Dark Chocolate Red Wine Brownies

Rich and velvety Dark Chocolate Red Wine Brownies are the perfect way to say, “I love you.” Make these beautiful, decadent chocolate treats — the perfect dessert for anyone who could use some extra love.

a stack of red wine brownies on a red doily

The first time I heard about red wine brownies, I was skeptical. Red wine isn’t always my go-to, but I do love it on occasion, especially with a good steak dinner.

Red wine is great on its own, of course. And it’s great in cocktails like mulled wine and sangria.

But with chocolate? I wasn’t so sure.

Then a friend made them for me and I was hooked. If you’re a fan of dark chocolate in any way shape or form, you are going to love these Dark Chocolate Red Wine Brownies.

What are red wine brownies?

Red wine brownies are chocolate brownies that have red wine baked into the batter.

The red wine adds a deeper layer of wine flavor to the already perfect brownie. It brings in the berry, oaky and anise notes red wine is known for, which accompanies chocolate so well.

Dark chocolate lovers and red wine lovers alike will love trying this easy, rich brownie recipe with complex flavors.

a cork and a gold wine opener rests on top of a tray of brownies, with one brownie missing

Dark Chocolate Red Wine Brownies recipe

This easy recipe is made with the usual brownie ingredients, plus red wine. They are fudgy, dense and some of the best brownies you’ve ever had. Seriously, these are going to be one of your new favorite things.

Just as in this Guinness Chocolate Cake, any alcohol in these brownies will “bake off,” or evaporate, when exposed to the heat of the oven, leaving behind its distinct red wine flavor without any of the alcohol. In other words, these brownies won’t get you tipsy.

They would be delicious on a Valentine’s Day dessert platter or a cookie gift box for a special occasion. Add them alongside chocolate-covered strawberries and homemade chocolate truffles.

Or you can enjoy them under an ice cream sundae, topped with vanilla ice cream, hot fudge sauce, homemade sprinkles and a few cocktail cherries. And don’t forget the glass of wine!

a pan of red wine brownies with a glass of red wine and a brownie on a paper doily

Ingredients

Here’s what you will need to pick up at the grocery store in order to make these from-scratch brownies:

  • unsalted butter
  • dark or bittersweet chocolate chips (can use milk or semisweet)
  • red wine such as Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon or Pinot Noir
  • vanilla extract
  • brown sugar
  • large eggs
  • all-purpose flour
  • cocoa powder
  • sea salt
  • powdered sugar

Red Wine

For this red wine brownie recipe, I recommend a Zinfandel, Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot to go with the dark chocolate flavors.

If you prefer to use semisweet chocolate chips or milk chocolate chips, consider a Pinot Noir or Merlot instead.

I don’t recommend splurging on an expensive bottle of wine, but don’t pick up the cheapest either. I usually choose a quality bottle in the $10-15 range.

If you need help picking a red wine, check out my Red Wine 101 guide, which explains the top types of red wine, how it’s made and how to choose a bottle.

Remember, this recipe only uses a little bit of red wine, so you’ll be stuck with the rest of the bottle to drink. Might as well get one you like!

a tray of Red Wine Brownies with a glass of red wine

Cocoa powder

You will want to use unsweetened cocoa powder for this recipe. This is not the same as the sweet stuff used to make hot chocolate.

Instead, you will find it in the baking aisle of the grocery store. Dutch-processed cocoa or other high-quality cocoa powder will yield the best results.

Dark chocolate chips

The dark chocolate chips are what make these fudgy brownies so very rich. You can use bittersweet chocolate chips too.

Neither one has a lot of sugar, so it allows these brownies to have a deep, rich flavor that’s all about the chocolate.

However, if you’d like a sweeter brownie, you can substitute milk chocolate chips or semisweet chocolate chips.

Powdered sugar

Totally optional, but I like to dust these brownies with a little powdered sugar. They add a touch of added sweetness as well as make them look professional. However, you can skip this or add your favorite brownie frosting.

three red wine brownies stacked on top of each other

Tips for baking with wine

The folks at Missouri Wines recommend these tips for baking with wine:

  1. Use a wine that you like. This should go without saying, but there’s no need to grab a bottle of Pinot Noir you’re not going to drink. You won’t be using all of the wine in these brownies — just ¼ cup, so make sure you’ll get a bottle you’ll finish. (On the flip side, it’s a good opportunity to use up that wine you’ve been avoiding.)
  2. Play the flavor matching game. Pick a wine that pairs well with chocolate. If you’re using milk chocolate, consider a Pinot Noir or Merlot. If you’re sticking with the dark chocolate, try a Zinfandel, Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot wine.
  3. Reimagine old favorites. This is always a fun time to try a wine that is new to you. If you can support a local vineyard or independent wine shop, that’s always wonderful to do.
a pan of red wine brownies with powdered sugar on the top

How to make Dark Chocolate Red Wine Brownies

These brownies are easy to make from scratch. They are honestly as easy as a boxed brownie mix, but so much better.

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter or grease a 9″ x 9″ baking pan with cooking spray.
  2. Melt butter. In a large mixing bowl, stir the butter into the chocolate chips until melted. Let cool slightly. (You can also use a double boiler if you like.)
  3. Add the red wine, vanilla and brown sugar and whisk together. Add the eggs one at a time, whisking to combine after each addition. Stir in the flour, cocoa powder, vanilla and salt until just incorporated. Do not over-mix.
  4. Using a rubber spatula, scrape the batter into the prepared baking pan. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Let cool completely. Once they have cooled to room temperature, dust the brownies with powdered sugar on top. Then slice and serve alongside a glass of red wine.

Tip: For the powdered sugar layer, I like to use this dusting wand because it doesn’t create a ton of mess and it evenly coats the top of the brownies.

Variations and substitutions

Make them sweeter. If you’d like to make these sweeter, you can use milk chocolate chips or semisweet chocolate chips. Milk chocolate will be the sweetest, but semisweet chocolate is a good middle ground.

Make them gluten-free. I have had luck making brownies with 1:1 gluten-free flour.

Frost them. A layer of cream cheese frosting would be truly excellent on top of these brownies.

Add mix-ins. There’s nothing wrong with sprinkling a few more chocolate chips on top of the brownies before baking. You can also feel free to stir in dried fruit, nuts, such as pecans or walnuts, or candies, such as dark chocolate M&M’s. Even crushed pretzels would be tasty!

a brownie with a bite out of it

More brownie recipes

With a crunchy topping, these chocolate peanut butter pretzel brownies are always a hit.

Peanut butter brownie ice cream stars a creamy peanut butter ice cream with chunks of brownies and peanut butter cups.

These dark chocolate brownie crisps are made by baking thin layers of brownie batter into thin crispy brittle.

There’s nothing better than chocolate mousse brownie parfaits layered with boozy mousse and caramel sauce.

And if you’re looking for something even richer, check out this red wine chocolate cake.

a stack of red wine brownies on a red doily

Dark Chocolate Red Wine Brownies

Yield: 9 brownies
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes

Rich and fudgy, these Dark Chocolate Red Wine Brownies are the perfect dessert.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 6 ounces dark chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup red wine
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon powdered sugar

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter or grease a 9" x 9" baking pan with cooking spray.
  2. Melt butter in a large microwave-safe bowl. Stir chocolate chips until melted. Let cool slightly.
  3. Add the red wine, vanilla and brown sugar and whisk together. Add the eggs one at a time, whisking to combine after each addition. Stir in the flour, cocoa powder, vanilla and salt until just incorporated. Do not over-mix.
  4. Scrape the batter into the prepared baking pan. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Let cool completely. Once cooled, dust with powdered sugar.

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 9 Serving Size: 1 3-inch brownie
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 318Total Fat: 17gSaturated Fat: 10gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 70mgSodium: 144mgCarbohydrates: 36gFiber: 2gSugar: 24gProtein: 4g

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