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Gather Round: Classic Mulled Wine Recipe and Food Pairing



Mulled wine is a warm and comforting drink that is perfect for cold winter evenings.

Warm drinks, such as mulled wine, can have a relaxing and soothing effect on the body and mind. The warmth from the drink can help to relax muscles and increase circulation, which can help to ease tension and stress. The heat also causes the blood vessels to dilate, which can help to improve the overall feeling of warmth and comfort.

The spices and aroma of the drink can also have a positive effect on the mind. For example, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves have been found to have a calming and soothing effect on the body and mind. The aroma of these spices can also stimulate the senses and help to improve mood.



History



Mulled wine has a long history dating back to ancient times. The Romans are believed to be the first to warm their wine with spices and honey to make it more palatable during the colder months. The practice of mulling wine was also popular during the Middle Ages in Europe, where it was commonly served at fairs, markets, and other public gatherings. Monks in monasteries also used to make and serve mulled wine to warm up the body and soul.

In the 16th century, mulled wine was known as "hippocras" or "hypocras" and was made with a mix of spices, sugar and wine, it was served in a special container called a "hippocras bag" to strain the spices.

Mulled wine was also popular in colonial America, where it was made with locally-sourced ingredients such as cinnamon, nutmeg, and maple syrup.

Today, mulled wine is enjoyed all over the world during the winter months, and it is often associated with Christmas and other winter holidays. Mulled wine can be found in different variations, from the traditional European style to the more modern and fruity American style. It is often made with red wine, but it can also be made with white wine or even with cider. Mulled wine has become a staple in many bars, restaurants, and street markets during the Christmas season.



Recipe



Here is a classic recipe for mulled wine:


Ingredients:

  • 1 bottle of red wine (such as a Cabernet Sauvignon or a Merlot)

  • 1 cup of brandy

  • 1 cup of honey or sugar

  • 1 orange, zested and juiced

  • 2 cinnamon sticks

  • 4 cloves

  • 4 allspice berries

  • 2 star anise

  • nutmeg

Instructions:

  1. In a large pot, combine the red wine, brandy, honey or sugar, orange zest and juice, cinnamon sticks, cloves, allspice berries, and star anise.

  2. Bring the mixture to a simmer over low heat, stirring occasionally to dissolve the honey or sugar.

  3. Once the mixture is simmering, reduce the heat to low and let it simmer for at least 20 minutes to let the flavors infuse.

  4. Remove from heat and strain the mixture into a pitcher or a pot and serve warm. Add a pinch of nutmeg on top of each glass before serving.

You can also add some fruits like apple and pear, or even spices like ginger, cardamom and vanilla.

Some variations of this recipe include using white wine or using a combination of red and white wines, adding a splash of cranberry or apple juice, or using a different sweetener such as maple syrup or agave nectar. You can experiment with different spices, fruits and sweeteners to find the perfect combination of flavors that you enjoy.



Food Pairing


What are the best food pairing with mulled wine?



Mulled wine pairs well with a variety of foods. Here are a few suggestions:

  1. Roasted meats: such as beef, pork, and lamb, as the rich and savory flavors of the meats complement the spices and fruitiness of the wine.

  2. Winter Vegetables: Mulled wine pairs well with winter vegetables such as Brussels sprouts, root vegetables, and squash, as the sweet spices in the wine help to balance out the earthy flavors of the vegetables.

  3. Hearty stews and soups: the rich and warming spices in the wine complement the comforting flavors of the dishes.

  4. Cheese: pairs well with a variety of cheeses, particularly those that are nutty, earthy and fruity, such as cheddar, gouda, and brie.

  5. Desserts: a nice pairing with a variety of sweet desserts, particularly those that are spiced, such as gingerbread, pumpkin pie, and fruitcake.

  6. Spicy food: particularly those that are made with warm spices like ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg and clove.



Enjoy this traditional winter drink for its full of flavours and health benefits, such as its warming properties and antioxidants from spices and red wine.








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