I first had mulled wine in France about six years ago. My wife, an amazing French teacher, had earned a trip to Nice between Christmas and New Year’s. Nice is on the Mediterranean and one of the warmest places in France. We saw ripe oranges on trees, but there was ice on shallow puddles in the mornings. Locals said it was colder than it had been in years. Mulled wine was one of the ways they dealt with the cold. Many shopkeeper’s offered it upon entry to their store. The warmed spiced wine took the chill off nicely. It didn’t matter that it may have been a time when most Americans would be getting coffee. When in France, experience the place.
Mulled wine offers warm comfort on a chilly day. It can be a nice treat for guests arriving for holiday parties. A pricey wine is not needed. Its a great use for a bottle that’s been open a few days. The wine I used in the photo was a hawthorn wine I made a year ago.
I have two hawthorn trees in my backyard and looked up what could be done with the berries. The wine turned out to have no off flavors. But it didn’t really have on flavors either. It was bland. A variety of fruits and spices may be used in mulled wine. I used two sliced apples, a bit of lemon rind, a cinnamon stick, and one star anise. I brought it to a boil then reduced heat to warm for a half hour. It passed my taste test, so I took it off the heat. When it cooled I strained and bottled it. I had a little more than fit in a wine bottle and found that it wasn’t bad lukewarm either.