Red Wine Chocolate Ganache

mini chocolate bundt cake topped with red wine chocolate ganache on a white plate

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?

red wine chocolate ganache in a glass jar

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 regular chocolate ganache or 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 ingredients in a saucepan

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.

chopped chocolate on a wood cutting board

red wine chocolate ganache in a saucepan with a wood spoon

Like regular chocolate 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.

red wine chocolate ganache in a glass jar

bowl of vanilla ice cream with red wine chocolate ganache

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

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.

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red wine chocolate ganache in a glass jar

Red Wine Chocolate Ganache

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 1 and 1/2 cups
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Cooking
  • Cuisine: French


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!


  • 3/4 cup (180ml) heavy cream
  • 3/4 cup (180ml) favorite red wine (I use a pinot noir)*
  • 1 and 1/2 Tablespoons (8g) 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.


  1. Wine: Merlot is a wonderful choice. Cabernet is great, too. I used a pinot noir. Honestly any red you personally enjoy drinking will work.
  2. Chocolate: 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.


  1. Hey Sally I have few Questions
    1. What chocolate brand should we cause its semi sweet right?
    2.why do we add cocoa powder when we add chocolate?
    3 Can we add salted butter and not and salt

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Sherlyn, We like to use Ghirardelli or Baker’s brand chocolate. See recipe notes for details. The cocoa powder helps to thicken up the ganache. Yes you can use salted butter and omit the salt if you wish.

    2. Hey Sally,
      I don’t personally enjoy any wine but I do use pinot noir in beef bourguignon. Will I still like red wine ganache?

  2. Can this be frozen?

  3. Brenda Milcetic says:

    Hi Sally,
    Can this red wine chocolate ganache be used to filled chocolates?
    Thank you,

    1. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Definitely! What a great idea, Brenda. Would love to hear how it goes.

  4. Can this be whipped similar to a regular ganache ?

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Sure can! Same whipping instructions as the regular chocolate ganache.

  5. Hi Sally,
    I wanted to ask you, what are the alcohol levels for this dessert? My underage daughter wants to try this recipe if I make it and I want to make sure that this isn’t too boozy for her.

    Thanks in advance

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Blair, When cooked to a certain temperature, some of the alcohol should evaporate out of the wine. But definitely research this and do whatever you are comfortable with for your child!

  6. We only have shiraz in the house right now, so will try this today with shiraz and get back to you! Thanks for the recipe!

  7. Absolutely delicious. Poured over Sally’s chocolate cake recipe. Also used to make chocolate dipped strawberries and although tasted great the chocolate does not harden. Probably due to the alcohol in the recipe.

  8. Can i use white chocolate to make the color lighter?

    1. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Thea! We haven’t tested this particular recipe with white chocolate so can’t say for sure. White chocolate is softer, so you would need less cream to get the correct consistency. Let us know if you give it a try!

  9. At what point do I pour over the cake – to look like a dripping cake? Do I wait for it to cool first?

  10. I have a chocolate red dessert wine. How should I substitute that into the recipe?

    1. Lexi @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Kim, you can use your red dessert wine here with no problem — same amount. If you enjoy drinking it, you’ll enjoy it as chocolate ganache!

  11. I love this ganache! It is so good! Could it possibly be used as a topping for eclairs or is it too thick?

    1. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Julia! Yes, this should make a lovely topping for eclairs.

      1. Awesome! Thanks for the quick reply! Now I know what I’m doing with my leftover ganache this week! =)

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