So we still have no snow. But it has gotten cold, down to the teens the last few days! This past Wednesday evening I was home alone, chilled to the bone, and a bit bored. I craved something sweet that would warm me up, like a good cup of tea with a shit ton of sugar, but I wanted something thick and rich to satisfy my craving.
I’d been seeing a lot of posts on Pinterest lately about mixing red wine into hot chocolate. That’d warm me up, and the wine would certainly help cure my boredom! Over the holidays, my mom had sent me home with two bottles of classy red wine – nicer than the $7 El Gato brand that agrees with my budget. So, I took my original hot chocolate recipe and finagled it to work with red wine!
I wanted to use dark chocolate for this wine-y hot chocolate to accent the deep richness of the wine. Although milk chocolate is my favorite, the wine that I chose to use had dark cherry and blackberry notes and I thought that the dark chocolate would bring those out best.
I started by throwing some dark chocolate into a saucepan with almond milk and let those melt together. I made sure to keep whisking it and whisking it while the mixture warmed up so that none of the chocolate would burn on the bottom of the pan. Because burnt chocolate smells and tastes like feet.
When the chocolate and milk had completely mixed and melted together, I poured in the wine!
As soon as I added the Pinot Noir to the hot chocolate, it was like I got smacked in the face with cherries. Their tart smell literally tickled my nose at first, I shit you not!
I’d been hoping for more of the blackberry flavor because I feel like blackberries are underrated. They’re like a sweeter cousin of the red grape. I was excited to see what the flavor of the blackberries would add to this mixture.
But everyone knows that dark chocolate and cherries go together like a classier combination than peanut butter and jelly, so I wasn’t worried about how the taste would turn out.
I let the mixture heat up together for about ten minutes on a low heat. I didn’t want the hot chocolate to get to the point of simmering or bubbling much at all, for fear of the chocolate burning. When it was good and warm, I poured it into a pair of wintry mugs so that Bronson could have something to warm him up when he got home from work later that night.
As I drank the hot chocolate, I could feel it flowing down to my stomach like warm, sweet velvet. The dark chocolate was so rich, and there was the right amount of chocolate for the drink’s thickness. Like I said, velvet. The Pinot Noir’s cherry notes were prevalent and lightened the dark chocolate. The mixture of dark chocolate and cherry is well known and possibly overdone, but it deserves all of the credit that gave it gets.
I didn’t even want to top this hot chocolate with whipped cream (or whipped coconut cream, in my lactose-intolerant case). I wanted to savor the deep richness and drink it slowly. Whipped cream would have been too sweet, it would have taken away from the drink. I’m glad that I didn’t try making this with a $7 bottle wine. A cheap bottle that has an aftertaste like nail polish remover would not have done well with chocolate.
Maybe if we keep acting like it’s winter, the weather will catch on. Help me out; get a nice bottle of red wine and make this hot chocolate. Keep wearing your boots and scarves, and prepare for winter. Drink this rich mix of chocolate and wine to keep you feeling warm on multiple levels.
Recipe for Red Wine Hot Chocolate
2 cups milk – I used Almond milk
2/3 cup Dark Chocolate
1 1/4 cup Red Wine – I used Pinot Noir with cherry notes
Melt milk and chocolate together in a sauce pot. Keep whisking until the chocolate is fully melted and incorporated into the milk. Add wine and let warm for 10 minutes on low heat. Pour into festive mugs and enjoy!