There she is, lifestyle guru Martha Stewart, on a fall day, Oct 24th to be exact, sending wheels in motion with a simple Facebook post, just like that. Her influence, not as mighty as the Kardashians, has put "Winter's newest cocktail" of red wine hot chocolate on the map.
The post that started it all.
Kylie, over at immaeatthat.com, says the result of mixing red wine and hot chocolate is rich (Super Rich) and luscious. Kylie's hot chocolate and red wine recipe can be found on immaeatthat.com.
Markham, over at Men's Health, suggests to make this pairing work well, the chocolate needs to be 60% cacao or higher. The more bitter the chocolate, the more it will blend with the milk and red wine. The chocolate cannot be too sweet, either. Sweetness and red wine tannins would end up being a train wreck in your mouth.
Markham also notes that red wines which include notes of cocoa powder, cinnamon, oak are perfectly suited for your red wine hot chocolate concoction.
But how do you choose a wine to mix with hot chocolate? Think about the flavors you like with hot chocolate. Search for wines which have those flavors in them.
Cassie, from Wholefully.com, says "For a sweeter, fruitier end result, use a fruit wine (like a raspberry or strawberry wine). If you want something drier, use a merlot, shiraz or cabernet sauvignon."
Cassie also recommends using the best chocolate you can purchase, because you can taste the difference in a drink like this. You can find her hot chocolate red wine recipe online at Wholefully.com.
Cassie encourages you to top your drink off with some zest from a clementine peel.
This article, from 2003, points out the antioxidant benefits of drinking hot chocolate over drinking red wine over drinking tea. So, is combining the red wine and chocolate a super-powered, antioxidant soup? I'd say so.
Maybe it wasn't Martha's influence after all that started the red wine hot chocolate craze of 2016. Could it be that health-conscious Americans just seized the opportunity to mix wine with innocent hot chocolate? I'd say so.
Whatever recipe you end up of making for the holidays this year, enjoy, be safe, and cheers!