Mulled white wine has become synonymous with the winter months– especially in European countries, where the beverage takes control of Christmas markets throughout the holiday season. Made from red white wine, a splash of port or brandy, oranges, and a number of mulling spices like cinnamon or nutmeg, mulled red wine is the ultimate winter sipper sure to warm you up from the inside out.
Thought to have actually come from ancient Greece as an approach of decreasing waste of leftover wines from harvest, mulled red wine was later imitated and broadened upon by the Romans. In ancient Rome, the drink was called conditum paradoxum and was made by combining equivalent parts white wine and honey with dates and spices like bay leaves and saffron prior to boiling the mix to enjoy it warm.
The variation of mulled white wine we know and like today hails from Victorian England, when Charles Dickens blogged about mulled wine, described as Cigarette smoking Bishop, in his novel “A Christmas Carol.” It was this exact option that resulted in mulled white wine’s association with the cozy holiday months and more promoted mulled white wine’s ingredients list– red white wine, port, oranges, cloves, and cardamom.
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When it comes to mulling our own red wine at home, choosing the proper bottle doesn’t need to be a hassle, however you should keep in mind that you don’t wish to mull a wine you would not drink by itself. In the sensible words of VinePair CEO Adam Teeter, “sh * t in, sh * t out.” The proper bottle of red for mulling, first and foremost, should be on the cheaper side, but never ever skimping on quality. There is an abundance of wines readily available with incredible depth, body, and character that will not break the bank.
In regards to specific types of red you’ll wish to be grabbing this winter season, avoid lighter-bodied, higher-acid reds like Pinot Noir or Gamay, as their taste and fruit notes have a tendency to burn when warmed up, leading to a mulled red wine tasting heavily of spices. Rather, you’ll want to grab a bottle with robust depth and abundant fruit flavors like Cabernet Sauvignon, Zinfandel, or even red blends. Not only do these designs tend to have greater alcohol content– which is necessary for mulled white wine as a few of the alcohol will evaporate throughout the heating procedure– however juicy fruit flavors will also help boost the mulling spices to warm you from the within out.
For particular bottles to choose from next time you discover yourself fancying a mug of mulled wine, here are five amazing picks.
Intrinsic Cabernet Sauvignon 2017 ($19)
Hailing from Washington State, Intrinsic’s Cabernet Sauvignon is, according to VinePair’s tastings director Keith Beavers, the ultimate red for mulling. With mild level of acidity and a myriad of luxurious fruit flavors, this red blends flawlessly with citrus and baking spices like cloves, star anise, and cinnamon. At just $19, this is a fantastic case-buy– you’ll want some to drink sans mulling as well.
Los Vascos Cabernet Sauvignon 2018 ($10)
Priced at simply $10, Los Vascos Cabernet Sauvignon is a perfect pick for mulling. With simply a touch of oak and luscious medium-weight fruits, this Taxi is a perfect bottle to keep equipped in your home for simple drinking and mulling.
Primus The Blend 2018 ($21)
Red blends are a great choice for mulled wine as the different grape ranges add a depth that allows for residual sugars released in the heating process to further mesh with the mulling spices. The Blend 2018 from Primus Wines, with its strong fruits, slight pepper edge, and fleshy mouthfeel, is an ideal red blend for mulling.
Chateau Ste. Michelle Indian Wells Red Blend 2017 ($15)
With a tremendous 14.5 percent ABV and costing just $15, Chateau Ste. Michelle’s Indian Wells Red Blend is a perfect bottle for sipping warmed. Earthy notes and strong plummy tastes on the taste buds virtually ask for a couple of mulling spices to be added to the mix.
Artezin Old Vine Zinfandel 2015 ($15)
If you’re searching for a mulled red wine on the sweeter side, attempt making some with a bottle of Artezin Old Vine Zinfandel from 2015. With ripe strawberry and cherry notes, this bottling is robust and round, completely canceling the savory mulling spices with flexible fruit flavors.