Holiday Cheer

Although NYC is still without any snow (not complaining), it is officially time to get into the holiday spirit. One of my favorites from my time living in Switzerland was mulled wine – I think of it at the Christmas market on Lac Leman, or during a ski break in the mountains. Mulled wine is not something that typically comes up in the industry or wine studies, but I have no shame…it’s so good! Few things bring people together or spark such vivid memories like the smell & taste of mulled wine.

Last weekend we tested 2 bases: Merlot and Pinot Noir. Don’t spend money on fine wine for this, you’re going to add sugar and cook it. Merlot was the preferred, as it’s fruity qualities and softly tannic structure worked well.

I’m a lucky girl, and S.S. had brought special mulled wine spices from Germany for us to use. You can’t get them here, but that’s ok: your mulled wine will still turn out tasty.


You can use your imagination for the ingredients, but start here, and you’ll get the general idea:

– 1/2 cup Orange Juice

– 2 tbs. White Sugar

– 1 magnum Red Wine (preferably Merlot)

– Spices: Cinnamon Sticks, Star Anise, Cloves, Nutmeg, Orange Peel (…here’s your opportunity to get creative)

Over medium heat, add about a cup of wine to a large pot. Dissolve the sugar in the wine while stirring. After several minutes of stirring, add the rest of the wine and all of the spices, along with the orange juice and stir. If dinner’s not ready yet, just cover and let it sit over low heat – it will probably be even better!




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