Try Warming Up with Mulled Wine
A cozy sweater. A crackling fire. And a cold glass of white?
We love wine, but we also love staying warm. While a chilled glass of Pinot Grigio certainly brings the flavor, it also brings the cold inside. Luckily, there’s a way to enjoy a warming, winter-friendly wine — introducing mulled wine.
Sangrias might reign as the ultimate summer drink, but we think mulled wine makes a great case to be the perfect winter warmer-upper.
Read on to learn all about this wonderful wintry drink and how to craft a marvelous glass of mulled wine for your sipping pleasure.
What is Mulled Wine?
Commonly referred to as spiced wine, mulled wine is an alcoholic beverage made with red wine and mulling spices served to toasty perfection. Often made with a handful of raisins, mulled wine is most popular around the winter holidays and is perfect for keeping you warm and cozy on a cold, windy night.
While mulled wine is still gaining popularity in the states, it’s been a mainstay in Europe for over two thousand years. It might be hard to spot, though, as this heat-infusing drink goes by many different names:
- Glogg (Sweden)
- Vin Chaud (France)
- Glühwein (Germany)
It was first mentioned in Curculio, a play written by Roman playwright Plautus in the 2nd century BC. As the Romans spread their empire over Europe, they brought this delicious wine with them across the continent, from the Rhine to the Scottish highlands.
Mulled wine spices often include favorites like cinnamon, cloves, and allspice, although tangerines, lemons, and raisins are also often used to infuse a tart citrus twist.
While most mulled wine is alcoholic, there are also non-alcoholic versions. This drink was actually created in order to recycle old herbs, spices, and fruits. While they may not taste great on their own, they’ll infuse an extra tang into an older, full-bodied wine, especially when heated up.
In fact, ancient Europeans felt that mulled wine was more closely related to medicine than a delicious alcoholic beverage. Today, mulled wine isn’t just a delicious drink; it’s the perfect company to wait out the winter winds.
For a marvelous glass of mulled wine, we recommend using a fruit-forward, full-bodied red wine like a Syrah or Malbec. Wines with more subtle flavors are best for solo sipping. Only full-bodied reds can really compete with the powerful flavors of the spices found in a hearty mulled wine.
How to Make Mulled Wine
Mulled wine cooks up easily at home in a pot or your slow cooker. You can stock up your spice shelf or reach for a convenient mulling spice blend like this one from Williams-Sonoma.
Of course, don’t be afraid to experiment. Throw in cardamom pods or a dash of coriander for an extra spicy tang. The beauty of mulled wine is in your ability to try out the older spices at the back of your cupboards in new and exciting ways.
After creating your delicious concoction, warm the mixture slowly over low heat. Be sure not to bring your pot to a boil, as that will boil away all the alcohol.
Mulled Wine Recipe
Simplicity is beauty. If that’s the case, then mulled wine might just be the most beautiful wine cocktail out there. Not only is it sweet, spicy, and delicious, but it can also be made in less than fifteen minutes with ingredients you likely already have stashed away in your cupboard.
Here’s a wonderfully simple recipe for some toasty mulled wine that will leave you wishing for six more weeks of winter.
- 1 bottle of a full-bodied red wine like our Syrah or Malbec.
- 1 shot of brandy or port wine
- 1/4 cup of honey
- 6 cinnamon sticks
- 4 whole cloves
- 2 oranges, sliced
- Pour all your ingredients in a large saucepan, holding onto one of your oranges and four cinnamon sticks
- Bring the mixture to just below a boil and allow to simmer for ten minutes
- Pour into mugs, add a cinnamon stick and slice of orange to each.
In pairing your mug of warm mulled wine, look for sweet and savory options like smoked ham or sharp cheeses like a peppery Toscano.
Make a Glass of Mulled Wine With Wine Insiders
Often, we spend so much of the year longing for the summer sun that we forget to appreciate the wonders that each season brings.
Only in winter can you fully enjoy your toasty sweaters, cozy sweatpants, and the calming hum of a crackling fire.
To make your winter nights even more memorable, whip up a batch of toasty, spiced mulled wine. Pour in one of our many scrumptious, fruit-forward red wines and wait out the night with a steaming mug and spiced flavor in each sip.
To make the winter pass by a little quicker, use our discount code WINE101 for an extra 30% off your order!