Mulled wine brings a certain warmth, charm, and cheer to winter, especially around the holidays. Every December I like to recreate the well loved Glühwein of Germany’s outdoor markets. And, though it is never quite the same as when it is ladled from a kettle on the cobbled streets of Dresden, or sipped from a white paper cup with snowflakes adrift between strands of gingerbread, I have discovered that Malbec makes quite a nice spiced wine for a Sutter Buttes sort of season. It pairs perfectly with a sunset, moonrise or star gazing on a cold winter’s eve.
Malbec is bold, fruity, and smooth which compliments the addition of winter spices and orange peel without becoming too sharp, peppery, or acidic.
What you’ll need:
1 Bottle 2014 Cordi Estate Malbec
½ Cup Light Brown Sugar - I like to use brown sugar in place of white sugar because it adds a hint of molasses. More sugar can be added to your taste.
1 Cinnamon Stick
8 Whole Cloves
3 Whole Allspice
More spices can be added for a zestier mulled wine.
Directions: (Stove Top)
Cut orange in half, and juice. Save the peel.
Bring 1 cup of water to a simmer on the stove.
Add sugar and orange juice. Stir to dissolve sugar.
Add cinnamon stick and allspice.
Press cloves into orange peel and add to the mixture.
Let simmer on low for 20 minutes or until slightly syrupy and you can smell the spices! Stir occasionally.
Add wine, cover with lid and let steam on lowest heat setting for 5-10 minutes. It is important not to overheat the wine, it shouldn’t boil, or simmer. Overheating wine or heating it too quickly can cook off the alcohol and give it a bitter, unpleasant taste.
Remove orange peel and spices.
Pour into warmed mugs and enjoy! Mugs can be garnished with slices of orange, cinnamon sticks, or star anise.
Mulled wine can be made easily and kept warm in the crockpot!
Add Malbec, orange juice, brown sugar, clove-studded orange peel, cinnamon stick and allspice to your crockpot. Stir to dissolve sugar. For easy mulling, I put spices in a fillable tea bag.
Let it warm on low for about 2-3 hours. Warming time varies depending on the crockpot.
Remove orange peel and spices. This is where the tea bag comes in handy!
Pour into warm mugs and enjoy!
Mulling spice blends can be used. They usually include dried orange peel, clove, allspice, cassia, and star anise. Blends can be found in most grocery stores and are perfect for filling tea bags for easy mulling. Or create your own blend of favorite spices. Just be cautious of quantity... a little goes a long way!