13 Best Wines for Mulled Wine, For every a Wine Professional



There is an aspect of coziness inherent in stuffed-to-the-brim mugs of mulled wine. The sweet, comforting scent of honey, vanilla, cinnamon sticks, and mulling spices all stirred jointly in a pot is a delight to treasure. And of program, when the subtly spiced wine hits your lips, nicely, practically nothing else satisfies. The beverage is abundant at Xmas markets, getaway parties, and any selection of gatherings through the time. And while it is straightforward to discover, there’s practically nothing that brings extra winter season wonderland coziness than producing your individual on the stovetop or in the gradual cooker. But for that to transpire, a few tips for getting the greatest wines for mulled wine really should help.

I spoke with Grant Hemingway, a winemaker and entrepreneur whose mission is to make wine a lot more available. Grant is the co-founder of Libby, a California-developed bubbled wine brand offering high quality wines with fewer energy and fewer alcoholic beverages. Utilizing progressive technologies, he’s reworking the ingesting experience—and I understood there was no one superior with whom to focus on the topic of mulled wine.

Showcased image by Kristen Kilpatrick.

Picture by Michelle Nash

The Professional: Grant Hemingway

But before we transition to the topic at hand, I required to get a superior knowledge of what brought Grant to the planet of wine. When I requested him what enthusiastic his pivot to focusing on a decrease ABV option, he replied as I predicted a forward-pondering entrepreneur would. “Innovation has generally been at the forefront of my mind. With Libby, we saw an possibility to innovate within just the sparkling wine group. Libby’s at the confluence of a large amount of the optimizations that have to have to be created inside the wine sector. It’s actually all about modernization.”

With that comment, my head went to the shifts presently having put in how consume. The sober-curious motion has dominated conversations throughout the wellness field and has trickled into the mainstream. With Libby, Grant aims to fulfill the consumer in the center. “There’s a shift towards moderation,” he says. “With additional and more zero- and lessen-ABV makes entering the sector, it is crystal clear that people want a thing new from their ingesting working experience. Reduce liquor resonates with young customers whilst small-calorie possibilities entice older buyers. We know we’re not going to be all the things to everyone, but Libby has been widely supported across all demographics.”

But amidst discuss of the changes in our collective drinking habits, Grant’s mind is, previously mentioned all, on transparency. “Giving the purchaser options—and communicating what they are receiving from the product—is possibly the most vital aim.”

Picture by Kristen Kilpatrick

What is mulled wine?

Having glad my individual cultural curiosities, it is time to dive into mulled wine. Let’s begin with the fundamental principles. Mulled wine is a conventional consume served for the duration of the holiday getaway season. Even though we consume mulled wine in the States, the spiced beverage has been greatly popularized in Europe. A related German and Alsatian staple, glühwein, as very well as the Nordic glögg, are prepared around Christmas.

Recipes abound (and all people has their key spin), but mulled wine is most often manufactured with purple wine, mulling spices—typically cinnamon, cloves, allspice, and nutmeg along with dried apple and orange rinds—and often raisins. The consequence is a sweet, slightly spicy, and all-all over fruity consume. If you like a warming beverage about the holiday seasons, mulled wine is a excellent go-to.

Picture by Christie Graham 

Does the excellent of wine make a difference in mulled wine?

The all-vital issue. When I brought this up in conversation with Grant, my impulse was to naively feel that with all of mulled wine’s include-ins, the wine range should not matter far too much. Mistaken. As with any recipe, “the good quality of the ingredients is paramount,” notes Grant. As the base of your beverage, the wine influences your conclude end result.

But Grant reassures us that you don’t have to splurge. “You should be wanting for perfectly-made wines that are hopefully totally free of additives.” When it will come to picking out the best wines for mulled wine, he advises retaining your concentration on choosing the ideal profile.

“Start with a vision of what you want your mulled wine to be and pick the wine primarily based on your sought after consequence. Do you want a little something heavier, spicier, sweeter? Inquiring these issues can help dictate which wine you in the end go with,” claims Grant.

Impression by Kristen Kilpatrick

The Finest Wines for Mulled Wine

Onto the best section: the most effective wine picks for creating your cozy and comforting mulled wine desires a truth. I questioned Grant for his recommendations throughout six types: Zinfandel, white wine, boxed wine, Merlot, and Brandy. Preserve scrolling for his ideas!

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“Zinfandel is a common,” says Grant. “In my knowledge, it is a single of the most greatly used in mulled wine. It has that jammy, fruity taste with out far too considerably of that drying tannin construction that you uncover in more substantial reds. This lends by itself better to a mulled wine recipe.”


Merlot is going to give you a various mulled wine as opposed to opting for a Zinfandel. “It’s a lot more supple and velvety,” suggests Grant. “Try venturing into the more fruit-ahead options as opposed to a little something extra structured. You want that sweet place concerning something that doesn’t have as well significantly structure and a thing which is not way too mild-bodied.”

White Wine

“Candidly, I’ve hardly ever finished a white mulled wine,” admits Grant. “That currently being said, it is an intriguing a single due to the fact 1 of the compounds that I like in mulled wine is orange. Creating off of that, you could amplify the solutions by way of spice—such as a large, citrus-driven mulled wine. Fuller-bodied whites like a Viognier would be good to participate in with, allowing you develop off the fundamental citrus notes. It is fuller-bodied devoid of currently being buttery, and has a little bit much more viscosity and texture.”

Boxed Wine

Grant is forthright with the advantages of boxed wine. “You do get a great deal of bang for your buck,” he notes. “There are a whole lot of mainstays out there, but I would still veer into Zinfandel or it’s possible Merlot territory. Keep absent from anything at all that is extremely sweet.”


“Brandy is another class that’s seeing a renaissance,” Grant observes. “You can run the gamut in cost and obtain 1 bottle that goes a prolonged way.”

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