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Time to mull over a glass of hot wine

For the holidays, spices are the perfect addition to red wine. - File photo
For the holidays, spices are the perfect addition to red wine.
— image credit: File photo

Now that the trick-or-treaters have come and gone, it definitely feels like fall is here to stay.

To celebrate this cold, damp time of the year there are always the go-to red wines but I was on the lookout for something more, dare I say it, ‘Christmassy’.

When I came across a recipe for mulled wine (which I hadn’t tried before), I knew the nutmeg, cinnamon and cloves would jumpstart the holiday mood, albeit a month too early.

Although its origin is shrouded in mystery, this festive drink has been popular throughout Europe around Christmas for at least three centuries.

It’s called greyano vino (heated wine) in Bulgaria, sick sarap (hot wine) in Turkey and vin fiery (boiled wine) in Romania.

As you can tell by its name, this wine is meant to be served piping hot with a group of friends, preferably on a chilly evening in front of a fireplace.

After searching the Internet and asking friends for a perfect recipe, I decided to combine a few to make my own.

The main ingredient is red wine, but you can opt for a cheaper one this time because the traditional spices will get all the attention.

A fruity wine from Italy, possibly a Chianti, is best. I bought Gabbiano Chianti from Everything Wine in North Vancouver for $13.50.

As the spices brewed, my apartment got a good dose of holiday cheer, proving it’s not too early to celebrate the beginning of fall.

Now, off to make your own Christmas in a glass.

Michaela’s Marvelous Mulled Wine


  • 1 bottle red wine
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 5 gratings of nutmeg
  • 1 orange, juiced
  • 3 whole cloves
  • 1 dried bay leaf
  • 1 halved lemon, juiced
  • half cup brown sugar


1. Pour a quarter bottle of wine into a large saucepan with the orange and lemon juice, 3/4 cup of sugar, bay leaf and spices.

2. Let the wine simmer until the sugar has dissolved. Keep on a rolling boil for five minutes then add more sugar to taste.

3. Pour in the rest of the wine and bring back to a boil.

3. After it’s warm and the aroma of spice fills up your home, strain the mixture into glasses and serve right away.


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