Red Wine Hot Chocolate Is Our New Must-Have Winter Drink

Can’t decide whether to curl up with a creamy, rich hot chocolate or a glass of Merlot? We’ve solved your problem.

Glass mug filled with red wine hot chocolate topped with cinnamon stick

Why venture outside when you can snuggle up indoors with a mug (or three) of the ultimate cold-weather indulgence: red wine hot chocolate.

You might be thinking, “No way.” I too was wary of this combination, even though, in theory, red wine and dark chocolate are a perfect pair. Still, the idea of pouring Shiraz into steaming hot chocolate left me feeling a little uneasy.

But after seeing this drink pop up online over the past few years, my curiosity got the better of me. Could this quirky holiday hybrid satisfy my cravings for seasonal mulled wine and rich, creamy hot chocolate — at the same time?  I did what any reasonable person would do and asked for expert help — I reached out to the Chatelaine kitchen team to bring this beverage to life.

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After studying various recipes, we got started by warming up some milk and whisking in cocoa powder, chunks of dark chocolate, about a teaspoon of cinnamon and a pinch of salt — basically, we made a classic hot chocolate. Go with your favourite recipe as a base, but we’d recommend using dark chocolate, since it’s red wine’s best friend. (If you’re feeling lazy and just want to get back on the couch, hot chocolate mix would be okay too.)

Once the hot chocolate was ready, we took it off the stove, poured in the red wine (we recommend a cup of wine per three cups of milk) and whisked the dark brown liquid until it was lump-free. We doled it out to Chatelaine staffers for a taste test. The response was unanimous: It was delicious.

While you could definitely taste the booze, the wine offered a subtle fruitiness and brightened up the otherwise rich and decadent drink. And just as red wine and hot chocolate go hand-in-hand, this beverage is the perfect partner for a Netflix marathon. (I’d recommend sipping it to deal with whatever the new season of Black Mirror has in store for us — season four is out on Dec. 29.) You also couldn’t go wrong serving it après ski (or après-shovelling).

The verdict? Red wine hot chocolate delivers cozy comfort balanced by an undercurrent of fruity, full flavours (without being too boozy), so start heating up a pot and say hello to your new favourite wintertime drink.

Skip the chocolate and go straight for the mulled wine