Mulled Wine

There’s something about dark and cold evenings that make warm, spiced, mulled wine a magical treat. Mulled wine is similar in concept to sangria, but served warm rather than iced. While you can find spice mixes that make this concoction really easy, you can also make your own spice mix and adjust to your preference.

It is great news that recent science says winemakers are getting better at making tastier and more complex organic wines than before, and as always, they are better for farmworker and environmental health. So pick up organic wine when you can!

The Science

A recent review on the quality of organic and biodynamic wines, published in the journal Food Chemistry, found that there is growing consumer interest in more sustainably produced wines. Organic winemakers are becoming more innovative to work through the limits of organic production, and make wines that are not only higher in antioxidants naturally, but also taste better. And while you’re sipping on your organic wine, you can also rest easy knowing that scientific studies revealing environmental benefits of organic winemaking continue to emerge. A recent study published in the American Journal of Ecology and Viticulture found that vineyards under organic management had better nutrient cycling and more biodiversity than conventional vineyards.

The Recipe

Photo Credit: Hannah Pemberton

Because this dish is a bit involved, it’s worth making a large batch for a big family meal. This recipe accomplishes that amount.


  • Medium pot to hold at least 8 cups
  • Strainer


  • 1 bottle of red wine
  • 1 orange sliced OR a good pinch of dried orange peel
  • Sugar, honey or apple cider for sweetness (to taste; 2 tablespoons is a good place to begin )
  • OPTIONAL: Additional liqueur such as brandy
  • Spices: pick your favorites and play around with amounts until you find your favorite combination. Here’s a suggested starting place:
    • 4 star anise
    • 1 teaspoon whole cloves
    • 4 cinnamon sticks
    • 2 cardamom pods


Cooking Directions

  • Combine all ingredients into a pot and gently simmer for 15 minutes or up to several hours.
  • Do not let the mix boil or it will burn off the alcohol.
  • Serve warm with optional garnishes of additional cinnamon sticks and citrus slices.



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