No one will be able to detect the red wine in the recipe. It just adds this wonderful fruitiness and a very deep flavor. The peppercorns may sound odd, but they add a wonderful spiciness that is complemented by the cinnamon. If you are skeptical abotu using them, you can leave them out. This is my first year to cook Christmas dinner and this is the cranberry sauce recipe I plan to use! It beats all the others I've made in the past.