Skip to main content

Red Wine Chili From the Vine

It's time to pull out the big pot and make the first batch of chili for the season. There are undoubtedly a bazillion ways to make chili. If this recipe didn't include wine I would've ordered a pizza for dinner.

Fall is finally setting in, and during our first day below 60 degrees I pulled out the big pot and made my first batch of chili for the season. There are undoubtedly a bazillion ways to make chili. Living in the midwest, I prefer elbow macaroni in mine. My husband likes some good spice. We both like to add cheese and crackers. Luckily for us, early in our marriage I found this awesome All-American Chili recipe from Cooking Light.

If 8 cloves of chopped garlic isn't enough for you, I guess you can add more. But Edward Cullen probably won't be your date.


I like to do all of my chopping at once. I set out glass bowls and put all of my ingredient "sets" into the bowls. For example, this chili says to put the beef, sausage, onion, garlic, green pepper and jalapeno pepper into the pot at the same time. I chop the onion, garlic, green & jalapeno peppers and put them in the same bowl. Then I empty that bowl and the meats into my stew pot.

I feel all Martha Stewart-y with my ingredients so organized in pretty glass bowls. Plus I don't like to rush around chopping and measuring while stuff is burning on the stove.


Once the meat is browned, it's time to add the spices. Again, I measure all the spices into one little bowl and then dump them into the cook pot at once.


Mix the spices into the meat mixture and let it cook together for a minute or so. Then it's time to add the wet ingredients--the tomatoes, beans and WINE. Yes, this chili includes over a cup of Merlot! The alcohol cooks off, of course, and what's left is a really rich flavor that adds a surprising smoothness to the chili.

Measure out 1.25 cups of wine for the chili...

Scroll to Continue

Recommended for You

...and a little wine for the cook.


For real, it's been a tough day. If this chili didn't include wine I would've ordered a pizza for dinner.

Once this pot of goodness comes to a boil, just turn down the heat, cover it and go do something else for an hour. Me? I watched an episode of Project Runway on my laptop while supervising my 3yo riding his bike. Win-win.


The recipe says to simmer the chili for an hour and then remove the lid and cook for another half hour. When I remove the lid, I throw in some elbow macaroni and then stop the cooking when the macaroni is done.

We serve ours with shredded, extra-sharp cheddar cheese and some Saltine crackers.


I think it's a hit!


The Mama’s Guide to Soup

Soup! We all have our favorites. We all have our quick and easy soup recipes, our family favorites, the ones only you know about, and the side dishes that perfectly pair with that warm bowl yummy. Today’s Mama wanted to share all of the soup recipes, tips, secrets, and hacks we’ve come to love and enjoy. The Mama’s Guide to Soup is packed with recipes, tips, tricks, resources, and more! To learn more, check out our extensive guide to soups.

guide to soup recipes


8 Hearty Chili Recipes -

8 Hearty Chili Recipes

Pick one of these eigh chili recipes and you've just upgraded a baked potato to a meal or turned nachos into a gourmet appetizer. Bring on a hearty meal!


Wine Tasting: How To & Where

When I went to Napa Valley years ago, my husband didn't appreciate my assessment that every wine tasted "very grapey." Don't let that happen to you. Paul Giamatti and I can teach you how to handle a wine tasting.

Image placeholder title

Chicken Leek and White Bean Chili

I bought some leeks the other day and had in mind that I would make a soup of leeks with some chicken thrown in.


Walt Disney's Family Chili Recipe

Chili just like Walt used to eat!

Image placeholder title

Hatch Chili Meatloaf

It’s Hatch chili season and Central Market did not disappoint.

Circa 2005 with friends Leslie and Molly

St. Patrick's Day Party Ideas

With the early spring drab weather setting a gray mood, I decided that my family really needed a party to lift our spirits. What better excuse than St. Patrick's Day! Here are some ideas and recipes I pulled together for our family-friendly get-together.

Image placeholder title

Stuffed Red Bell Peppers Recipe

Looking for a healthy, tasty summer dinner recipe.

Snapshot 2012-07-09 11-46-50

So Much Family Travel

I didn't think we were doing any family travel this summer, and then suddenly the calendar blew up. Here's what we'll pack for three trips worth of travel activities.