9 Unexpected Ways to Use Red Wine

We love using red wine in fruity Sangria and warming Mulled Wine, or simply serving an overflowing glassful of the stuff with a juicy steak—but that’s only scratching the surface of what red wine can do. Red wine is a match made in heaven with just about everything under the sun. Here, nine unlikely ways to use red wine to make delicious, indulgent goodies.

Hot Chocolate  

Pouring red wine into hot chocolate is the simplest way to combine two of your favorite things—but it gets better. Elevate the cozy cocktail by adding spicy cayenne pepper to the mix, or try our variation on the trend, which takes inspiration from a cult-favorite dessert, red velvet cake, which comes complete with a tangy whipped cream cheese topping.

Lollipops 

These Pinot Noir lollies from Portland-based QUIN Candy highlight the cherry and blackberry notes in the wine, but if you have your own lollipop mold, you can make these suckers at home with your favorite vino.

A Cookie Named Desire

Brownies 

Spiking brownies with a little extra something is nothing new, but adding red wine to the batter takes brownies to another level. Blogger A Cookie Named Desire made these classy red wine brownies filled with “drunken cranberries,” which are dried cranberries that have been soaked in even more red wine. We’ll take five please.

Truffles

These truffles from blogger Well Plated bring dark chocolate and Cabernet together in one perfect bite. Package a few of these in a heart-shaped box in place of those stale chocolates from the dollar store, and you have a romantic, homemade Valentine’s Day gift that’ll sweep your loved one off their feet. Or just keep them for yourself. You deserve it.

Gravy

Your holiday roast will thank you when you drizzle on this smooth red wine gravy. Made with vegetables, mushroom broth, tamari, cranberry sauce and red wine, it’s great with anything from roast lamb to beef tenderloin to Tofurky.

Cupcakes

Here is more proof that chocolate and red wine are a life-changing duo. These cupcakes from Pennsylvania-based winery Mountain View Vineyard incorporate red wine into both the cake and the filling AND the frosting, proving you can never have too much of a good thing.

Popsicles

We’re obsessed with transforming cocktails into popsicles, whether it be the classic Bloody Mary or a tiki-tastic Blue Hawaii, but making wine-sicles is even easier—all you need to do is freeze a mix of wine and juice into a popsicle mold. Try this red wine and lime popsicle from blogger Baking Mischief.

Pasta

Instead of boiling pasta in boring ol’ water, combine the water with red wine. As the pasta cooks, it will soak up the vino and develop a rich, complex flavor. The potential recipes are endless, but we’re particularly intrigued by this Walnut and Parsley Red Wine Pasta from Food & Wine.

Grilled Cheese

Instead of simply pairing wine with cheese, slap the two together between some bread and enjoy the most epic grilled cheese of your life. Blogger BS’ in the Kitchen makes this Wine & Cheese Grilled Cheese with a Cabernet Sauvignon reduction. Combined with herbs, sautéed onions and gooey Gruyere cheese, it’s a night at the wine bar between two slices of bread.