Recipe: Red Wine Hot Chocolate

updated May 1, 2019
Red Wine Hot Chocolate
Jump to Recipe
We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing.
Post Image
(Image credit: Lauren Volo)

Put down the boozy eggnog and don’t even think about ordering another Pumpkin Spice Latte, because I have the most exciting winter drink for you to try right now. We wrote about red wine hot chocolate a couple months ago, after we saw it popping up on Pinterest, and instantly knew we needed to create a recipe for our readers. Red wine hot chocolate really is as simple and delicious as it sounds; it’s something to enjoy with friends after a wintery meal, or by yourself curled up on the couch on a snowy day.

Grab an inexpensive bottle of red at your local wine store tonight and make your boozy chocolate dreams come to life.

A Rich Dessert Cocktail for Cold Winter Nights

Spike our go-to recipe for hot chocolate with red wine and it suddenly becomes instantly richer and more luxurious. A fruity red wine like a Merlot or Zinfandel works best here, as it plays in harmony with the delicately bitter dark chocolate and caramel notes in brown sugar.

(Image credit: Lauren Volo)

The trick to making this warm drink a real star, though, is giving it an extra kick with cinnamon. Just a touch of the spice boosts the drink’s warming quality, adds intrigue, and rounds everything out.

This is the kind of drink that’s meant for quiet nights at home, but it’s also special enough to serve to your friends at the end of a cozy dinner party; it’ll warm up their bones so they can muster the strength to step back out into the cold.

(Image credit: Lauren Volo)

Red Wine Hot Chocolate

Serves 8

Nutritional Info


  • 5 ounces

    dark chocolate, finely chopped

  • 2 tablespoons

    unsweetened cocoa powder

  • 2 tablespoons

    packed brown sugar

  • 1/4 teaspoon

    ground cinnamon

  • 1 quart

    (4 cups) whole milk

  • Pinch of salt

  • 1 1/2 cups

    fruity red wine, such as Merlot, Shiraz, or Zinfandel

  • Cinnamon sticks and additional cocoa powder, for serving (optional)


  1. Whisk the chocolate, cocoa powder, sugar, and cinnamon together in a large saucepan. Add the milk and bring to a simmer over medium heat, whisking occasionally, until hot and smooth, about 5 minutes. Stir in the salt.

  2. Remove from the heat and add the wine. Divide among 8 small glasses or mugs, garnish with a cinnamon stick and a dusting of cocoa powder, if desired, and serve.