Pinot Noir Chocolate Brownies

Pinot Noir Chocolate Brownies

February 11, 2013

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.

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{ 43 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Andrea February 15, 2013 at 5:23 pm

Chocolate and wine!! Amazing pairing :)


2 Creative Culinary February 17, 2013 at 2:56 pm

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!


3 Jamie February 15, 2013 at 7:38 am

I will go and start following First World Trash now!
Jamie Most Recent Post: Vanilla Bean Panna Cotta & Amaretti Brownies


4 Jamie February 15, 2013 at 7:38 am

I follow Creative Culinary on twitter!
Jamie Most Recent Post: Vanilla Bean Panna Cotta & Amaretti Brownies


5 Jamie February 15, 2013 at 7:37 am

I get email updates (RSS) from you!
Jamie Most Recent Post: Vanilla Bean Panna Cotta & Amaretti Brownies


6 Jamie February 15, 2013 at 7:36 am

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!


7 Tracy February 14, 2013 at 5:34 pm

Saladgoddess now following First World Trash on Twitter.


8 Tracy February 14, 2013 at 5:33 pm

Saladgoddess already following you on Twitter.


9 Tracy February 14, 2013 at 5:32 pm

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)!


10 Shauna February 14, 2013 at 9:59 am

Bag looks awesome


11 Sarah February 13, 2013 at 12:27 pm

I follow you via email.


12 Sarah February 13, 2013 at 12:16 pm

These bags look fabulous!


13 Priscilla - She's Cookin' February 13, 2013 at 10:54 am

And, I’m now following First World Trash on Twitter and am going to take a look at their other products!
Priscilla – She’s Cookin’ Most Recent Post: A Valentine’s Go Red for Women Superfood Smoothie


14 Priscilla - She's Cookin' February 13, 2013 at 10:52 am

I follow you on Twitter :)
Priscilla – She’s Cookin’ Most Recent Post: A Valentine’s Go Red for Women Superfood Smoothie


15 Priscilla - She's Cookin' February 13, 2013 at 10:51 am

I don’t see my comments from yesterday :(
But, I’m loving the brownies and that gorgeous bag! The pinot noir addition is brilliant. I’d like to have the bag and some brownies come special delivery for me :)
Priscilla – She’s Cookin’ Most Recent Post: A Valentine’s Go Red for Women Superfood Smoothie


16 Holly February 13, 2013 at 7:56 am

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


17 kelley {mountain mama cooks} February 13, 2013 at 6:58 am

I make a cabernet chocolate bundt cake and it’s amazing! I can only imagine these brownies are the same. They look so fudgy and perfect!


18 Shauna February 12, 2013 at 4:37 pm

The wine and the brownies sound amazing!!


19 Hannah February 12, 2013 at 3:28 pm

Oh yes, these lovely brownies (with icing!) are calling out to me. Red wine and chocolate are divine together. Your photos are stunning, too!
Hannah Most Recent Post: Cardamom-Scented Truffles for Valentine’s Day


20 Suzanne February 12, 2013 at 11:59 am

The wine sounds like it’s perfect with chocolate and the brownies look amazing. I will have to see if the wine is available on the East Coast. Sounds amazing.
Suzanne Most Recent Post: Caramelized White Chocolate-Food52 Genius Recipe


21 Liz N. February 12, 2013 at 10:20 am

I am now following FWT on Twitter via @mrschef05.


22 Liz N. February 12, 2013 at 10:19 am

I follow CC on Twitter via @mrschef05


23 Liz N. February 12, 2013 at 10:18 am

I receive email updates already.


24 Nancy@acommunaltable February 12, 2013 at 9:45 am

I honestly don’t know what I love most about this post…. the wine (love pinot noir) the brownies, which sound divine or the wine satchel – love that you can carry wine and yourcamera in one bag. Seriously, what more do you need?
Nancy@acommunaltable Most Recent Post: Farro Salad with Tangerines and Dried Blueberries


25 john@kitchenriffs February 12, 2013 at 9:31 am

Red wine and chocolate is a wonderful pairing! I’ve had something similar in the past, although have never made such a recipe. Hmmm, now you have me thinking! Really fun recipe and post – thanks.
john@kitchenriffs Most Recent Post: Red Beans and Rice


26 Terri Cole February 12, 2013 at 9:29 am

What a cool bag! thanks for a great giveaway! I am an email subscriber.


27 Terri Cole February 12, 2013 at 9:27 am

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.


28 Jeanne @ Cooksister February 12, 2013 at 4:49 am

Oh wow, I am in love! Pairing wine with chocolate had become so fashionable, but you don’t often see them together in one dish! Love this combo – sounds decadent, delicious and kinda adults-only ;o)
Jeanne @ Cooksister Most Recent Post: Saturday Snapshots #233


29 Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella February 11, 2013 at 11:43 pm

This would be absolutely perfect for Valentines Day! :D


30 Lana @ Never Enough Thyme February 11, 2013 at 5:42 pm

What a great recipe! I can imagine that the addition of that small amount of wine makes a huge boost in the taste. Also – love the bag. Neat company that I had not heard of before.
Lana @ Never Enough Thyme Most Recent Post: Cheese Fondue


31 Paula February 11, 2013 at 4:54 pm

If these don’t look like rich and decadent brownies then I don’t know what does. The glaze looks wonderful.


32 Abbe@This is How I Cook February 11, 2013 at 4:32 pm

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!


33 Marnely Rodriguez-Murray February 11, 2013 at 4:28 pm

Oh those brownies look amazing, what a fun giveaway!


34 Amanda February 11, 2013 at 3:25 pm

Barb, this is a beautiful recipe and a natural pairing. I’ve never thought of putting the two together – clever you!
Amanda Most Recent Post: Summer & My Slow Cooker – Chick Pea & Almond Hummus


35 Laura (Tutti Dolci) February 11, 2013 at 1:55 pm

What scrumptious brownies, they look so rich and fudgy!
Laura (Tutti Dolci) Most Recent Post: meyer lemon & strawberry jam crumb bars


36 Tommie Q February 11, 2013 at 1:51 pm

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!!)


37 Rachel Weber February 11, 2013 at 1:48 pm

I already receive your feed via email :-)


38 Rachel Weber February 11, 2013 at 1:47 pm

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!


39 Teresa February 11, 2013 at 2:17 pm

2 Words: Weekly Points!

(don’t be afraid of them!)


40 Creative Culinary February 11, 2013 at 3:03 pm

Great idea! I also froze most of mine…the better to dole them out my dear. :)


41 Erika @ The Hopeless Housewife February 11, 2013 at 1:24 pm

These brownies look amazing!
Erika @ The Hopeless Housewife Most Recent Post: Erika Monroe-Williams Behind the Scenes of “The Taste” on ABC


42 Rosa February 11, 2013 at 1:23 pm

Those brownies look and sound amazing! What an exquisite combination.




43 Laura@MotherWouldKnow February 11, 2013 at 1:05 pm

I know just who to make these for and I can’t imagine a better pairing from his point of view – or mine.
Laura@MotherWouldKnow Most Recent Post: What Foods are Aphrodisiacs?


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