Vintage Roots' Selection of Organic and Biodynamic Wines

By

Winter is just around the corner, which means it’s getting dark and it’s getting cold. With the temperature threatening to plummet, there's one very important thing to stock up on: wineWith plenty of wine, you can make all the mulled wine you need to keep the cold out.

Mulled wine is one of those winter drinks you shouldn't be without! It's rich, delicious, and warming to your core. It's perfect for a family game night, or an evening spent curled up with a book or movie.

But you'd be amazed at how many recipes there are for mulled wine from around the world. It's an Old World drink and each country has their own twist!

Check out our article on how to serve mulled wine properly: Guide to Drinking and Serving Mulled Wine

Read on to find out how to make the best mulled wine recipes from all over the globe.

What is Mulled Wine?

Mulled wine is a drink originally from Europe, one made with red wine mixed with spices: usually based on a combination of star anise, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, dried fruit (like raisins, orange peel, or apples), cardamom, peppercorn, and allspice.

The drink is made over a hob, as the wine is gently heated to absorb the flavours of the spices.

Fun Facts: Did you know the Ancient Romans are believed to be the first to make mulled wine? It's believed the drink dates back to the 2nd Century A.D., when the Romans brought wine to the Rhine and Danube Rivers, from where it could spread across Europe.

Mulled wine is a classic winter drink, one that's as synonymous with Christmas and winter as hot chocolate or hot toddy. Interestingly enough, it can be made as a non-alcoholic drink (using grape or apple juice instead of wine).

However, there's nothing better than a glass of mulled wine to keep out the winter chill.​

Our Favourite Mulled Wine Recipes

Mulled wine is one of our favourite drinks to make when the weather gets cold. In fact, our article How to Make Mulled Wine, we provided one of our go-to recipes. The recipe is quick and easy, but it's not the ONLY way to mull your wine.

In fact, nearly every country in Europe has their own recipe for mulled wine. Below, we've listed the traditional mulled wine recipe from the countries we think make mulled wine right. Try them, and you may find you love them as much as we do!

When making any mulled wine, it’s important not to let the liquid boil, as it could impart a burnt flavour, and the alcohol will burn off! A top tip for making a more viscous drink is to heat a small portion of the wine and sugar and reduce it to a thick syrup. You can then add the rest of the wine and spices and simmer as normal.


Traditional Glühwein

This German drink is the perfect option for those who like their mulled wine a bit sweeter.

Ingredients:

For this recipe, you will need:

  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 star anise
  • 1/2 lemon, sliced
  • 3 cloves
  • 3 cardamom pods
  • 1 bottle of soft red wine
Traditional Glühwein

Preparation

  1. To begin, pour the wine into a pan.
  2. Add in the spices and sugar, and stir as the wine comes to a boil.
  3. Turn down the heat and let the wine simmer for 30-40 minutes.
  4. In the last five minutes of simmering, add in the lemon slices.

Our Recommendations:

For this delicious German mulled wine, we recommend you use:

Meinklang Pinot Noir – This biodynamic Austrian Pinot Noir is succulent and fresh, but it blends beautifully with the heavier spices of Gluwein.

Meinklang Pinot Noir

Meinklang Pinot Noir


Swedish Glogg

Glogg is a classic Nordic drink, one with a bit more punch than regular mulled wine. The addition of brandy gives it an extra warming kick. The combination of almonds, raisins, and cinnamon makes this an amazingly delicious drink.

Ingredients:

For this recipe, you will need:

  • 25 whole cloves
  • 10 cinnamon sticks
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1 cup flaked almonds
  • 1 tsp. cardamom
  • 2 cups sugar
  • zest of 1 orange
  • 1 bottle of Port
  • 25cl of brandy
Swedish Glogg mulled wine

Preparation

  1. To begin, pour the wine and brandy into a stock pot, and add in the cloves, cinnamon, cardamom, sugar, and orange zest.
  2. Bring the Glogg to a boil, turn it down to simmer, and mix in the raisins and almonds.
  3. The Glogg is ready after about 45 minutes of cooking on low heat.

Our Recommendations:

For this Swedish mulled wine, we recommend you use:

Fonseca Terra Prima Organic Reserve Port – This port has excellent depth, with strong liquorice, cassis, and black fruit flavours that will be even stronger when boiled for Glogg.

Fonseca Terra Prima Organic Reserve Port

Fonseca Terra Prima Organic Reserve Port

Armagnac Premier Age – If you want a brandy to make a top notch mulled wine, this is the Armagnac for you. The golden amber colour, aromas of vanilla, toast, and prune, and rich mouthfeel make this ideal for Glogg, and for sipping on its own!

 Armagnac Premier Age

Armagnac Premier Age


French Vin Chaud

Trust the French to add a touch of elegance! The addition of Cognac definitely makes it a classy drink, and you'll love the mixture of flavours when you make it with your favourite organic French red wine - we particularly recommend something from the Rhône.

Ingredients:

For this recipe, you will need:

  • 1 bottle of dry Rhône red
  • 2 Cinnamon sticks
  • 20 whole cloves
  • 1 Sliced orange
  • 10cl of Cognac
French Vin Chaud

Preparation

  1. To begin, pour the bottle of wine into a stock pot and add in the cloves and cinnamon sticks.
  2. Bring the mixture to a boil, turn the heat down, and add in the sliced orange and the Cognac.
  3. Let the mixture simmer for 25 minutes before serving.

Our Recommendations:

For this delicious French mulled wine, we recommend you use:

Guy Pinard Cognac – This cognac has a smooth, fine flavour that sets it apart from the rest. As with all drinks, it's fully organic!

 Guy Pinard Cognac

Guy Pinard Cognac

Mas de Longchamp Rouge IGP Alpilles – This Rhone Valley red is lighter and more refreshing than you'd expect for mulled wine, but its mellow fruit flavours and soft tannins make it ideal.

 Mas de Longchamp Rouge IGP Alpilles

Mas de Longchamp Rouge IGP Alpilles


Spanish Vino Caliente

The Spanish love to use a fruity Tempranillo for their mulled wine, which gives it a rich, spicy taste.

The fact that they use Brandy de Jerez makes it sweeter, which thickens it even more when the wine boils down. All in all, a wonderful drink that can drive away any chill!

Ingredients:

For this recipe, you will need:

  • 1 clementine
  • 4 strips of lemon peel
  • 2 tbsp. sugar
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 vanilla bean
  • 10cl cup Brandy de Jerez
  • 1 bottle of Tempranillo
Spanish Vino Caliente

Preparation

  1. To begin, pour the wine into a pot and add in the lemon peel, sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Cut the vanilla bean in half and add it into the pot.
  2. Once the mixture boils, turn it down to a simmer.
  3. Slice the clementine with the peel on and add it into the wine, along with the Brandy (any brandy can be used if you can’t get Brandy de Jerez). Let it simmer for 35 minutes, remove from the heat, and serve.

Our Recommendations:

For this delicious Spanish mulled wine, we recommend you use:

Toscar Tempranillo – This Tempranillo makes for easy drinking and delicious mulled wine, thanks to its flavours of cherries and strawberries.

Toscar Tempranillo

Toscar Tempranillo

Viña Ijalba Rioja Tempranillo – This ripe, plum-heavy Rioja has excellent fruitiness to make mulled wine.

 DOC Rioja Livor Tempranillo

DOC Rioja Livor Tempranillo


Portuguese Vinho Quente

This Portuguese version of mulled wine uses a mixture of Madeira and red port for extra flavour, strength and sweetness. It's not as heavily spiced as other mulled wines, but it has all the body you need to stay warm on a winter's day.

Ingredients:

For this recipe, you will need:

  • 1 orange, sliced thin
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 10 cloves
  • 1/2 bottle Port
  • 1/2 bottle of sweet Madeira
Portuguese Vinho Quente

Preparation

  1. To begin, pour the Port and Madeira into a stock pot, and place it on the stove.
  2. Add in the orange slices, cinnamon sticks, and cloves.
  3. Bring it to a boil, turn down the heat, and let it simmer for 40 minutes.

Our Recommendations:

For this delicious Portuguese mulled wine, we recommend you use:

DOC Douro Moinho do Gato – If you fancy something lighter than Port, try this unoaked Portuguese red which has intense fruit flavours, yet a surprisingly light body. The tastes of blueberry and wild red berries will make your palate sing.

 DOC Douro Moinho do Gato

DOC Douro Moinho do Gato

Casal Jordoes Tawny Port – This port is rich, sweet, and delightfully aromatic: perfect for mulled wine! With soft, ripe tannins and flavours of dark, spicy fruits, it's an ideal complement to the mulling spices.

Casal Jordoes Tawny Port

Casal Jordoes Tawny Port


British Mulled Wine

The British may be the creators of mulled cider, but they know how to do their mulled wine right, too! The combination of smooth red wine and up to a dozen spices makes for a rich drink.

Ingredients:

For this recipe, you will need:

  • 1 bottle of soft red
  • 1 clementine
  • 1/2 lemon
  • 1/2 lime
  • 100 g caster sugar
  • 3 whole clove
  • s1/2 cinnamon stick
  • 1 fresh bay leaves
  • 1/2 whole nutmeg, for grating
  • 1 vanilla pod
  • 1 star anise
British Mulled Wine

Preparation

  1. To begin, use a speed peeler to peel the clementine, lemon, and lime.
  2. In the bottom of a stock pot, squeeze the citrus juices into the sugar, add in the peels, and stir. Mix in the spices and just enough wine to cover it all. Once the sugar has dissolved and the wine is boiling, add the rest of the bottle and the star anise.
  3. Let the wine simmer for 15 minutes and serve hot.

Our Recommendations:

For this delicious British mulled wine, we recommend you use:

Domaine Bousquet Malbec - This Argentine Malbec gives you hints of vanilla and spice to provide a solid foundation for the mulling spice flavours, backed up by black plum, blackberries, and dark cherry fruits.

Domaine Bousquet Malbec

Domaine Bousquet Malbec

Organic Roots Rouge – A wonderfully soft French red, perfect for mulling and great value.

Organic Roots Rouge

Organic Roots Rouge


Italian Vin Brulé

This Italian version of mulled wine is perfect for those chilly nights when the snow is falling and you want to relax. The recipe is beautifully easy to make, and it brings a hefty dose of flavour to your holiday evenings.

Ingredients:

For this recipe, you will need:

  • 2 bottles of Italian red wine
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 orange
  • 1-2 star anise
  • 8 cloves
  • 2 sticks cinnamon
  • Pinch of nutmeg
  • 1 apple, sliced thinly
  • Peel of 1 lime
  • 2-3 bay leaves
  • 1 vanilla pod
Italian Vin Brulé

Preparation

  1. To begin, use a speed peeler to peel the clementine, lemon, and lime.
  2. In the bottom of a stock pot, squeeze the citrus juices into the sugar, add in the peels, and stir. Mix in the spices and just enough wine to cover it all. Once the sugar has dissolved and the wine is boiling, add the rest of the bottle and the star anise.
  3. Let the wine simmer for 15 minutes and serve hot.

Our Recommendations:

For this delicious Italian mulled wine, we recommend you use:

Mont’Albano Refosco/Merlot – Superb, fruity organic red wine from north east Italy.

 IGT Veneto Refosco / Merlot Mont'albano

IGT Veneto Refosco / Merlot Mont'albano

Organic Rosso – This medium-bodied red comes from the Veneto region, and is a reliable organic wine that is very popular all year round. It's soft, eminently drinkable, yet has enough flavour to stand up to the mulling.

Organic Rosso

Organic Rosso


Mulled wine is one of those drinks you can't help but love!

It's the perfect way to stay warm on a chilly evening. Try the recipes above to turn any bottle of wine into a classy European variation on your favourite winter drink.

Some of the recipes are quite similar, and it’s fun to experiment making your own recipes. Do let us know if you have any favourites!

Article by:

We are an award winning, independent wine merchant, sourcing great organic wines and other drinks.