Blog post courtesy of Ponte Family Estate Winery in Temecula Valley.
Mulled wine, with its sweet scent of cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg, is a festive way to celebrate the holiday season. For those who aren’t familiar with the term, “mulled wine” is just a simple combination of red wine with a variety of spices, most commonly the ones listed above.
This warm and spicy drink is popular worldwide and versions of it can be found in many countries. Scandanavia’s Glogg contains cardamom, ginger and bitter orange. The French call their mulled wine vin chaud, which features lemon, while Romanians add apples to their vin fiert. In Bulgaria, greyano vino is seasoned with peppercorns while South Brazil’s vinho quente gets its extra kick from the addition of cachaça. As you can see, the combination of warm, red wine and spices, fruit or herbs is a tradition all over the world.
A modern American take on a mulling spice mix could include cinnamon, cloves, allspice berries and orange rind.
To make it, simmer 4 cups of red wine (whatever kind you like; I used Cabernet Sauvignon), 1/3 cup sugar and 2 tablespoons of the mulling spices for about 20 minutes. Remove the spices and serve.
You can serve mulled wine in wine glasses, Irish coffee glasses, even coffee mugs, and you can garnish with all kinds of things, such as cinnamon sticks, orange or lemon wheels, apple slices, even mini candy canes. And for you Californians who are still battling the heat, there is an option for you, too: just chill the finished wine and serve over ice.
For more great food and wine recipes from Temecula Valley wine country, visit Ponte’s blog.
A toast to the holidays from Temecula Valley Wine Country!