Today is March 3rd, globally known as Mulled wine Day, of course.
Although we could have expected National Mulled Wine Day to fall closer to the festive period, I am not sure there is a better day than a frisky Friday evening to enjoy a mulled wine, whether as a reward after a busy day skiing in the Alps or a winter blues cure after after a long week’s work.
The first records of wine being heated and aromatised with fruits and spices were found in the 2nd century BC in a Plautus play. The Romans, well known for conquering Europe and taking vines and their precious juice with them on most conquests, were fond of a mulled wine type beverage. Medieval English cookbooks also referred to spiced wine recipes with ground spices and herbs. Mulled wine as we know it in the UK is a well accepted winter treat throughout the world and especially Western Europe. It has almost as many names as languages on earth, most famously known as vin chaud in France, glögg in Nordic countries, glühwein in Germany or vin brulé in Italy. It can be enjoyed in most Christmas markets and several outlets in the colder winter months.
Yes, you can find ready-to-heat bottles in most supermarkets, but honestly, it doesn’t quite taste the same as a homemade one.
Our favorite recipes always include wine of course, with other ingredients to boost the fruitiness, add a spicy element or round the palate with some sweetness. The obvious candidates are cinnamon sticks, orange peels or nutmeg, but you can get creative by adding some clove, maple syrup or even a dash of ruby port to your recipes.
Here are a few simple recipes and wine recommendations for the perfect mulled wine at home:
THE WINTERBERRY: Fruity, jammy, indulgent
Wine: Californian Zinfandel or Primitivo from Puglia
Additions: Cranberries, orange slices, cinnamon, honey
THE RUSTIC BARK: Rich, spicy, warming
Wine: Northern Rhône Syrah or a Southern Rhône GSM blend
Additions: Blackberries, clove, star anise, brandy, caster sugar
THE HEAVENLY NECTAR: Caramelised, luscious, round
Wine: Argentinian Malbec or new world Merlot
Additions: Ruby port, mandarin slices, vanilla beans, caramel or maple syrup
Are you still drinking mulled wine in March? Which of these recipes would you like to try first?
Let us know in the comments!