With winter’s cold winds come the memories of get-togethers by the fire, family, baked treats, and of course, mulled wine.
The flavours and aromas of cinnamon, cloves, allspice and nutmeg but also peppercorns and cardamom, raisins, apples and citrus rind are comforting and heart-warming. They can turn something delicious, like wine, into something extraordinary.
There are no two identical mulled wine recipes. It seems every household has its own style, which makes the hot drink a world in itself. Some things never change, though, like using good Aussie wine. As if we needed an excuse to drink the beautiful wines from the Yarra Valley.
Here’s how to make the perfect mulled wine at home. Try our recipe and make it your own and remember to share it with your friends and family. Sharing is at the heart of our favourite winter warmer.
What Wine Should You Use?
Although there’s no right or wrong answer, mulled wine is better when made with red wine. Something nice but inexpensive. The secret here is finding wine with a nice ripe fruit core, like a Yarra Valley Shiraz. The natural spices and peppery aroma in the wine translate beautifully when turned into mulled wine, and the sometimes very pronounced chocolate scent adds layers of deliciousness to the blend. Having said that, we should say that most wines will work well, but do use freshly opened wine.
And Then There’re the Aromatics
Again, the spices you use depend on what you have around. A few cinnamon sticks and aromatic cloves form the base for most mulling spice blends, and allspice adds an exotic feel. Sugar is entirely up to taste, but we do recommend adding some citrus in the form of both orange or lime rinds and orange liqueur for an extra kick.
A mason jar filled with your own-inspiration blend of mulling spices is a great gift and a way of sharing your recipe with your loved ones.
What to Eat with Mulled Wine?
This is an excellent question. Wine is best enjoyed with the right food pairing, and that applies to mulled wine too. The warm, spice-infused drink is sweet and warming, and goes better with sweet treats like gingerbread cookies, Anzac biscuits, chocolate crackles, and it’s gorgeous with a classic lamington.
Mulled wine’s best pairing, though, is always good company, catching-up, laughter, and remembering good old times — everything tastes better around friends.
Here’s Our Recipe for the Perfect Mulled Wine
1 bottle of 750ml young Shiraz wine
2 oz Orange liqueur
1 Orange, only the peels
2 cinnamon sticks
1 tbsp of whole cloves
1 tbsp of star anise
1 tbsp of allspice
Brown sugar to taste
Heat half the wine and the spices over a low flame without letting it boil for 8-10 minutes. Once warm, add the sugar and stir until dissolved. Add the rest of the wine, stir and remove from heat. Let it sit for 5 minutes and serve.