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.

And I mean 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

Description

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!


Ingredients

  • 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

Instructions

  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.

Notes

  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.

52 Comments

  1. Could make chocolate wine truffles with this?

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

  2. Can it be made without wine any alterations?

    1. Hi Lordie! A plain chocolate ganache is just cream + chocolate. Follow this recipe to make a plain chocolate ganache. 🙂

  3. Oh how fun!!! I will have to try this! Where did you get the cute little decorative jar?

    1. Thanks Andrea! I got it at a little antique shop. Sorry that’s no help!

  4. Hi Sally, this looks amazing! What would do you think is the best way to reheat the ganache so it can be poured, once it sets?

    1. Hi Magda! A couple minutes on the stove while constantly stirring or a few seconds in the microwave.

  5. This looks amazing! I have some friends/family it would make a wonderful gift for, does it need to be kept refrigerated? I love your website, I have made so many of your recipes, they always turn out beautifully, taste wonderful and are a huge hit always!

    1. Yep, keep in the fridge. Thanks Beth!

  6. 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!

    1. Jackie thanks for the great idea!! A gaggle of grandkids spent the night and we had mini chocolate Bundt cakes with the oj chocolate ganache. They thought they were big time with their own cakes and the “fancy” glasses for their milk. Good stuff!

  7. 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?
    Cheers!

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

      1. 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. 🙂

  8. 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!!

    1. 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.

  9. Catherine Smith says:

    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! 🙂

    1. Sure can! Just double all of the ingredients.

  10. omg, i made this to spread on top of a red wine chocolate cake (more red wine ftw!) and it was effing bomb! So delicious! I used coconut cream in place of heavy cream because that was what i had in hand and it was still soooo good. Honestly i could have eaten the whole jar by itself. Thanks for the recipe, Sally!!

  11. Hi Sally!

    Another amazing recipe from your kitchen! I used this to top some mini bundt cakes and it was just perfect! I would like to use it to pipe into cupcakes, have you tried leaving it to set at room temp and then whipping it to make the consistency better for piping? Maybe I didn’t do it correctly last time, but it definitely was not setting enough to pipe.

    Thanks!

    1. Hi Amy! As far as ganache goes, this is on the thinner side. If you let it cool completely, then whip it with a mixer, it may set enough to pipe. However, I’ve never personally tried it. Let me know if you do!

  12. Thanks so much for this wonderful recipe. I’ve been making tiny 3 layer chocolate wine cakes for friends. Covering with a thin layer of basic buttercream and then using this as a ganache drip. Makes a lovely gift. I love this recipe!

  13. Cynthia Brumley says:

    This looks fabulous! Can this recipe be whipped into a frosting like your regular chocolate ganache recipe?

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

  14. Dale E. Livingston says:

    Wow Sally,
    This recipe is amazing. I made it today using a favorite Malbec. I put it in some cute little glass jars for a couple of gifts for my daughter and a friend. I tried it on some vanilla ice cream. I can only imagine how good it’s going to be on a thousand other things.
    YUM YUM!!! 🙂

  15. Hi Sally! I’m making a cheesecake (your recipe, it’s great!) and wanted to top it with this. My question is, would it work with a lighter wine? I wouldn’t want to waste what I don’t use in the ganache, and while I’m not big on wine, I like a rosé. Thanks!

    1. Hi Finn, I have not actually tried this with rosè but please let me know if you do!

  16. Thank you, Sally: I loved this ganache, and the combination wine+chocolate is simply divine! And so happy it was super easy to make in no time! I can only see one problem with it: it’s totally addictive… lol
    I was expecting it to thicken a bit in the refrigerator, but it remained quite creamy, so depending on what you want to use it for, I would keep this in mind 😉

  17. Help! Even after being refrigerated overnight it is still pretty runny. Even tastes a little grainy (tho delicious). Any way to fix it?

    1. Hi Rebecca, If it’s grainy I wonder if your mixture in step one didn’t simmer long enough to dissolve the sugar. And easy fix for next time is to leave it on the stovetop a minute longer or until you are sure the sugar is fully dissolved. Also be sure to use real, quality chocolate for the ganache to thicken properly.

      1. Thanks for your response. I used Godiva chocolate and I know the sugar dissolved completely… so I’m not sure what went awry. I reheated it and added more chocolate … that seemed to thicken it enough, but the graininess is still somewhat present. I wonder if it’s the cocoa powder.

  18. 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
    Tia

    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?

  19. Can this be frozen?

  20. Brenda Milcetic says:

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

    1. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

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

  21. 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.

  22. 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!

  23. 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!

  24. 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.

  25. 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!

  26. 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!

  27. 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.

  28. Hi Sally, first of all thank you so much for your recipes, they are awesome !!! I have a question, do you think this ganache would be thick enough to make rolled truffles ??? I’ve been searching for a recipe for red wine rolled truffles and the ones I’ve tried aren’t thick enough to roll and keep the form
    Thank you !!!

    1. Lexi @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Maria! The ganache isn’t quite thick enough when cool to form into truffles. However, Sally has her favorite red wine truffle recipe in Sally’s Candy Addiction if you have a copy.

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