Glow Wine

Glow Wine

Writing and cooking in: Pittsburgh, PA

Since we’ve been dating, Kevin and I have developed a tradition of having our Christmas celebration together a few weeks before Christmas. We exchange gifts and do something festive like go out to dinner or play games. We usually watch Love, Actually. This year we wanted to have a really chilled out night and we’ve both been lamenting the cold and gray weather, so I decided to make up a batch of mulled wine for the occasion. We paired it with cheeses, salami, mortadella, and some fresh biscotti from Enrico’s. It made for a very relaxed evening with easy cleanup and just a lot of fun. I’d recommend it to anyone looking for a laid back, but still festive, dinner.

Although we don’t often hear about mulled wines these days, mulled wines are a popular Christmas treat throughout many countries in Europe and are usually served at Christmas markets. They can be made with red or white wine (though red seems more common) and sometimes cider. They’re a lovely warm treat on a cold winter day. I had my first cup of mulled wine in Copenhagen in 2009 with my friend Tess. Called gløgg in Denmark, it’s quite a bit different from the wine I made for my Christmas party with Kevin. The gløgg was a spiced red with raisins and nuts in it for a bit of a snack, too. The raisins sank to the bottom and soaked up the delicious wine while the almond slivers floated on top and added a fun crunch to the experience. The best part, though, was that it really did a fabulous job warming us up as we’d been walking the city in the cold for days wearing almost all the clothes we’d brought at any given moment and still shivering.

Copenhagen, December 2009

In Germany, they call it glühwein, literally glow wine, which I thought was perfect for my white mulled wine because it’s so bright! (Plus, it gives the cheeks a bit of a glow after you’ve been drinking it.) This wine was spiced with a hint of sweetness. I used an inexpensive dry reisling and just added a few flavors to it before letting it heat up. Kevin and I enjoyed it both with and without a little extra spirit added to it. Often, a splash of liquor (really any kind) is added to each cup of wine at the time it is served. The best we had on hand was some spiced rum so we both tossed a little into our second glass and enjoyed the extra layer of flavor and warmth it added.

Aayla scopes out the food and wine situation and starts plotting how to steal salami (a plan which will succeed about an hour later).

Glow Wine

1 bottle inexpensive white wine

2 cinnamon sticks

1 orange, sliced

1/3 cup honey

1/3 cup granulated sugar

spiced rum (optional)

Combine wine, cinnamon sticks, orange slices, honey, and sugar in slow cooker and heat on low for aboout 2 hours. Serve in goblets, glasses, or mugs with an orange slice and/or cinnamon stick as garnish. Add a splash of spiced rum to each cup, if desired.

Today’s local ingredients:

Honey

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