Red Wine Chocolate Ganache

Silky, thick, rich, and smooth chocolate sauce made with red wine! This chocolate ganache is delicious on ice cream, cakes, cupcakes, pound cakes, and more! Recipe on

Throwing you a curveball today!!

No we’re not baking a cake or cookies or muffins or making dinner. Though if you’re having red wine chocolate ganache for dinner, can I get an invite?

Silky, thick, rich, and smooth chocolate sauce made with red wine! This chocolate ganache is delicious on ice cream, cakes, cupcakes, pound cakes, and more! Recipe on

Will you just look at this stuff? It’s every bit as rich, thick, dark, and indulgent as you can imagine. Made from life’s most crucial ingredients like cream, chocolate, butter, sugar, and red wine– this ganache is as handy, versatile, and dreamy as salted caramel. It can be used for everything.


Or forget all that and just eat it with a spoon. Any time is generally a good time for red wine chocolate ganache.

Red wine chocolate ganache on

It’ll take you no more than 15 minutes and that includes chopping up the chocolate. Simply simmer heavy cream, red wine, sugar, and cocoa powder together on the stove then add chocolate, butter, and a little salt. The butter not only adds flavor, but helps (1) thicken the ganache and (2) keep it smooth.

Speaking of chopping up chocolate! The best tool to use is your large serrated knife. The grooves help chip away the rock-hard chocolate. You’ll need 8 ounces of chocolate and I highly recommend a quality one. I use two 4-ounce Baker’s brand bars. Baker’s or Ghirardelli is what I usually buy. Find both in the baking aisle.

Chocolate for red wine chocolate ganache on

Silky, thick, rich, and smooth chocolate sauce made with red wine! This chocolate ganache is delicious on ice cream, cakes, cupcakes, pound cakes, and more! Recipe on

Like regular ganache, it’s thinner when warm and suuuuuper thick when cool. Give it an hour or 2 and it will be thick enough to frost/fill cakes and cupcakes. 🙂

What Red Wine to Use?

This chocolate ganache isn’t picky. Honestly, just use your favorite wine! I’ve made it with merlot, cabernet, and pinot noir. Loved it all. If you enjoy drinking it, you’ll enjoy it as chocolate ganache.

Silky, thick, rich, and smooth chocolate sauce made with red wine! This chocolate ganache is delicious on ice cream, cakes, cupcakes, pound cakes, and more! Recipe on

Silky, thick, rich, and smooth chocolate sauce made with red wine! This chocolate ganache is delicious on ice cream, cakes, cupcakes, pound cakes, and more! Recipe on

And this is my favorite part of all!! Poured on top of ice cream, it slightly hardens into one of those magic chocolate shell thingies. 🙂

And PS: The mini chocolate bundt cake at the top of the post? That’s my chocolate cupcakes recipe baked in my mini bundt pan. I baked them for 20-22 minutes at 350°F (177°C). Fill 2/3 full. Makes about 6-7 bundts.

Red Wine Chocolate Ganache


  • 3/4 cup (180ml) heavy cream
  • 3/4 cup (180ml) favorite red wine (I use a pinot noir)*
  • 1 and 1/2 Tablespoons unsweetened natural or dutch-process cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup (100g) granulated sugar
  • 2 four ounce bars (226g) semi-sweet chocolate, coarsely chopped*
  • 1/4 cup (4 Tablespoons; 60g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt


  1. Whisk the heavy cream, wine, cocoa powder, and sugar together in a small saucepan over medium heat. Once simmering, allow it to simmer for 5-6 minutes. Stir occasionally. Remove from heat, stir in the chocolate, butter, and salt. Taste. Add a pinch more salt if desired.
  2. Allow to cool for a few minutes before using as a thin ganache. Ganache will thicken as it cools, so if you'd like to use it to frost cakes and cupcakes-- stick it in the fridge for a few hours.
  3. Cover and store leftover ganache in the refrigerator for up to 10 days. To thin out again, reheat in the microwave for 10-20 seconds.

Recipe Notes:

*Merlot is a wonderful choice. Cabernet is great, too. I used a pinot noir. Honestly any red you personally enjoy drinking will work.

*Use real, quality chocolate. You can find the 4 ounce baking bars in the baking aisle. I like using Ghirardelli or Baker's brand. You can use 8 ounces of quality chocolate chips instead, but the ganache won't be as smooth. For a darker flavor, use bittersweet or even unsweetened chocolate.

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Silky, thick, rich, and smooth chocolate sauce made with red wine! This chocolate ganache is delicious on ice cream, cakes, cupcakes, pound cakes, and more! Recipe on



  1. Anjali on January 17, 2018 at 3:05 pm

    Hi Sally, I have 2 questions:
    1-why do you use both cocoa powder and chocolate in the ganache?
    2-What do you recommend using this on?


    • Sally on January 17, 2018 at 3:45 pm

      Hi Anjali!

      1) To thicken it up 🙂
      2) I have a whole big list in the blog post with links to some recipes, too!

      Let me know if you try it.

  2. Jackie on January 17, 2018 at 4:09 pm

    Oh. My. Goodness. I made this yesterday. I used 100% orange juice (no pulp) instead of wine. Tastes like chocolate covered orange sticks. Yum! I also added one teaspoon of instant espresso. I slathered it on some cream scones that I made. (I licked the plate when I was done!) Thank you for such an awesome recipe!

    • Sally on January 18, 2018 at 10:37 am

      Oh my gosh!!! I NEED to try it with orange juice. Thank you so much for suggesting it, Jackie! I love chocolate and orange.

  3. Michelle on January 18, 2018 at 6:53 am

    This looks incredible. Can’t wait to try it this weekend – a few friends are coming over for a wine and Netflix night, and I think we need some of this!

  4. Priyanka on January 19, 2018 at 12:40 am

    Hi Sally,
    I love red wine and have been looking for recipes for my birthday (yes, my own!).
    I have found some that use red wine in a red velvet cake. Do you think this ganache will work with a red wine velvet cake, or will the flavour will be ruined by an excess of it?

    • Sally on January 19, 2018 at 8:39 am

      I was actually hinting of topping my red velvet cupcakes with this red wine chocolate ganache. I think it would be outstanding!

      • Priyanka on January 19, 2018 at 12:35 pm

        Sounds just perfect! I will update you on how it turned out.

        Also, tried your chocolate cake from the triple layer chocolate cake recipe (with regular chocolate ganache). Though I have baked a few cakes in the past and am relatively new to pursuing it dedicatedly as a hobby, but I have never baked a better and moister chocolate cake! It also beats any of the bakery-bought cakes I have had.
        Thanks much!

        PS: I don’t intend to spam, but wanted to share since the comments on that post are closed. 🙂

  5. Lo on January 19, 2018 at 7:17 pm

    Hi Sally! A co-worker at work actually gave me red wine to make this for her! How funny? She told me to surprise her with what I bake. I want to do something where she wouldn’t have to heat the ganache up. Do you think this would taste good poured over brownies? Will it Harden? or if I used it to stuff cupcakes like a chocolate cupcake what frosting would you recommend over it. I was also thinking maybe chocolate cookie sandwiches using it. Any ideas/tips? Thank you!!

    • Sally on January 20, 2018 at 11:28 am

      Hi Lo! Those are all wonderful ideas. It wouldn’t harden on top of brownies, but it would slightly “set.” I would fill cupcakes with it and maybe top with a vanilla frosting so that the red wine ganache really takes over.

  6. Alexis on January 20, 2018 at 2:28 pm

    Is their anyway this can be used to make red wine truffles? If I let them chill in the fridge or would the mixture be too runny?

    • Sally on January 21, 2018 at 2:20 pm

      Hi Alexis! The ganache isn’t quite thick enough when cool to form into truffles. I do, however, have my favorite red wine truffle recipe in Sally’s Candy Addiction if you have a copy.

  7. Pamela on January 20, 2018 at 5:31 pm

     I’m going to make this to put over chocolate mini Bundt cakes for a girls night in at a friend’s  house. I’m going to make the Bundt cakes the day before and make the ganache  the day of.   The party starts around 7:00 and we will  be eating dessert around 9:00.  Would you suggest putting the ganache  on the cakes before I leave to go to the party or should I wait and put it on right before serving ?  Will I have to heat it up before putting on the cakes if it is at room temperature? 

    • Sally on January 21, 2018 at 2:17 pm

      Hi Pamela! You can pour the glaze on top before the party or at the party, whichever is more convenient for you. If the ganache has been at room temperature for several hours, it will thicken up. So you can always warm it up for a few seconds in the microwave or on the stove to thin it out again.

  8. marlene ebinger on January 22, 2018 at 9:26 pm

    Sounds wonderful ! Question, what about putting a jar of Ganache in the freezer (to keep longer) leaving adequate headroom of course for expansion. Would that work out? THX!

    • Sally on January 23, 2018 at 9:52 am

      That should be fine, but I haven’t tried it yet. Let me know if you do!

  9. Nicole on January 23, 2018 at 4:13 pm

    I made this ganache for a birthday dessert. Super simple to pull together. I halved the recipe successfully and followed instructions exactly as written. We served it over cherry vanilla ice cream and it tasted like a divine chocolate covered cherry! Will make it again for sure!

    • Sally on January 24, 2018 at 12:55 pm

      I haven’t had it with cherry ice-cream and now I must try it immediately!!

  10. Catherine Smith on February 6, 2018 at 9:32 am

    Hi Sally! Can this recipe be doubled? I am making two red velvet cakes this weekend and would love to top both with this ganache! 🙂

    • Sally on February 6, 2018 at 1:12 pm

      Sure can! Just double all of the ingredients.

  11. Melissa on February 10, 2018 at 10:10 am

    Think I’m gonna put this over your tuxedo cake since mine came out a little fugly.  Hope it’s not too much chocolate! 

    • Sally on February 10, 2018 at 10:24 am

      I don’t think it’s too much chocolate… at all 😉

  12. Jen on February 11, 2018 at 2:04 pm

    Hi Sally! I’m so excited to try this recipe! I’m going to make a couple of batches to jar and give to friends for “Galentine’s” gifts! 

    • Sally on February 12, 2018 at 12:03 pm

      Such a sweet idea! 😉

  13. PETER L. on February 13, 2018 at 10:24 pm


  14. Hema on February 15, 2018 at 3:11 pm

    Hi Sally,

    I have tried lots and lots of your recipes and till date never had any issues…I love to cook and bake… well what are your best suggestions in using this red wine chocolate ganache???
    what kind of deserts goes well..

    • Sally on February 16, 2018 at 9:43 am

      Hi Hema! I have a big list of suggestions for the red wine ganache in the blog post if you want to check it out 🙂

  15. Ava on February 19, 2018 at 11:03 pm

    Hi Sally!!

    I was wondering what you can substitute red wine for. I don’t drink, but I want to make this for my dinner party next week. 

          Thank you!!!!

  16. Desiree Sweeney on March 12, 2018 at 10:10 am

    Hi Sally,

    I made this for girls night Saturday and it was delish – though I accidentally used heavy whipping cream instead of heavy cream 🙂

    I see that your recipe indicates that this would keep well in the fridge for up to 10 days. Do you think it would keep in the fridge for a longer period of time? I have some leftover and was hoping to share with my mom when she comes to visit for Easter. If not do you have any thoughts on freezing?

    Thanks for another great recipe!!


    • Sally on March 12, 2018 at 12:00 pm

      Hi Desiree! It should probably be just fine if you kept it in the fridge for a few weeks until Easter. You can freeze and thaw it at room temperature on the counter, too. (I’ve had readers freeze it, though I personally haven’t yet.)

  17. Lisa @happylifeblogspot on May 3, 2018 at 6:07 pm

    My kind of ganache!



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