Whether it’s food pairings or soulmates, opposites often attract. Just as the calm personality of one person can complement the extroversion of another, so too can a delicate flavor seamlessly combine with a bold one in a delicious meal. While rich, stinky cheeses are often washed down with lightweight, flinty white wines, soft bubblies are ideal matches for deep-fried fare.

But in other instances, more is more; Cabernet Sauvignon is big enough to stand up to gamey steak, and buttery Chardonnay is an even match for even butterier lobster. Such is the case when it comes to red wine and dark chocolate.

While the two ingredients are similarly tannic and rich in flavor, they can combine to create a dessert that oozes decadence and — with Valentine’s Day around the corner — romance.

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No matter if your sweetheart and you are polar opposites or two peas in a pod, this unlikely flavor combination is a match made in heaven.

This cake combines red wine with chocolate for a perfect Valentine's Day dessert

Chocolate Red Wine Bundt Cake (Lightly Adapted from Giada De Laurentiis)

Ingredients

Cake:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for the pan
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus more for the pan
  • 3 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup red wine (preferably Pinot Noir, though any dry red wine will do)
  • 1 cup bittersweet chocolate chips

Glaze:

  • 2/3 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon red wine

Directions

  1. Make the cake: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter and flour a 12-cup bundt pan, tapping out any excess.
  2. In a bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, salt, and baking powder.
  3. In another bowl, beat together the granulated sugar and butter until light and fluffy.
  4. Add the eggs one at a time, beating to combine after each. Then beat in the vanilla.
  5. Add half of the dry ingredients and mix on low to combine. Add half of the wine and mix on low to combine. Repeat. Add in the chocolate chips and fold in.
  6. Pour the mixture into the prepared pan and smooth the top. Bake for 40-50 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before inverting onto a wire rack. Allow to cool completely.
  7. Make the glaze: In a small bowl, whisk together the powdered sugar and wine until smooth. Drizzle over the cooled cake. Allow the glaze to set for 30 minutes before serving.