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Mulled Wine Recipe

Mulled wine is a classic cool weather recipe that sees red wine gently heated with warming spices and citrus for an ultra-cosy winter drink. Mulled wine dates back to the 2nd century, when it was drunk by the Romans who used it to fortify themselves against the cold winter days and nights. As the Romans conquered much of Europe, their love for mulled wine spread across their empire and the regions they traded with.

Today, versions of mulled wine are drunk right across Europe. In Hungary, ‘forralt bor’ or mulled wine is served at the country’s iconic Christmas markets. Throughout Germany, Austria and Switzerland, warm spiced wine is called ‘gluhwein’ and it is made with either white or red wine and served during the winter season. It’s so common you can buy pre-made bottles in supermarkets. In France, they call it ‘vin chaud’ – literally ‘hot wine’ – and it’s commonly enjoyed at the country’s alpine resorts for après ski, while in Italy, it’s known as ‘vin brulé’ and is spiked with either orange liqueur or brandy for extra heat.

red mulled wine

Image Credit: Pinterest

Which wines are best for mulled wine?

When it comes to choosing which wine to use to make your mulled wine, the general rule of thumb is to stick with a fruity, full-bodied red wine, as the intense jammy flavours of the wine will stand up to the aromatic spices and gentle heating. If you’re looking at Italian varietals, Chianti, Sangiovese and Primitivo are good options, while Grenache, Shiraz and Merlot are also good fruit-forward options. For this mulled wine recipe below, we’ve used our 2018 Billy Button ‘The Beloved’ Shiraz for its pepper, spice and dark fruit characters.

Tip: If you like more of a savoury, spicy flavour, you could add a few peppercorns and a bay leaf to our recipe below.


  • ½ orange, cut into slices, plus extra slices to garnish
  • 2 cloves
  • 750ml bottle of dark, fruity, full-bodied red wine, such as Billy Button The Beloved Shiraz
  • ½ star anise
  • ½ tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 2 tbs (40ml) maple syrup or honey


  1. Stud one of the orange slices with the cloves so you can easily remove them from the mulled wine before serving.
  2. Combine all the ingredients in a saucepan and gently heat over low heat for 20 minutes to allow the flavours to infuse. Do not let the liquid come to a boil, as this will remove the alcohol.
  3. Once warm and fragrant, strain the mixture into a jug and serve garnished with extra orange slices.