As the days shorten, and the nights become noticeably colder, the sense of being cooped up inside is not entirely unappealing. Wine-wise, I’ve noticed myself reaching far more for structured reds with balanced tannins that I can curl up with in front of the fireplace. Occasionally, a red we open may be too heavy (or frankly not that great) and rather than tipping it out … I give it a new lease on life with my traditional Spanish ‘vino caliente’ (mulled wine) recipe.
There’s something quite magical about the scent of fragrant red wine, heated gently with a mix of spices, citrus and brandy. Whenever I make this recipe, it instantly transports me to Spain and the gorgeous aroma of piping hot mugs of vino caliente, being served in the streets, to warm the spirit during the cold winter months.
If you’ve never tasted a Spanish version of mulled wine, you’re in for a treat! It’s a wine lovers, spice-infused, hug-in-a-mug.
Here is my recipe version of a Spanish ‘Vino Caliente’.
I hope you enjoy it, Raquel x
NOTE: You don’t need a Spanish red wine to make this recipe. You will need though, a full-bodied red wine. Think Merlot, Cabernet, Grenache or a heavier Shiraz or Tempranillo. Don’t use a wine you love, this recipe works best with a 5 or 6/10 wine – not ghastly, but not drinkable on its own if you get my drift!
“Vino Caliente”: Spanish mulled wine
Serves 4 (~200 mL) pours
Vegan Friendly, Gluten Free
- 750ml bottle of full-bodied red wine (see NOTE above)
- 4 strips of lemon rind
- 2 tbsp raw sugar
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1 tsp nutmeg (freshly grated works best, but powdered is fine)
- 1 vanilla pod, sliced lengthways (or 1/2 tsp of vanilla bean paste)
- 80ml Brandy (Spanish from Jerez is awesome for caramelization!)
- 1 Clementine (or substitute with mandarin)
- Pour wine into a pot on the stove and turn the heat to high.
- Add lemon rind, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and vanilla pod to the pot.
- Stir briefly
- Once bubbling, turn the heat down to a simmer.
- Now add brandy and cut up clementine (peel on) and add to the pot.
- Simmer gently for 25 minutes.
- Strain through a sieve into a jug and serve hot in mugs.
Garnish with a cinnamon stick or a mandarin slice for something fancy!
If you’re looking to pair this mulled wine with a snack, some strong blue cheese like Stilton or Roquefort and some toasted hazelnuts will work well … or whip yourself up a cheese fondue with some gruyere and some quality rustic bread to enjoy with the vino caliente! *drool*
(Hmmm… I may just put up my favourite fondue recipe to pair with this! Yuuuuummmm. Enjoy!)