Warm and Spicy Wine — Really?

spiced wineI’m about to do something wild and crazy: I’m going to throw spices, fruit and sugar — yes, sugar! — into perfectly good wine. Will it kill a bottle of otherwise decent wine? Maybe. Is there a reason I’m going to violate this wine? Well of course there is.

This winter I’ve been getting a lot of questions about Spiced Wine, or Mulled Wine. There must have been an article in a woman’s magazine or a TV talk show, because Spiced Wine is suddenly all the rage. Everyone wants to try it, and expects to buy some Spiced Wine already bottled and ready to pour.

“Not so fast,” I say. “If you’re going to drink some crazy concoction, or a weird and wonderful mixture of anything, you better be mixing it yourself.”

Why? Because then you know what’s in it. I feel the same way about Sangria, too. I refuse to drink some off-the-shelf Sangria made from horribly cheap wine, dolled up with added chemicals, sugar and artificial flavoring. If I’m going to drink some blended rubbish, then I’m gonna be doing the blending.

So what about the Spiced Wine? I know it has a long, long tradition in Europe and England, because it’s the perfect drink to warm you up on a frigid winter evening. Practically every country in the Northern Hemisphere has their own variation on spices, fruits and booze, but I intend to make a quasi-English version, because that’s where my ancestors hail from.

I’m going to pause here while I shop for the ingredients and get my kitchen prepped for the action, and I’ll report in later…

OK, I’ve poured, chopped and simmered, and created a nice Spiced Wine. I started with a bottle of Rosenblum Vintners Cuvee Zinfandel, because it’s a naturally fruity and full-bodied wine. I added (according to my recipe) about 1/4 cup of sugar, the zest of an orange, 12 whole cloves and four cinnamon sticks. But that’s not all: the magic ingredient was 1/2 cup Ruby Port. This put it over the top, adding richness and body plus just a little extra alcohol.

I actually liked my Spiced Wine! I think you will too. Try it for something fun and completely different. Cheers!

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3 Responses to “Warm and Spicy Wine — Really?”

  • Apple cinnamon spice like mas apple pie..Sundays in October are going to be delicious as Bucks Countys will host Spiced Apple Sundays from 11am to 6pm every week. While fall is arguably Bucks Countys most scenic season we dont always find the time to take it all in. This is the perfect opportunity take a few hours one Sunday to sip the flavors of fall..Each Sunday throughout the month the Chaddsford tasting room located in Peddlers Village will feature a variety of wine punches their famous Spiced Apple Wine and Hot Caramel Apple which is back by popular demand after last years debut. For a 10 fee customers will be able to sample ALL THREE wines and then choose a glass of their favorite to enjoy in their newly renovated tasting room…Chaddsfords Apple Spiced Wine.Winemaker notes When its cold..Spiced Apple is hot!

  • Totally awesome.

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