Last week we discussed white winemaking and techniques to achieve richer interpretations. Thank you Alexander Cornett, Tristan Garthe, and Westley Satterwhite for your input!
This week: Holiday Wine
What is mulled wine, its original intended purpose, and origin?
Mulled wine is wine that has been heated with sugar and spices and also, sometimes, slices of fruit and even brandy. This was a particularly common way of serving wine in the Middle Ages, since honey and spices helped to compensate for any shortcomings in wine quality (which were likely to be considerable as the months since the harvest wore on in this age when wine was served directly from the barrel). The verb 'mull' was current at least from the beginning of the 17th century. Recipes vary but red wine is almost invariably used, and cinnamon and cloves are common. It is far less difficult to make good mulled wine than to find drinking vessels that retain the heat but are not uncomfortably hot to hold.
--Source Robinson's Oxford Companion to Wine
Happy Holidays everyone!
Mulled wine is thought to have its origins with the Romans who developed the warm, spiced wine to for their soldiers. As the Roman Empire spread across more and more of Europe, the practice of mulling wine spread as well. Different regions have their own styles, traditions, and names--a few are gluhwien in Germany, lutendrank in Sweden, glogg in many Scandinavian countries.
other examples:1/ in France it is known as Vin Chaud (hot wine) and popular in the french Alps
2/ this spread to the Francophile area of Quebec where besides the usual spices, often local maple
syrup and sometimes whisky are added, and it is now called Caribou. Commercial versions are also