not just a summer thing

Some people would have you believe the word is divided into red wine drinkers and white wine drinkers.

I will tell you that this is the silliest manufactured dichotomy ever.

You can like both equally.

Some people will tell you that red wine, and red alone, is worthy of mulling. And that white wine is a summer thing. Such silly rules, friends! White wine stands up just fine to spicing, warming, and mixing with other liqueurs. Here’s the proof. A couple days ago, I pulled out one of my favorite Crate & Barrel purchases. No, it wasn’t a cherry pitter, bought at the end of summer and cherry season, and hence still unused, nor the replacements for the two fishbowl wine glasses I somehow managed to crack last year. Also not a microplane grater, though that would be a good guess because I am obsessed with it.


No, this time it was a book of cocktails and appetizers, and its wonderful mulled white wine recipe did not let me down. It even put up with my substitutions since, in 100% typical fashion, I bought a pear (an Asian pear!!) for the recipe but promptly forgot about its intended use and ate it after lunch. I have zero self control.

I halved the recipe for Billy and me, and just made up the missing pear with more apple. Oh, and I used Triple Sec instead of the recommended orange liqueurs. Our bar isn’t quite that well stocked.

Make it in bulk for your next holiday get-together. Happy side-effect: the tannins won’t stain your guests’ teeth.

Warm Mulled White Wine
(via Sips and Apps)

  • 12 whole cloves
  • 5 allspice berries
  • 1 cinnamon stick, broken in half
  • 1 red apple, like Fuji, Honeycrisp, or Gala
  • 1 pear
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup Grand Marnier or Cointreau
  • 2 bottles dry white wine

Stick the cloves in your apple. Cut the apple and pear into six pieces. Add the fruits and remaining ingredients to a heavy-bottomed pot (le Creuset!). Heat over a low flame and stir to dissolve the sugar. Do not let it boil. Simmer for thirty minutes, strain if desired, and serve.

You can also take off it the heat after thirty minutes and gently rewarm later (hours later!) when needed, although I did this and found that about half the liquid had cooked away. Plan accordingly!


3 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Jana on December 14, 2010 at 10:36 am

    You’ve got some awesome holiday tricks up your sleeve! [The spiced rum is already resting on a shelf in my pantry] Thank you for sharing these wonderful ideas.

    I’ve been making mulled wine for weeks now, but the creepy looking stains Merlot leaves on teeth and lips have been seriously putting me off. I’ve never seen nor tasted white mulled wine – with Grand Marnier, no less. How festive (and fragrant, I imagine)! Definitely worth trying, which is what I’ll do.


    • Posted by iowasthinking on December 14, 2010 at 10:40 am

      I’m sure your rum will turn out delicious! The ickyness of red wine stained teeth was exactly what put me to sussing out a mulled white wine recipe, and this is definitely IT. Can something be light and deep at the same time? (If so, this is!) Let me know how it turns out for you. Just keep in mind that a lot of the liquid (in my case, at least) boils away, so make lots.


  2. […] If you'd prefer Mulled White Wine, check out the recipe at iowasthinking. It tastes even better than it […]


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