There’s something irresistible about chocolate and wine together, which is why I tried my hand at yet another experimental recipe this week, following the success of last week’s red wine brownies. The post offered two key learnings: 1) adding red wine to dessert gives it an extra layer of flavor and complexity and 2) people like boozy food, especially in the winter. What can I say? The masses have spoken: peeps like their chocolate and wine – together, apparently.
Believe me when I say this is the time for a warm, wintery drink. (Don’t believe me? Ask any out of towner who came for Super Bowl.) I was in for the shock of my life last week upon my return to Minneapolis. It. Was. Cold. Honestly, I hit the coldest week of the year jackpot, and I’m pretty sure my body was nearing a hypothermic state, even with the three long-sleeved shirts, fleece lined leggings and the blanket cape I wore around the house. (If you could’ve been a fly on the wall, right?!) I marched my winter wizardry into the kitchen and scoured the pantry for something warm. No tea, no coffee…no dice. But, I did have a bottle of wine on hand that I picked up the day or two prior but never opened. (This is now two weeks in a row that I’ve had no groceries on hand but have managed to have a bottle of wine just when it’s been needed. Odd coincidence or subconscious genius?! You be the judge.)
So, in an effort to take my mind off the frigidness, I decided to see if a red wine hot chocolate could work. It did! It was rich (Umm….very rich. A little goes a long way.) but also warm and amazing for a cold night in with a movie. This recipe also lends itself to be a delightful after dinner dessert for a small crowd.
- 1 cup red wine (An $8-10 bottle will suffice for this recipe. See notes below.)
- 1 1/2 cup 2% milk
- 1/3 cup dark chocolate chunks (from a chocolate bar is fine. You can use milk chocolate if you prefer, in which case opt for a lighter red wine.)
- Toppings such as whipped cream, marshmallows or additional sugar to liking (optional)
- I wanted to move beyond standard varietals, so I chose an Argentinean red blend with chocolate flavor notes and a soft finish. Make sure your wine isn’t overly complex.
- Don’t know what wine to pair with this recipe? Stick to basics! If you are a sugar hound and want a sweeter version of this recipe, opt for a Pinot Noir. Otherwise, try a Cabernet Sauvignon for a more full-bodied version.
- Seriously, this recipe takes 5, maybe 10 minutes. There are no excuses not to try it.
- In a saucepan over medium-low heat, warm milk and chocolate chunks until chocolate is melted and you have a thick chocolate milk.
2. Add the wine and stir occasionally. Keep the mixture on the stove until the three ingredients are heated through.
3. Serve in 2-3 mugs or multiple smaller sippers for a larger audience. (In this case, I think less is more.)
4. Add toppings to your heart’s content. Enjoy your red wine hot chocolate!
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