Pinot Noir Chocolate Brownies

As much as I love crafting cocktails, it’s actually wine I reach for most often; there is definitely something about the ease of preparation that sees it win that battle but it’s not just that. I simply love wine. I’m a bit shocked as I start to organize and pack for an eventual move to see just how much wine I have. I’m not a collector, just a drinker yet if I see something intriguing I might buy it even if the shelves at home are stocked…and right now I would say 50 bottles is ‘stocked.’

So when I was asked by Cheryl Indelicato, the Proprietor of HandCraft Wines if I would like to sample some of their wines, I might have hesitated until I saw the recipe that had been included in her message. Pinot Noir? Chocolate? Together? Oh yeah; I thought this I must try.

Pinot Noir Chocolate Brownies - Creative Culinary

The Handcraft Pinot Noir is a medium bodied wine with gorgeous cherry, vanilla and strawberry aromas followed by ripe black cherry, sweet spice, vanilla and chocolate flavors.  Delicious on its own but even more, how perfect does that sound combined with chocolate. I’ve held wine and chocolate tastings in my home and it’s fun to pair the two but this is even easier; they’re paired together in this one simple but sublime dish.

How about a simple Valentine’s gift of wine and chocolate…but in this case some homemade brownies that have been kissed with Pinot? I think nothing says ‘I love you’ more than the effort you make and really…who doesn’t love brownies! These are rich with toasted walnuts too and a fabulous glaze with some more wine in the mix. Perfect? Maybe more than perfect; these are seriously divine brownies…they need a new name, something much more elegant. While I enjoyed my last one today while writing this post, they are the perfect brownie to enjoy with a glass of the HandCraft wine. Deep, dark chocolate is every so slightly accented with the Pinot Noir; this is no kids treat but a decadently rich adult dessert; they shot quickly to the top of my list of brownie favorites.

The wine itself is a winner in my book too. HandCraft Wines are owned by Cheryl Indelicato; a member of a family that has numerous grape-growing and wine-making facilities in California. You might have enjoyed their wine before without knowing because many wineries purchase finished new wines from an Indelicato winery and finish it during the aging process; not an uncommon practice in the industry.


Cheryl is a master at understanding the nuances of a wine and how to blend them to appeal to wider audiences. From that experience evolved the HandCraft series. Though blending other varieties with Pinot Noir is not the norm, Cheryl still went that route and her HandCraft  2010 Pinot Noir blends 76 percent pinot noir, 9 percent tempranillo, 6 percent petit verdot, 6 percent sangiovese and 3 percent petite sirah. The aromas and especially the long and fruity finish made it a perfect choice to blend with chocolate, elevating the flavor without any overpowering ‘wine’ taste to be had…this was a great little wine at an equally great price point. That Cheryl also contributes a percentage of the profits derived from the sale of her HandCraft wines to the fight against breast cancer is a pure bonus. Try them; try this brownie; you will thank me, I promise.

Pinot Noir Chocolate Brownies with Handcraft Wine
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 16 to 20 brownies
  • 2 eggs
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 1tsp vanilla
  • ½ cup butter, melted
  • 2 Tbsp Handcraft Pinot Noir
  • ¾ cup Ghirardelli sweet ground cocoa
  • ⅔ cup unbleached all-purpose flour
  • ¼ tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ½ cup chopped, toasted walnuts
For the Pinot Noir Icing:
  • 4 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 oz unsweetened chocolate
  • 4½ Tbsp granulated sugar
  • 3 Tbsp HandCraft Pinot Noir
To Make the Brownies:
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Combine eggs with sugar and vanilla; add butter and wine. Stir cocoa with flour, baking powder and salt. Combine with egg mixture; add nuts. Spread into greased 8 x 8-inch pan.
  3. Bake 25 to 30 minutes.
To Make the Chocolate Glaze:
  1. Melt butter over medium heat. Reduce heat to low and add chocolate, sugar and wine. Continue heating over low heat stirring often, until mixture is smooth - don't let it boil.
  2. Spoon hot icing over fresh brownies and let stand for a minimum of an hour; 12 hours is best.
I tested my brownies at 25 minutes and that was it for me. I like mine 'just' done and not dry so while the toothpick did not have any dough clinging to it, it was just slightly damp with chocolate...and perfectly moist. This is a very rich and dense dough...over-baking would not be good!

Disclaimer: I was provided with a bottle of wine to sample and use for this recipe however all commentary is my own.


    • Creative Culinary says

      They were SO good and it’s not as if you can really taste the wine itself; in a perfect pairing like this, it simply accentuates the chocolate and boy does it do it well! My favorite brownies, well, right now!

  1. says

    I saw these brownies in my email inbox and kept going back and ogling them! Wow! I have been wanting to try a chocolate cake with wine in it but I think these brownies just pushed that one out of the way and took its place. The wine sounds heavenly and I’ll bet it is incredible with chocolate…. I love this recipe! And oooh what a cute bag!

  2. Tracy says

    That satchel is cute! I hope I win so I can carry wine, brownies and camera around in it, too (because that sounds like the perfect use for it)!

  3. says

    The dessert gods were smiling on me when Karen left her brownies behind so I got a double dose! I will say that I didn’t eat hers until you gave me the “ok” but then they were gone in an instant! These were so rich and decadent. Thanks for sharing!
    Holly Most Recent Post: Grapefruit Brulee

  4. Terri Cole says

    I would never have thought of putting red wine in brownies! I’m pinning this recipe, even though I’m vegan, and it will need some modification.

  5. says

    These look great but I have to tell you… Over the weekend I was looking for the Sara Lee brownies that came in the frozen foods section of the grocery. These were very special to us as children. Your brownie looks just like what came out of the package which means I must give it a try, with or without wine! If anyone knows the secret recipe I would be grateful. As I would also be for the wine!

  6. Tommie Q says

    Hope ths recipe is as good as it sounds. Make some this afternoon and already have them packed up to take on our mini birthday/valentine trip, leaving tomorrow morning. Although Valentine’s Day is my birthday (77) I still want my hubby to have something special (beside me!!)

  7. Rachel Weber says

    I just started Weight Watchers on Sunday but it looks like I’m gonna have to figure out how to fit in these brownies! Pinot noir in the icing?!?! Hello!

    The wine satchel is pretty sweet too. I have a friend’s birthday coming up where it would make a great gift!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge