Updated: Feb 26
A beloved holiday custom that dates back to the 2nd century Roman era is mulled wine. Spices were added to promote health, and wine was warmed to combat the bitter European winters. In order to mask the taste of the cheap wine, which was much more prevalent than good wine, sweeteners were added. Mulled wine is basically red wine that has been simmered with a variety of spices, such as star anise, cinnamon, and cloves, to give it a delicious, spiced flavor.
Mulled Wine is known as svaák in Prague. Glögg, a wine made with blanched almonds, raisins, cardamom, and typically more sugar, can be found in Nordic countries. Mulled wine is made with a shot of rum or amaretto and is referred to as Gluhwein, or “glow wine,” in Germany. Depending on where you are in the world, you will find different names for this drink, including vino caliente, vin brulé, bisschopswijn, vin chaud, candola, and vinho quente or so many other names.
Look for a dry red wine and no need to break the bank. The best options are Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Zinfandel, Syrah, or Pinot Noir.
1 (750 ml) bottle of red wine
2 cups apple cider
1/4 cup Triple Sec or Brandy
1 orange, sliced
6 whole allspice berries
2 cinnamon sticks
2 star anise
2-4 tbsp sweetener (honey, sugar or maple syrup)
It’s best to serve mulled wine warm, not boiling. The sugars will begin to caramelize and the mixture will begin to burn if you allow it to boil. Always simmer; never boil.
Our wine tour packages also include a delicious dinner in the vine, and small group tours so you can enjoy your privacy. What makes the tour more memorable is the added advantage of the scenic views that Solvang offers.