1st prepare the sauce: In a small sauce pan, combine the wine, vinegar, shallots, peppercorns and thyme sprigs. Scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean and add to the pan with the bean. Turn the heat to medium high and reduce the contents until the pan is nearly dry.
Add the heavy cream and cook until slightly reduced and the sauce coats the back of a spoon. Remove the pan from the heat. Whisk the butter into the sauce a piece at a time. Add the basil and let rest 10 minutes. Strain the sauce through a fine sieve. Season with a bit of salt. Use right away or hold in a warm bath. Serve with fish or steak. Makes 1/2 Cup