often, I’m making a salad for one (that would be me!). I have a little Tupperware cup that holds about 1/4 cup max. I pour a little olive oil and red wine vinegar into the cup. I don’t measure, I just eyeball it. I add a pinch of sugar, whatever seasonings I’m in the mood for, maybe a dab of Dijon, salt and pepper. I cover the container, give the dressing a good shake and pour it on my salad. It’s as easy as that! Takes about 2 minutes. 

And it tastes so much better than store bought bottled dressing. Why? Well, there isn’t any need for preservatives because you’re making it and eating it right away. And it’s super fresh because you just made it! You know every ingredient in your dressing is wholesome and real. No artificial flavor or color.

I almost forgot! If you haven’t tried making your own croutons, please, please, please give these a try. You’ll never look back!

I can almost guarantee that you’ll be making your own dressing from now on, too, once you try this red wine vinaigrette. Make sure you take a look at the ideas for making it your own.

Image of homemade vinaigrette made with red wine vinegar. It's pale yellow in color and in a small glass bottle.

About this Red Wine Vinaigrette:

This is a basic recipe for red wine vinaigrette. I make it in a small jar with a tight fitting lid so I can shake it up. You can also use a small bowl and a whisk.

Tip: Add finely chopped shallots which are soaked in the red wine vinegar for 15 minutes to mellow them out a bit and soften them.

After the shallots have soaked, add the rest of the ingredients and shake/whisk. Ready to serve! 

Image of red wine vinaigrette in a small glass bottle, the dressing has separated to show the different components, shallots, red wine vinegar, and olive oil.

What is red wine vinaigrette made of?

Here’s the ingredient list:

  • red wine vinegar
  • shallots
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • sugar (optional)
  • salt and pepper

That’s it. I bet you have everything you need in your pantry right now. Enjoy your salad!

Image of sliced vegetables for a salad.

How to make this salad dressing your own:

When you make your own salad dressing, you have control over every ingredient. It’s a perfect way to tailor the dressing to your own tastes and needs. Here’s some suggestions but feel free to experiment. Enjoy serving your own “house made” vinaigrette. 

  • Prefer creamy dressings? Substitute 1/4 cup mayonnaise or Greek yogurt for 1/4 cup of the olive oil. Use a small whisk to completely emulsify the dressing. 
  • Looking for Italian dressing? Add dried oregano or Italian seasoning to the vinaigrette. Start with 1/2 teaspoon and add more to taste.
  • Make Greek dressing by adding the juice of one lemon, minced garlic, and oregano. You could also add fresh chopped basil or parsley.
  • Like spicy? Add 1/2 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes.
  • Don’t care for shallots or too busy to hassle with them? Just skip the first step, leaving the shallots out. The vinaigrette will be fine without them.
  • Like garlic? Add a teaspoon of minced fresh garlic, or 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder, or to taste.
  • Make this dressing keto and Whole 30 friendly by leaving out the sugar. Add dried herbs or garlic for extra flavor. 

Image of homemade vinaigrette made with red wine vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper.

Storage Tips

Since this dressing is so easy to make, I usually only make what I can use immediately. If you do have leftover vinaigrette, store it in the fridge in a small jar for a day or two, not longer, because of the chopped shallots.

If the oil in the dressing hardens in the fridge, just let it set out a half hour or so. Shake well.  It will return to its original state.

Dressing made without fresh shallots, herbs, or garlic will last a week in the refrigerator. 

Other salad dressing recipes:

Once you try this homemade red wine vinaigrette, you’ll be wanting to make all your own salad dressings. You can look at my complete list of dressings and toppings here. I’ve listed just a few of my favorites below:

 

Image of red wine vinaigrette in a small glass bottle, the dressing has separated to show the different components, shallots, red wine vinegar, and olive oil.

Red Wine Vinaigrette Recipe

Yield: 1 cup
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Additional Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes

Red wine vinaigrette is super easy to make, just measure and shake. Make it fresh for every salad, no preservatives needed!

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons finely diced shallot (1 medium)
  • ¼ cup red wine vinegar
  • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon coarse ground black pepper

Instructions

  1. In a small bowl or jar, combine shallots and vinegar and let set for 15 minutes. 
  2. Add olive oil, sugar, salt, pepper, and whisk or shake to combine. Adjust seasonings as needed.
  3. Store covered in fridge for 1-2 days, letting come to room temperature as needed before using (if oil solidifies).

Notes

  • Nutrition information is based on serving size of 2 tablespoons, for a side salad.
  • Prefer creamy dressings? Substitute 1/4 cup mayonnaise or Greek yogurt for 1/4 cup of the olive oil. Use small whisk to completely emulsify the dressing. 
  • Looking for Italian dressing? Add dried oregano or Italian seasoning to the vinaigrette. I would start with 1/2 teaspoon. 
  • Make Greek dressing by adding the juice of one lemon, minced garlic, and oregano. You could also add fresh chopped basil or parsley.
  • Like spicy? Add 1/2 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes.
  • Don't care for shallots or too busy to hassle with them? Just skip the first step, leaving the shallots out. The vinaigrette will be fine without them.
  • Like garlic? Add a teaspoon of minced fresh garlic, or 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder, or to taste.
  • Make this dressing keto and Whole 30 friendly by leaving out the sugar. Add dried herbs or garlic for extra flavor. 
  • Adapted from Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat by Samin Nosrat

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 125Total Fat: 14gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 11gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 133mgCarbohydrates: 1gFiber: 0gSugar: 1gProtein: 0g

RachelCooks.com sometimes provides nutritional information, but these figures should be considered estimates, as they are not calculated by a registered dietitian. Please consult a medical professional for any specific nutrition, diet, or allergy advice.

Did you make this recipe?

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Verdict: There is no dressing like a homemade dressing and I absolutely love this one. It goes with everything!
Husband’s take: Ben has no complaints! He loves when I whip up a homemade salad dressing.
Changes I would make: None are necessary, but feel free to get creative with some of the suggestions we mentioned!
Difficulty: Very easy!