Friday night, I did a thing. I made mulled wine for the first time ever. I opened a bottle of Casilliero del Diablo 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon a few weeks ago. Yes, I said weeks. Between the day I opened it and Friday night, I had a tonsil infection that required antibiotics. I couldn’t drink anything. Of course, that meant that I craved wine and beer. But I persevered. I didn’t drink any of it. But that meant I had an open bottle of wine in my fridge for two weeks.
I began to look up recipes for mulled wine. I’ve never had it before, never made it before, and I figured it would be a good way to save my wine. I found Ina Garten’s recipe on the Food Network website. It called for orange zest and juice, cinnamon sticks, whole cloves, star anise, honey, and apple cider. I found everything I needed except apple cider. I went with unfiltered, organic apple juice instead. It’s almost the same thing, right? 🙂
The entire process took twenty minutes. I strained the wine from the whole ingredients and poured it into one of my favorite mugs. It was delicious. It smelled amazing. I’m going to make it again, many times through the winter. I’ll try the full recipe with a fresh bottle of wine for next time. The recipe only calls for a Cabernet Sauvignon, probably because of the deep, richness of it. I’d like to try it with an Argentinian Malbec, a Spanish Rioja or Temperanillo, and finally an Italian Barbera d’Alba. Yes, I love wine, and this winter is supposed to be very cold, very harsh. I’ve got time.