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Red Wine Tapioca Pudding (Wine Sagu)

Red Wine Tapioca Pudding (Wine Sagu)
Wine Sagu (Sagu de Vinho) is the name we give in Brazil to the Tapioca Pudding made with Tapioca Pearls and mulled wine.     It is very traditional in South of Brazil where there are many family wineries due to a more mild temperature and a large German and Italian population.  
For me, it’s another recipe that takes me back to my childhood.    I used to think it was very fancy just because I was allowed to have a tiny little taste of wine in the dessert.  
This recipe is adapted from my mother’s original recipe and the wine is boiled for a long time therefore when it is ready to be eaten most of the alcohol will be gone but if are concerned about it for parenting, health or religious reasons, you can replace the wine for a very good quality Grape Juice.  

The Tapioca Pearls take quite a while to cook and become transparent and cooking times may vary according to the quality of them so don’t be worried if after the cooking time described in the recipe it is still not good and you have to cook it for much longer.   Just relax, have a glass of the leftover wine and add more water to the pan.   
Keep in mind that when it cools down it thickens up a lot and if you think it got too thick you can always add a bit more water and bring it to boil to loosen it up or follow the tip given at the end of the recipe.

One last note, the success of your recipe will greatly depend on the quality of the ingredients – if the wine is not good enough for you to drink, is not good enough for you to cook!  Same thing for the grape juice. 

You can serve it warm or cold, topped with Vanilla Custard or Cream.

Red Wine Tapioca Pudding (Wine Sagu)

1 h40 min1h 40min6Easy

Author: Rachel Elich & Mum Jane       
Rate the Recipe:

    • 1 Cup Tapioca Pearls
    • 400ml Red Wine (Pinot Noir or Shiraz)
    • 400ml Grape Juice
    • 400ml Water
    • 1 Tablespoon cloves
    • 1 Cinnamon Stick
    • 1  1/2 Cup Sugar (or vegan sugar alternative)
    • Water to soak the Tapioca
      1. Put the Tapioca in a bowl and cover it with water.   Leave it soaking for one hour.
      2. In a saucepan bring the wine to boil with the cinnamon and cloves.   Remove it from the heat and leave it infusing for at least 30 min or while the Tapioca is soaking.
      3. Drain all the Tapioca water and wash well the pearls.
      4. Strain the Wine, discard the cloves and Cinnamon.
      5. In a Large Pan mix the mulled wine, the sugar, the grape juice, the water and the Tapioca Pearls
      6. Over high heat, bring it to boil and reduce the heat.   
      7. Let it simmer for about 40 minutes, until the Tapioca is transparent.   If necessary add a more water
      Alternatively, if you want the Sagu more loose, you can pre-cook the Tapioca only in water for about 15 minutes, until it starts getting transparent. Then follow the recipe normally from step 2 onwards.  
      WARNING: Contains alcohol


      1. I have crushed tapioca, it's not instant, but it's not whole pearls either. Do you know if I can use this without changing the recipe, or will it need to be adjusted in some way. Thanks, and thank you for sharing this recipe. I never thought about using wine to make tapioca, all I ever used was milk.

      2. Hi Debbie, I would not use crushed Tapioca for it, the consistence will not be the same and the beauty of the thing are the Pearls. You can find them easily in Asian shops. You can save the crushed Tapioca for other Tapioca recipes I will be posting – we brazilian eat so much Tapioca that is not even funny 🙂

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