Sweet Red Wine Vinaigrette – an easy homemade salad dressing that uses just a few common pantry items and takes only 5 minutes to make! We love to pair it with fresh greens and sweet seasonal fruits!

red wine vinegar dressing in a jar, with a salad in the background


Vinaigrette Salad Dressing with a Pinch of Paprika

When I recently shared my ridiculously crunchy candied pecans recipe with you, I spoke of a strawberry salad that our family is enamored with.

Well this is the dressing we use for the salad, a Sweet Red Wine Vinaigrette. It comes together easily with just a few ingredients, including a pinch of paprika that gives it a little extra something-something.

This recipe uses red wine vinegar, which pairs super well with the fresh green salads of summer – especially when they incorporate fruit. You just have to try it with that beautiful strawberry salad!

vinaigrette in a jar, by a lettuce and strawberry salad

Why Do I Make My Own Salad Dressing?

I realize that some people think I go overboard in making my own salad dressings. While there are a few store-bought dressings in our fridge, I just plain believe that homemade dressings taste better!

Besides this red wine vinaigrette, here are a few more of my family’s favorite ways to dress a fresh salad:

olive oil, garlic cloves, sugar, red wine vinegar, salt, pepper, and paprika

Salad Dressing Ingredients

This sweet red wine vinaigrette is made from a small and very basic ingredients list. And it’s super easy to make! Just grab these items:

  • olive oil
  • red wine vinegar
  • sugar
  • fresh garlic
  • paprika
  • kosher salt
  • black pepper

What is Paprika?

Paprika is a ground spice made from the dried red fruits of a variety of peppers. Paprika has a deep orangish-red color and a rich flavor that can range from mild to hot.

I consider paprika a spice rack staple, and always have a few varieties on hand – sweet, hot, and smoked. I love them all!

This beautiful spice packs a flavor punch, wonderful in spice rubs, soups, and stews. And a sprinkling of paprika is the most excellent way to finish deviled eggs – so pretty and flavorful!

Some of my favorite recipes that incorporate paprika are my Slow Cooker Hungarian Goulash (LOTS of paprika in this recipe!), this wonderful Crab Bisque, and one of my most-loved recipes EVER: Margarita Grilled Shrimp!

jar of salad dressing and an immersion blender on a pan

How to Make Vinaigrette

This recipe includes the easiest directions!

Simply place all the ingredients in a jar or small bowl with tall sides, and then blitz it a few times with an immersion blender to bring it altogether. That’s it!

If you don’t have an immersion blender, no worries. Just cover the jar with a tight-fitting lid and shake vigorously to combine.

How to Store Vinaigrette

Keep this vinaigrette in the refrigerator, in a container with a tight-fitting lid. It will stay good for up to two weeks.

Before using, remove dressing from fridge about 30 minutes prior to eating. The olive oil solidifies when cold, so you want to bring the dressing to room temperature. Then give the dressing a vigorous shake to incorporate, and you’re ready to go!

Variation Ideas

There are a number of ways I’d suggest for you to play around with this recipe:

  • Switch up the oil. Lately I’ve become a fan of avocado oil – have you tried it?
  • Swap out the sugar. Use honey. Or use half sugar and half honey.
  • Try different varieties of paprika. I tend to use a sweet or mild paprika for this dressing, but I know that a spicy or smoked one would also be AWESOME.
  • Add Dijon mustard. So many dressing recipes love a touch of Dijon! I’d recommend starting out with a small amount, adding more as you taste test.
  • Add dried herbs. Try a few shakes of oregano or an Italian blend.
  • Squeeze in some lemon. This will give fresh, bright flavor!
jar of dressing and a bowl of lettuce salad with strawberries

How to Use this Vinaigrette

Our absolute favorite way to use this vinaigrette is drizzled over a fresh strawberry salad sprinkled with candied pecans.

But the dressing is ultra versatile, great for so many fresh salads – especially when the salad has fresh berries, peaches, and/or other sweet fruits.

My breakfasts and lunches oftentimes consist of some kind of eggs – fried, scrambled, poached, or hard boiled. And I like to match up the eggs with a small salad of tender greens or arugula. This sweet red wine vinaigrette would be a beautiful way to dress the greens.

And if you haven’t yet tried my Grilled Vegetable Salad, you simply MUST. Every time I serve it, the salad gets rave reviews. I think this red wine vinaigrette would be a wonderful way to switch up the dressing!

fresh salad of lettuce and strawberries on a white plate, with a popover

You’re going to fall in love with this strawberry salad, I just know it!

lettuce and strawberry salad on a plate, with a popover

We like to pair it with homemade popovers and the fluffiest whipped Cinnamon Honey Butter. Grab my regular Popovers recipe and/or my Sourdough Popovers recipe – they’re both WONDERFUL!

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jar of vinaigrette

Sweet Red Wine Vinaigrette

Yield: 10 servings
prep time: 5 minutes
total time: 5 minutes
An easy homemade salad dressing that uses just a few common pantry items and takes only 5 minutes to make! We love to pair it with fresh greens and any sweet seasonal fruits!
4.4 Stars (20 Reviews)


  • ½ c. olive oil
  • ½ c. red wine vinegar
  • c. sugar
  • 2 medium cloves garlic minced
  • ½ tsp. paprika
  • ½ tsp. kosher salt
  • ½ tsp. black pepper


  • Place all ingredients in a jar or small bowl with tall sides. With an immersion blender, blitz ingredients a few times to combine. If you don’t have an immersion blender, cover jar tightly with a lid and shake vigorously to combine.


From the recipe box of friend Leanne Dorff-Rogers. Originally from her sister-in-law, Lori Dorff – this recipe is shared in her honor. Lori passed away from breast cancer in 2016.

Nutrition Information:

Serving: 1 Calories: 151kcal Carbohydrates: 14g Fat: 11g Saturated Fat: 1g Polyunsaturated Fat: 9g Sodium: 118mg Sugar: 13g
Nutrition information is automatically calculated by Spoonacular. I am not a nutritionist and cannot guarantee accuracy. If your health depends on nutrition information, please calculate again with your own favorite calculator.
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jar of vinaigrette