Red Wine Hot Chocolate

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.

Red Wine Hot Chocolate Products


  • 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.


  1. In a saucepan over medium-low heat, warm milk and chocolate chunks until chocolate is melted and you have a thick chocolate milk.

Red Wine Hot Chocolate - in pan

Red Wine Hot Chocolate - Add milk

2. Add the wine and stir occasionally.  Keep the mixture on the stove until the three ingredients are heated through.

Red wine hot chocolate

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!

red wine hot chocolate final shot

Pairs Well With…

fireplace warm winter
snowman winter minnesota

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