Velvet Vintner’s Chili

"Velvet Vintner's Chili isn't just any chili; it's a symphony of flavors where the robustness of red wine melds with the hearty essence of chili. That creates a dish that's both comforting and sophisticated. Crafted for those who appreciate the finer things in life, this recipe takes the classic chili to new heights, adding layers of depth and complexity with the unexpected yet delightful addition of full-bodied red wine and a hint of dark chocolate. It's the perfect dish for cozy evenings, sophisticated gatherings, or when you simply crave an amazing bowl of rich, flavor-packed comfort."

Prep Time

25 minutes

Cook Time

1.5 hours

Paired With

Main Protein



Angus beef (or a mix of beef and pork for more flavor) 2 lbs


2 lbs ground Angus beef (or a mix of beef and pork for more flavor)
1 large onion, finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 green bell pepper, diced
2 cans (14.5 oz each) diced tomatoes, undrained
2 cans (15 oz each) dark red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 cup red wine (choose a full-bodied wine like Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot)
3 tablespoons chili powder
2 teaspoons cumin
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (adjust to taste)
Salt and black pepper to taste
2 tablespoons dark chocolate (at least 70% cocoa), finely grated
Olive oil for cooking
Garnishes: sour cream, shredded cheese, chopped green onions, cilantro, lime wedges

Brown the Meat: In a large pot, heat a splash of olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the ground meat and cook until browned, breaking it apart with a spoon. Remove the meat from the pot and set aside.
Sauté Vegetables: In the same pot, add a bit more olive oil if needed. Add the onion, garlic, and bell peppers. Cook until the vegetables are softened, about 5 minutes.
Combine Ingredients: Return the browned meat to the pot. Stir in the diced tomatoes, kidney beans, tomato paste, and red wine. Mix well.
Season: Add the chili powder, cumin, smoked paprika, dried oregano, cayenne pepper, salt, and black pepper. Stir well to combine all the ingredients.
Simmer: Bring the chili to a boil, then reduce the heat to low. Cover and simmer for at least 1 hour, stirring occasionally. The longer it simmers, the better the flavors will meld.
Finish with Chocolate: In the last 5 minutes of cooking, stir in the dark chocolate until it’s fully melted and integrated into the chili. This will add a unique depth and richness.
Adjust Seasonings: Taste the chili and adjust the seasonings if necessary. Sometimes a bit more salt, cumin, or chili powder is needed.
Serve: Ladle the chili into bowls and serve with your choice of garnishes like sour cream, shredded cheese, chopped green onions, cilantro, and lime wedges.