Tart cherries and fruity Merlot combine to create a rich, vibrant sauce for this herb seasoned, roasted pork tenderloin.
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Cherry season is right around the corner I wanted to share a recipe that’s always a hit with dinner guests. Roasted pork tenderloin is always a classic for Sunday supper or entertaining but also easy enough to make for a date night during the week. The simple wine cherry sauce adds a touch of elegance to this herb roasted pork.
Much like pork and apples, pork and cherries is a winning combo. Add a nice big fruity wine and you’ve got a spectacular flavor profile!
Tips for Roasting Pork Tenderloin
In my book there are two keys achieving a perfectly roasted pork tenderloin:
- First, generously coat with a flavorful wet rub. The oil in a wet rub helps to seal in the juices and keep the pork from getting dry. The herbs or other flavors in the wet rub ensure a tasty result.
- Second, use a meat thermometer to check the temperature so you don’t overcook it. There is not much that’s worse than dry pork! You want to cook pork until it reaches an internal temperature of 145°F. Then you’ll let it rest for about 5 minutes before slicing.
Making the Cherry Wine Sauce
Big bold red wines are not normally my go-to for drinking however I love to cook with them. Merlot tends to be fruity, often having plum and cherry flavors, making it a little on the sweeter side. That’s what makes it ideal for this sauce.
Start by picking your favorite Merlot or if you’re not much of a Merlot drinking ask your local wine shop for a recommendation. This is a good excuse to experiment with a new wine.
Since the sauce has no added sugar or other heavy ingredients the sauce ingredients the cherries and wine really shine, giving you a sweet and slightly tart result.
What goes with this Dish?
If you want to keep it simple a nice green salad works well with this dish. My current favorite is chopped kale with some crumbled goat cheese, dried cranberries or cherries, a handful of toasted nuts and a nice lemon vinaigrette.
things you may want for this recipe
Instant Read Meat Thermometer – Technically this thermometer is meant for grilling but I also use it when I oven roast meats. I like the long handle and the easy to read display. It also doubles as a carving fork!
Duckhorn Merlot – If you want to splurge a bit and try a new Merlot this one from Duckhorn Vineyards is one of my personal favorites. But don’t worry there are many other great choices for Merlot in the $20 – 25 range as well!
Pork Tenderloin with Merlot Cherry Sauce
- 1 ¼ pounds pork tenderloin, trimmed
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 2 teaspoons fresh chopped rosemary
- 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
- ½ teaspoon dried sage
- ½ teaspoon dried thyme
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 cup frozen tart cherries
- 1 cup Merlot or other fruity red wine
- Preheat the oven to 400°F. Line a jelly roll pan with parchment paper or a silicone mat. Place the trimmed pork tenderloin on the pan.
- In a small bowl mix the olive oil, garlic, mustard, thyme, sage, salt and pepper. Spread the mixture evenly on the pork tenderloin. I typically only coat three sides, leaving the side on the pan without it.
- Let the tenderloin sit for about 15 minutes while it comes to room temperature.
- Roast the tenderloin for 20 - 25 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 145°F. Remove from oven and let rest for 5-10 minutes.
- While the tenderloin is roasting add the cherries and wine to a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce temperature and simmer until wine is reduced by half and cherries are softened, about 10-15 minutes.
- Slice the tenderloin and top with cherry sauce. Serve and enjoy!