Glühwein, or mulled wine, is a favorite this time of year. There is nothing like the smell of aromatic spices and red wine wafting throughout the house on a cold day. While it can be made any time of year, there is something about the holiday season that makes me want to make it - and the process (and smell) is as much fun as the drinking. This is a great recipe for a party, but also lovely to have around the house. I also like making a batch, filling up a few bottles and giving as gifts!
It is very simple to make. I like making it in a slow cooker (on warm/low) so that it can just be on during the day to simmer and intensify in flavor. You can also easily make it on the stove in a large pot.
1 bottle red wine
1.5 cups orange juice
1-2 thick slices lemon (with rind)
2 cinnamon sticks
1 star anise
3 Tbsp dark brown sugar (or muscavado)
You can tie up all of the spices in a little bit of cheesecloth, or just toss it all in the pot and strain to drink. Simply heat it all together (don't boil). Keep on low heat from 30 minutes up to several hours - the longer it it together in the pot, the more intense the flavor. Serve warm. Garnish with a cinnamon stick if you like!
Organic and biodynamic wines are very available nowadays - even in the aisles of many supermarkets. Buying wine made using organic grapes, grown biodynamically, and/or from vintners using sustainable agriculture practices means that not only are you steering clear of any nasty pesticides, but also supporting a more human and earth healthy business. And if you can find an organic wine made locally? Bigger bonus!
"With grapes topping the list of the most chemically "sprayed" (with insecticides, herbicides, fungicides and other nasty "cides") categories of produce on the market today, it is no wonder that many are seeking an organic alternative to their conventional wines. Tides are certainly turning as more vintners are discovering that the common-sense approach to both organic and biodynamic growing methods, results in not only "healthier" vines, but in wines with greater flavor..."