Do you know Gluhwein?
by Sarah Troxell of Galen Glen Winery
Crisp days, cool nights, November is the heart of autumn. Harvest has just ended and our winemakers are tucking wines into tanks until spring bottling commences. ‘Tis the season to think of wool sweaters, plaid scarves, fire pits and a glass of traditional warm spiced wine.
Spice or mulled wine dates back to second century Rome. Consumption of it spread through Europe as the Roman army traveled, conquered and traded. Today you can drink Glühwein in Germany, Glögg in Norway, Sweden and Finland, vin chaud in France. All the European countries, and quite a few others, have customs for warming wine and adding spices.
While there is no specific recipe for spice wine, the basic ingredients are simple:
wine (red or white)
fennel seed (or star anise)
A basic recipe for one bottle of wine might start with 3 tablespoons white sugar, 4 (3 inch) orange peel strips, 4 (3 inch) lemon peel strips, 2 cinnamon sticks, 2 whole cloves and 1 whole nutmeg simmered for about 20 minutes.
Some of our member wineries have spice wine ready to serve, but if not it’s easy enough to pick up a bottle, make your own and enjoy a few more resplendent days of fall. Winter can wait!