The Joys of Making Mulled Wine (Recipe Included)

It’s so festive and joyous to sip hot mulled wine at Christmas markets over the Northern Hemisphere festive season, but I rarely like the taste of mulled wine. Since I love the scent of Christmas spices and the warmth mulled wine radiates, I decided to experiment to make a mulled wine that I like.

Often people use really cheap wine to make mulled wine, but if it is possible to find a good wine that is good value, I think this is best. I used a Marlborough Pinot Noir to make mulled wine and selected the spices that I like: cardamom, cloves, cinnamon, and star anise. I also used some orange juice and peel and Grand Marnier as well as some fresh ginger.

The result was a mulled wine that I liked (finally!) and it was fun to make too.

So, perhaps making mulled wine is about expressing your personality and then sharing it with those you love.

Mulled Wine Recipe (for four persons)


  • 1 bottle (750 ml) Pinot Noir (I used a Marlborough Pinot Noir for 15 AUD)
  • 4 whole green cardamom pods
  • 3 whole cloves
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 star anise
  • 3 slices fresh ginger
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • juice of half a small orange
  • small section of orange peel
  • 1/4 cup Grand Marnier


  1. Pour the wine into a large saucepan, add spices, fresh ginger slices, honey, orange juice and peel.
  2. Bring the wine mix to simmer and then remove from the heat.
  3. Let the wine mix work its magic for 15 minutes.
  4. Put the saucepan back on the heat and re-heat until warm.
  5. Turn off the heat and stir the Grand Marnier through.
  6. Serve in heat-proof glasses. I like to keep the spices in because I think they look great, but they can easily be ‘fished out’ of the mulled wine before serving.

More about Christina

I am a psychology scholar interested in what makes life both pleasurable and meaningful. I suppose I am an epicurean in the sense that I like good food and wine; but, like the philosopher Epicurus, who actually advocated for tranquility, my international wine and food adventures are more about finding peace than anything else. They are about connecting with others, connecting with the earth, and practising self-compassion. My favourite grape variety is Nebbiolo, I love the way poetry expresses our common humanity, and I believe it's possible to find love in each micro-moment of life. So perhaps it was inevitable I would create this site called Falling in Wine.

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