I always think of this time of year as an in-between. The temperatures change daily, sometimes warm, sometimes cold; the sun is bright but not as dazzling as it is in the summer. Birds are nesting but chicks aren’t hatching yet. The vines are gearing up for budbreak, but aren’t quite ready.
Similarly, the wine we drink is a little in between. While we don’t adhere to strict rules about white in the summer and red in the winter, our personal preferences here do skew towards lighter wines when the weather warms up. But what do we do when it’s warm during the day and cool at night?
Enter white mulled wine. Like its traditional cousin made with red wine, white mulled wine is warmed and spiced to make a comforting drink. It’s a little more aromatic and lighter than mulled wine with red wine, making it perfect for those in-between times.
White mulled wine is just as easy as red wine to make- pour a bottle of wine into a crockpot or large pot on the stove, and add spices to suit your tastes. When I make white mulled wine, I like to use an off-dry aromatic wine like Riesling or a Chenin Blanc. The spices you use should complement and enhance the flavors in the wine, not overpower it. A few cinnamon sticks go well with most wines and make the mulled wine a little more comforting. You can also add a few tablespoons of honey or simple syrup for a touch of sweetness and depth. If you have fresh fruit on your hands, feel free to add a few pieces of orange or lemon- just don’t go too crazy if you’re using a highly acidic wine like Riesling. The acid from the wine and the citrus will build on each other and you probably don’t want to feel like you’re drinking warm lemon juice!
In addition to mulled wine being easy and forgiving to make, you can also store leftovers in the fridge for several days so you can enjoy a nice, warm drink every evening.
What do you like to drink at this time of year?