Decadent homemade Red Wine Truffles are luxuriously chocolatey, kissed with touch of red wine, and the perfect homemade gift for chocolate lovers.
To all of my readers who are last-minute gift shoppers and procrastinating date-night planners, this wine-infused chocolate recipe is for you!
It’s also for anyone who loves chocolate and wine…so I think that pretty much covers everyone and anyone, right?! (For bourbon-lovers, these boozy Bourbon Balls are for you.)
Indulgent, velvety smooth, and decadently dark, these red wine truffles are an easy (yet impressive) homemade gift idea for loved ones in your life.
Speaking from personal experience, they (apparently) make the perfect dessert for one too (for a chocolate-loving group, check out Flourless Chocolate Torte).
After making a batch and putting them out of sight in the fridge for safe-keeping, I quickly discovered my stash had dwindled to a single truffle (I’m definitely the lone suspect here since I couldn’t point a finger at my anti-dessert husband).
5 Star Review
“Thanks for this delicious recipe. I made these tonight and they taste great!”— Meredith —
How to Make Red Wine Truffles
Making homemade truffles (and Chocolate Peppermint Covered Pretzels) is as simple as melt, stir, and roll, with a little chill time in between.
Honestly, it’s a little dangerous having this kind of power.
Strike that: it’s exceedingly dangerous having this kind of power.
The finished wine-infused chocolate truffles are indulgent, sinfully delicious, and sure to win the affection of whoever takes a taste.
- Chocolate. Bittersweet or semi-sweet chocolate will work best here (as it does for these Pistachio Chocolate Balls).
- Red Wine. The best wine for chocolate truffles is a dry, fruit-forward red wine such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, or Zinfandel.
- Heavy Cream. For the most creamy and rich truffles.
- Vanilla + Espresso Powder. Both of these additions intensify the chocolate flavor.
- Cocoa Powder. Deepens the cocoa flavor and helps balance out the bold flavor of the wine.
Here are a few of my favorite ways to coat these dark chocolate red wine truffles.
- Cocoa Powder. Because I’m a firm believer in the idea that there’s no such thing as too much chocolate (evidence: Dark Chocolate Cookies).
- Freeze-Dried Raspberries or Strawberries. For a festive touch, especially if serving these for Valentine’s Day or Christmas.
- Sprinkles. Basic chocolate, or any color and shape your heart desires would be a fun and cute addition.
- More Chocolate. You may also dip each chocolate ball in a bit of melted chocolate mixed with a few teaspoons of coconut oil to make a hard chocolate shell for these homemade red wine truffles.
- Finely chop the chocolate and transfer to a bowl. Heat the cream to a simmer.
- Pour the warm cream over the chopped chocolate, add the espresso powder and cocoa powder, then stir until smooth.
If the chocolate won’t completely melt, fill a saucepan with 1 inch of water, set the bowl of chocolate on top, then bring the water to a simmer. Stir until it is almost completely melted, then remove from the pan and keep stirring until it melts the rest of the way (don’t let the water boil).
- Stir in the red wine and vanilla. Place the bowl in the refrigerator to firm up.
- Use two spoons to scoop the red wine ganache onto a parchment-lined baking sheet. Chill again.
- With your hands, roll each chocolate into a smooth ball, then roll in a coating of choice. Enjoy!
For dark chocolate truffles, such as these, reach for a Zinfandel, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot. Nothing too dry or too sweet. Wines that are more fruit-forward and low in tannins tend to pair best with ultra-rich, decadent chocolate desserts.
- To Store. Homemade truffles may be stored at room temperature in an airtight, covered, container for 3 to 4 days. They may also be refrigerated for up to 2 weeks. Let come to room temperature prior to serving.
- To Freeze. Homemade chocolate truffles may be stored in the freezer for up to 6 months.
Here are a few tips for storing red wine truffles to keep them tasting their best:
- Note that the wine flavor does lose its intensity as time passes; for max taste, I find these truffles are best eaten within 3 days.
- If freezing, I suggest storing them in a plastic freezer bag inside another covered container to protect the chocolate from freezer burn as best you can.
What to Serve with Red Wine Truffles
Braised Short Ribs
Whipped Feta Crostini
Recommended Tools to Make this Recipe
- Batter Scoop. For making perfectly-sized truffles.
- Mixing Bowls. These are durable and dishwasher-safe, plus make preparing the batter simple.
- Small Whisk. No more splashing all over the place, and perfect for smaller batches.
If it’s a crime to eat every last one of these red wine truffles yourself, then I plead guilty, your Honor!
Frequently Asked Questions
A truffle is a type of chocolate confection that is made with a dense, rich chocolate center that can be flavored with extracts (or in this case, wine), and then coated in either solid chocolate, cocoa powder, nuts, or other ingredients. Bonbons are hollow, molded chocolates with non-chocolate centers. Instead, they are filled with confections like caramel, fruit, or nougat.
A few things can impact the consistency of homemade chocolate truffles. First, make sure you do not add too much cream or wine as that will make the ganache too runny. The temperature of your kitchen or overhandling the truffles as you shape and roll them can also cause the truffles to not remain firm.
No. Because the alcohol is not cooked out of these truffles, I would avoid serving them or gifting them to anyone who is abstaining from alcohol due to pregnancy, addiction recovery, or other personal reasons. I would also not recommend serving these to children or those under the legal drinking age in your country.
Red Wine Truffles
- 8 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate (Do not use chocolate chips; the chocolate must be chopped from a bar. Use the good stuff here!)
- 1/3 cup heavy cream MUST be heavy cream; half-and-half or milk will not work
- 1 teaspoon espresso powder
- 1 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa powder
- 3 tablespoons dry red wine such as Cabernet Sauvignon
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- Unsweetened cocoa powder
- Chocolate sprinkles
- Crushed dehydrated raspberries or strawberries
- Dark chocolate melted with a few teaspoons of coconut oil to create a chocolate coating
- With a sharp knife, FINELY chop the chocolate and place in a medium heatproof bowl. If the chocolate pieces are too big, they won't melt properly.
- Heat the cream in a small saucepan or microwave until it is barely below a boil (you should see small bubbles and the beginnings of simmering all around the edges). Let cool for 30 seconds (if your cream is *too* hot it may make the mixture separate).
- Pour it into the bowl with the chopped chocolate. Add the espresso powder and cocoa powder. With a rubber spatula, slowly stir the mixture together until the chocolate completely melts. If the chocolate won't completely melt, fill a saucepan with 1 inch of water, set the bowl on top, then bring the water to a simmer. Stir until it is almost completely melted, then remove from the pan and keep stirring until it melts the rest of the way (don't let the water boil).
- Stir in the red wine and vanilla. At first, the liquid will seem separate from the chocolate, but just keep on stirring and it will eventually come together. Place the bowl in the refrigerator to firm up for 40 minutes. It should be very soft but not so loose it isn't scoopable—somewhere between a brownie batter and a cookie dough. Don’t leave it too long or it will harden completely.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. With 2 small spoons or a cookie scoop, scoop small portions of chocolate into rough mounds on the baking sheet (they will look messy and misshapen, but don’t worry we will be fixing them soon). Refrigerate again for 30 minutes.
- With your hands, roll each mound of chocolate into a ball. Roll each ball in your coating of choice (or do a variety!). Refrigerate the truffles until ready to serve. Before serving, remove the truffles from the refrigerator and let them come to near room temperature. Enjoy!
- TO STORE: Homemade truffles may be stored at room temperature in an airtight, covered, container for 3 to 4 days. They may also be refrigerated for up to 2 weeks. Note that the wine flavor does lose its intensity as time passes, however, so I find these truffles are best eaten within 3 days.
- TO FREEZE: Homemade chocolate truffles may be stored in the freezer for up to 6 months. I suggest storing them in a plastic freezer bag inside another covered container to protect the chocolate from freezer burn as best you can.
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Chocolate. Need I say more? Here are some of my favorite Well Plated chocolate recipes:
Thanks for this delicious recipe! I made these tonight and they taste great but are very gooey. I feel like I must have done something wrong but all my quantities were right. I even froze the dough for about an hour before rolling them and they were still pretty gooey when I was rolling them. Did you have that problem at all? I’m hoping maybe they’ll firm up a bit overnight but I’m worried! I refrigerated the dough for 2 hours and froze it for an hour, it seems like it shouldn’t have been gooey at all at that point. I’m planning to make these as part of assorted truffle gift boxes for Christmas so would love to get these right!
Hi Meredith! These truffles are definitely very soft at room temperature, but they shouldn’t be ultra gooey. It sounds like too much liquid (or not enough chocolate!) I haven’t tried reheating a ganache truffle mixture in order to add more chocolate to thicken it up, but this is an option you could try to save your current batch. The main precaution is to be careful not to burn the chocolate when you reheat it (I’d suggest heating it in a bowl over simmering water—don’t let the water touch the bowl).) Heat it just enough to be able to melt more chocolate into the mix, then stir and reform.
This may be a stupid question but are thesee okay for recovering alcoholics?
Hi Connie, if the person is no longer drinking alcohol, I wouldn’t recommend this recipe, because the wine doesn’t cook out of the truffles at all. To be safe, you can also ask the person his/her preference.
Would these work without the espresso powder?
Hi James, you can leave out the espresso powder if you prefer. I hope you enjoy the recipe!
How long do these stay good? Can I freeze extras?
Hi Cassie! I’ve not tried freezing these myself, but from what I can find online, it seems like it would be fine. I’d recommend consuming them within 3 days for the best wine flavor. I hope this helps!
Can you boil the wine beforehand to boil out all the alcohol?
Hi Kat! I’ve only tested the recipe as written, but you could try it out! If you decide to experiment, let me know how it goes!
Is it possible to use full coconut milk in place of heavy cream?
Thanks for your wonderful recipes. And I love your book — sits on my kitchen counter year round 🥰
Hi Fran! So glad you are enjoying the cookbook. For these truffles, I am unsure how the coconut milk would work. I’ve only tested the recipe the way it’s written. If you decide to experiment, I’d love to know how it turns out!