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Great Estates Okanagan
February 27, 2024 | Great Estates Okanagan

Mulled Wine 101, and a Mulled Wine Recipe!

mulled wine surrounded by spices

When you’re in the mood for something comforting, there’s nothing quite like a mug of mulled wine. Gently warmed along with fruit and spices, red wine becomes a magical elixir. Tradition says it’s served around the holidays, but we love mulled wine as an anytime-alternative to a cocktail.   

What’s the history of mulled wine? 

Mulled wine dates back to the ancient Greeks and Romans, who added ingredients like honey, saffron, pepper, bay leaf and dates. In the Middle Ages, the drink had become popular throughout Europe, with each culture using different recipes based on what they had available. Most of us know of the drink from mentions in Victorian novels and Christmas stories, where it’s laden with clementines and apples. Mulled wine’s been around for so long for a very good reason. 

Mulled wine: It’s perfect for a party 

Mulled wine is fabulous cocktail for parties – it is a wine cocktail, after all. You can use a budget-minded, large-format or boxed red wine to make a big batch using a Dutch oven on the stovetop or it can be prepped in a slow cooker. It also suits appetizers and party food beautifully; so serve it alongside charcuterie, spiced nuts, aged cheeses and pâté.  

Mulled wine sets a welcoming mood 

If you are hosting a get-together, mulled wine will charm guests the moment they arrive. If you’ve prepared mulled wine in a saucepan on the stove or in that Crockpot and it’s been simmering, your entire home will be perfumed with its gorgeous aroma. Tip: Get your mulled wine started about half an hour before guests are set to arrive to achieve the full aromatic affect. 

Mulled Wine is super easy to make 

For the best mulled wine recipe, start with a delicious bold and fruity red wine. Put about a cup of wine per person into a large saucepan, and add sliced, firm fruit (apples, tangerines, blood oranges, nectarines); spices (cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon, star anise, allspice), and honey or maple syrup to taste if you’d like it sweeter. Ladle into mugs and add a few pieces of fruit and some spices to each. Here’s our favourite recipe (below), but feel free to improvise. One of the best things about making mulled wine is that it’s customizable. Feel free to freestyle with the ingredients, too, adding more of those spices and fruit you love the most. 

Try this classic Mulled Wine Recipe below, or try another of our versions which includes brandy, star anise and maple syrup here

Mulled Wine Recipe 

Bursting with baking spices and warm, fresh fruit, mulled wine is guaranteed to please. 


  • 750 mL red wine (Meritage or similar)
  • 1 cup apple cider
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 piece star anise
  • 3 cloves, whole
  • 1/2 orange, whole


Combine all ingredients in a saucepan and bring to a gentle simmer.
Remove from heat and allow to steep for 15 minutes.
Strain and reheat, serve with a sliced orange garnish.

Shop the Article:

Sunrock Vineyards 2020 Red Meritage

Sunrock Vineyards 2020 Red Meritage

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