My Pinterest feed has exploded with hot chocolate and red wine combinations. I’d never thought about combining the two before, but it makes perfect sense. Red wine and dark chocolate go together well.

I read the various recipes, got the gist of what should go in the drink, and came up with my own version. Usually, when I build a drink, I have to play around with the proportions and make several versions before I get it just right — but not this time! After tasting my first attempt, I needed to add a little more simple syrup to the pot, and I had a winner immediately.


  • 1/3 cup dry red wine (I used Bonterra Cabernet Sauvignon)
  • 1 1/2 tbsp organic, unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 4 tbsp simple syrup
  • pinch Kosher salt
  • 2/3 cup 1 percent organic milk (You can use any kind of milk you want. I have 1 percent on hand.)


  1. Combine red wine and cocoa powder in a heavy-bottomed pan over medium heat. Stir until well combined.
  2. Add simple syrup and kosher salt. Increase heat and bring to a boil while stirring.
  3. Reduce heat back to medium. Add milk, a little at a time, stirring constantly.
  4. Heat through, pour into a mug and serve.

My notes

  • I use simple syrup instead of sugar in my hot chocolate so it doesn’t get grainy. If you’re going to use straight sugar instead of simple syrup, reduce it to two tablespoons. If it’s not sweet enough, you can add some more, but start with two tablespoons.
  • It’s important to add the milk a little at a time and stir constantly. If you dump it in all at once, the milk could curdle.
  • If I were going to top this with whipped cream, I’d make fresh chocolate whipped cream.
  • I’m really curious what this would taste like with cinnamon simple syrup.

Robin Shreeves ( @rshreeves ) focuses on food from a family perspective from her home base in New Jersey.

How to make Red Wine Hot Chocolate
Two favorites that pair well together, red wine and dark chocolate, combine in this warm-you-up, make-you-happy drink.