Guide to Drinking and Serving Mulled Wine

Vintage Roots

For a chilly winter’s evening, there’s nothing like a mug of mulled wine to help you stay warm and toasty. The mixture of wine, spices, and fruit flavours drives back the cold, and it’s a brilliant drink to enjoy all winter long.

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In a previous article, we taught you everything you need to know about how to make a delicious mulled wine at home.

In this blog post, find out how to serve mulled wine, what to eat when serving mulled wine, how to drink mulled wine the right way, and more…

Love mulled wine? Why not check our tips on How to Make the Perfect Mulled Wine at Home and our guide for How to Make Mulled Cider.

What to Serve with Mulled Wine

The beauty of mulled wine is that it’s a drink that you can enjoy on its own. Whether you’re sitting in front of the fireplace with a good book, playing games with your family, or watching TV, mulled wine is a warming drink that is brilliant on its own without the need to serve snacks or a meal.

However, if you’re serving mulled wine, here are a few foods that pair well with the festive spiced drink:

Swedish dishes

For those who are making “glogg” (the Swedish version of mulled wine), traditional Swedish dishes like pickled fish and crackers go well with the mulled wine.


The combination of rich cheese and white wine makes for a brilliant dinner to serve alongside mulled wine.


If you’re looking for a few kinds of cheese to pair with a sweet mulled wine, try serving saltier cheeses. Blue cheese pairs well with heavily spiced wines (featuring cinnamon and clove flavours), and you’ll love the pairing of mulled wine with Roquefort, Wensleydale, or Comté cheese.

Mince pies

For those who love the classic British style of mulled wine (or cider), pairing it with mince pies is the ultimate Christmas combination. Want to find out more? Read our complete Christmas Desserts and Wine Guide.

 how to serve mulled wine

How Do You Serve Mulled Wine?

If you want to know how to serve mulled wine correctly, we’ve got some advice to help you out:

What type of mug/glass/cup to use?

Most mulled wine is served in a mug. Ceramic or porcelain mugs will help to protect your hands from the heat of the spiced wine, and the mug handle will make it much easier to drink. Glass mugs are another good option for serving mulled wine.

However, there are special mulled wine glasses. These glasses are designed for serving mulled wine, and while the shape can vary slightly, they have handles, enabling you to hold the drink even when hot. They usually have a wide brim, making it easy to drink the wine despite the garnishes (orange slices, cinnamon sticks, etc.).

How to avoid grainy or gritty wine

Many recipes call for you to use ground spices when making mulled wine, but adding the powdered spices can lead to grainy or gritty wine. Instead, why not toast the spices whole (cinnamon sticks, cloves, anise, etc.) and add them into the mulled wine without grinding them? You will be able to strain them out easily, leaving you with a smooth wine free of grit and grain.

As a bonus, toasting the spices without grinding them will bring out the essential oils, giving them more, subtler flavours and complexity.

How to garnish mulled wine

You can always serve mulled wine without a garnish, but what fun would that be? Here are a few fun ways to garnish the mulled wine:

  • Drop in a cinnamon stick
  • Drop in an orange slice
  • Dot cloves into orange peels and drop the studded peel in
  • Drop in whole spices (like star anise)
  • Drop in a few cherries or brightly-coloured berries

The garnish is mostly decorative, but it’s all a part of the fun that is mulled wine!

How to Keep Mulled Wine Warm

Mulled wine is fairly easy to prepare, though it is somewhat time-consuming. It’s always easier to make a large batch all at once, and simply keep it warm throughout the evening. But, when serving mulled wine to a large crowd, it’s easy to enjoy your evening and forget about the mulled wine.

You have three options for having eternally warm mulled wine throughout the evening:

  1. Prepare it in the slow cooker – Preparing mulled wine in the slow cooker will take longer (up to 3 hours on a low setting), but it will make it much easier to keep the wine warm. Simply leave it on low or warm, and it will stay nice and warm all night long.
  2. Pour it into a thermos – If you have a large enough thermos, you can keep the mulled wine on hand throughout the evening. The thermos will keep it nice and warm, and it will be easy to serve without having to go to the kitchen.
  3. Re-heat it – If you make mulled wine in a pot, you can always put that pot back on the stove and re-heat the wine. As long as you don’t bring it to a boil, the flavour of the wine won’t be affected. You may lose a little of the alcohol punch, but you still get all the rich, spicy taste of your delicious mulled wine.

Can You Drink Mulled Wine Cold?

Some wines (like white wine and sparkling wine) are meant to be drunk cold, while others (such as red wine) are meant to be consumed at room temperature (check out our Full Guide to Serving Wine here). But what category does mulled wine fall into? Most do enjoy this festive drink as a winter warmer, but drinking it chilled is always an option too if that’s your preference. Or you can even use your mulled wine to make a mulled wine cocktail … which is said to be a great party drink (here’s a simple recipe for a mulled wine cocktail from BBC Good Food).

Organic Wines Perfect  for Mulled Wine

Here are some wines that are perfect for drinking hot and making mulled wine:

  • Adobe Syrah Reserva – Chilean wine with a spicy, smoky flavour, and hints of blackcurrant.
  • Organic Roots Rouge – A fruit-forward organic red full of soft, bright fruits with aromas of juicy black raspberry and cherry.

  • Bodegas Piqueras Garnacha Tintorera – Made from the rare Garnacha Tintorera grape, this wine has ripe red cherries, raspberries and more with a touch of vanilla spice on the nose.

Check out our How to Make Mulled Wine at Home article for more wines you can use to make mulled wine at home, along with a simple mulled wine recipe.

What makes mulled wine so delicious is the aromas released by the spices when heated. These aromas only come out when the wine is hot, and they help to add a fuller, deeper flavour to the wine. If you drink the mulled wine cold, you won’t get all those subtle aromas and flavours.

You’ll still get some of the delicious taste, but far less than you would if you drank the wine hot.

Follow the advice above, and you’ll nail that mulled wine every time. Now that you know how to serve mulled wine just right, you can turn every winter night into a party!


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