Red Wine Hot Chocolate

The best homemade hot chocolate recipes are simple to make, have lots of chocolate chips or chocolate chunks, and nostalgically remind you why you love hot chocolate in the first place. By those standards, this easy red wine hot chocolate recipe combines everything you love, with a twist. Chocolate and red wine are a perfect pairing. A dry red wine like a cabernet sauvignon brings just enough body to the recipe without overwhelming it with an acidic wine taste, but a merlot or shiraz will work as well. You don't have to use a particularly good wine—whatever you have on hand is perfect for this red wine hot chocolate recipe. It's a beautifully smooth sip.

When it comes to simple recipes, it's hard to get simpler than this. Plus, it doesn't take much prep time. Instead of using a cocoa powder, simply melt chocolate in a double boiler on your stovetop over medium heat, and add the wine, whole milk, half and half, sugar, vanilla extract, spices and a pinch of salt. While we used milk chocolate chips for our hot cocoa recipe, feel free to swap in any additions you'd like. Maybe you'd prefer semisweet chocolate chips or dark chocolate chunks and a dash of cinnamon from fresh cinnamon sticks.

We use both a dash of cayenne and a dash of chili powder for a smoky, spicy twist that compliments the rich chocolate flavor. If you don't prefer the spicy twist, you can certainly nix it from your own recipe. While this is typically a winter drink, it's really more for when you need a comfort drink to soothe you after a bad day. Make this with your loved one and have a nice reconnecting conversation as the dark chocolate chips melt down. Take the time to really enjoy making this drink because few things in life are as soothing as a chocolate wine. Of course, don't forget the marshmallows or whipped cream for a garnish.

Make this recipe at home? Rate it on our Pinterest and share your photos with us on Instagram! Let us know how you made it your own. This recipe sure beats pumpkin spice lattes any day of the week, and all of your holiday parties should have this red wine hot chocolate recipe in the rotation.

Red Wine Hot Chocolate

This red wine hot chocolate will keep more than just your fingertips warm and cozy whenever you whip up a batch from this spicy recipe.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 4 drinks


  • 2/3 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 2/3 cup dry red wine (We like Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, or Shiraz)
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup half-and-half
  • 2 tbs sugar (Optional)
  • 1 tsp cayenne
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • Salt, to taste


  • Place a small saucepan over medium-low heat.
  • Combine all ingredients except the vanilla extract and salt in pan and stir constantly, until the chocolate chips are fully melted.
  • Remove from heat and add vanilla extract and salt to taste. Pour into mugs and serve.