Eating roasted almonds and bratwurst at the Christmas market and drinking mulled wine. For many, this is simply part of the Advent season. This year everything is different. Even the mulled wine feeling. But we still don't have to do without it. There are about as many mulled wine recipes as there are Christmas markets. Make it yourself at home, try it out and mentally transport yourself to your favorite Christmas market with the smell. By the way, here are a few interesting facts about the warm spicy wine, of which, by the way, about 40 million liters are drunk per year in Germany.
Fact 1: The color of the mulled wine says something about the freshness!
If your mulled wine glows red, it is fresh. If it is brownish in color, it has been kept warm for a very long time.
Fact 2: 90% of German mulled wine comes from just one company!
Incredible but true, 90% market share of the German mulled wine market is held by Gerstacker Weinkellerei in Nuremberg. It is the largest producer of mulled wine and even holds a 98% market share of mulled wine sales in the German retail trade.
Fact 3: To legalize mulled wine, the wine law was changed!
In 1956, wine merchant Rudolf Kunzmann from Augsburg sold a mixture of wine, sugar and spices in bottles as mulled wine for the first time. At that time, however, sugar was still prohibited as an ingredient in wine and Rudolf received a fine for violating wine law. Later, the wine law was changed and the mulled wine was thus legalized.
Fact 4: High quality mulled wine has less sugar!
Mulled wine from mass production is usually made from lower quality wine. To drown out the taste, a lot of sugar is added and thus sweetened properly. In high quality mulled wine from wine with good quality, on the other hand, is much less sugar. Quality in this case simply has a good taste and therefore does not need to be sweetened too much.
Fact 5: Too high a temperature harms the mulled wine!
This has several reasons. That alcohol evaporates from 78 ° is only one of them. And that would be a pity. But also the spices change their taste disadvantageously at higher temperature. I.e. it has not only no more alcohol, but tastes then also no longer well. And last but not least, it is unhealthy. High temperatures produce a sugar breakdown product that is suspected of being carcinogenic. Three good reasons, then, never to let mulled wine get too hot. The ideal temperature is 72-73° Celsius. But don't worry, you don't have to throw away the delicious mulled wine right away if the thermometer should briefly climb to over 80°. The above points happen only after at least half an hour of boiling.
In contrast, mulled wine in moderation is even said to be healthy and prevent colds and viral infections. The tannins from the wine have an antiviral effect. Additionally, the spices cinnamon, cloves and cardamom (if contained) have a supporting effect. These are also said to have a health-promoting effect. Since it is especially important this season to get healthy through the winter, we have for you at the end of a simple recipe to make and drink.
Fact 6: Mulled wine makes us cold!
When it's really nice and cold, drinking a hot mulled wine outside to warm up... a fallacy! At least this only succeeds in the short term. Because alcohol dilates the blood vessels, causing our body to cool down faster. That is, mulled wine consumption actually makes us colder, not warmer. A non-alcoholic warm drink, on the other hand, would actually serve to warm us up.
Fact 7: With a shot, mulled wine becomes punch!
Mulled wine is firmly defined as a "flavored beverage made exclusively from red or white wine and flavored primarily with cinnamon and/or cloves. The minimum alcoholic strength of the beverage is 7% (vol%)." On the one hand, this means that adding a "shot" of rum or liqueur will turn your mulled wine into a punch. On the other hand, it also means that you can be sure that your mulled wine has a minimum alcohol content of 7%, because this is stipulated by law. By the way, the maximum is 14.5%.
Additional information: High-quality mulled wine is often sold as vintner's mulled wine. However, this may only be called so with some conditions. Winzerglühwein may, for example, only consist of wine, various spices and flavors. It may not be diluted with water or juices. The winegrowers may only sweeten it with natural sugars. And it must be made from grapes harvested by the winemaker from his vineyards. In addition, the winemaker must produce the mulled wine himself on his farm.
Mulled wine recipe
1 bottle dry red wine
2 cinnamon sticks
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon honey
1 star anise
Squeeze an orange and put the juice in a pot with the spices, sugar and honey. Pour the red wine over everything. We recommend dry red wine, as it harmonizes well with the sweet spices. Heat the pot slowly, stirring every now and then, until the sugar and honey have melted. A temperature of 72-73° is optimal. Small tip: If the wine forms a light foam on the surface, the temperature is ideal. But be careful: do not let the mulled wine boil! Let the mulled wine steep for at least 1 hour with the lid closed (watch the temperature in between!). The spices need this time to release their aroma.
Pour the mulled wine through a sieve before serving. If you like, serve it with orange slices as a garnish. Close your eyes and taste the winter, the conviviality and the smells of your favorite Christmas market.
Tip: Do not take the cheapest hooch, because you can simply taste quality.
The basic equipment includes red wine, cinnamon, cloves, oranges and sugar or honey and often star anise. But anything goes! Try your mulled wine with as well:
- Lemon (1)
- Cardamom (about 4 or ground 1 pinch)
- Allspice (a knife point ground or 5-8 grains)
- Vanilla beans (1 scraped out)
- Red pepper (about 10 peppercorns)
- Nutmeg (1 pinch)
Use what you like, try it out, but don't overdo it with the flavors. Let it taste good!