Grazing: Mulled Wine Recipe From Nina Koch | Bite Club

Seven Days needs your financial support!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Grazing: Mulled Wine Recipe From Nina Koch

Posted By on Sun, Dec 25, 2011 at 3:39 PM

Though Christmas is drawing to a close, a good mulled wine can warm your bones all winter. When I learned that Nina Koch, a regional wine representative at Vermont Wine Merchants, had perfected her own version, I asked to reprint it here and she graciously agreed. 

"After combing through many different recipes and watching some pretty comical YouTube videos, I came up with a fantastic recipe for some savory and delicious mulled wine," she says. "It took a few attempts and minor adjustments, but this will have you and your guests rosy cheeked and feeling festive." 

Nina introduced the recipe on her brand-new food-and-wine radio program, "The Sunday Night Crush," which airs every Sunday at 9:30 p.m. on With Seven Days' end-of-the-year madness and my own holiday plans, I couldn't post it until now — but this recipe could be useful for New Year's Eve parties, and beyond. The generous Nina is happy to answer wine-related questions, too; just email her at The Crush.

Mulled Wine 

"The Germans called this beverage 'Gluhwein' since it always made their cheeks glow after drinking it. Cheers!" 

— Nina Koch


1 orange 
15 whole cloves
1 lemon 
3 slices of crystallized ginger 
10 whole peppercorns 
3 large cinnamon sticks 
10 kernels allspice 
2-3 star anise
1 cup water 
2 tablespoons of sugar or honey 
1 bottle of medium-bodied red wine ($10 and under is fine. Nina uses a Zinfandel, "but anything without a lot of oak and low in tannin will work," she says.)

Spices can be adjusted to personal preference. 

Kitchen tools:
1 medium-size saucepan, but not aluminum, as it will react with the wine's acids
1 metal steamer basket (Nina uses this rather than straining hot wine through cheesecloth)
4 mugs

Stud the orange with cloves, then cut into slices and place in the steamer basket. With a sharp knife, gently cut three slices of lemon rind lengthwise, just the bright yellow outer layer — avoid the bitter white pith. Add whole spices, lemon peel and ginger to the steamer basket.

Add water and sugar or honey to a saucepan and bring to a low simmer until the sugar has dissolved. Place basket with the fruit and spices in the center of the pot, then pour in the bottle of wine, covering the spices and citrus. Simmer for about 20 minutes. Keep the heat as low as possible — the higher the heat, the more alcohol will burn off. (If you see white steam, the heat is too high.) The wine should warm up gently — if you boil it rapidly the wine will become very sour, the tannins too abrasive.  

After about 20 minutes, taste the wine. If it's not sweet enough, add a touch more honey or sugar and simmer for five more minutes. Turn off burner. Gently remove the metal steamer basket with pot holders and discard the contents. Ladle the hot, mulled wine into mugs, garnish with an orange slice and cinnamon stick, and enjoy! 

Got something to say? Send a letter to the editor and we'll publish your feedback in print!

One or more images has been removed from this article. For further information, contact

About The Author

Corin Hirsch

Corin Hirsch

Corin Hirsch was a Seven Days food writer from 2011 through 2016. She is the author of Forgotten Drinks of Colonial New England, published by History Press in 2014.

More By This Author


Comments are closed.

Since 2014, Seven Days has allowed readers to comment on all stories posted on our website. While we’ve appreciated the suggestions and insights, the time has come to shut them down — at least temporarily.

While we champion free speech, facts are a matter of life and death during the coronavirus pandemic, and right now Seven Days is prioritizing the production of responsible journalism over moderating online debates between readers.

To criticize, correct or praise our reporting, please send us a letter to the editor. Or send us a tip. We’ll check it out and report the results.

Online comments may return when we have better tech tools for managing them. Thanks for reading.

Latest in Bite Club

Keep up with us Seven Days a week!

Sign up for our fun and informative

All content © 2022 Da Capo Publishing, Inc. 255 So. Champlain St. Ste. 5, Burlington, VT 05401

Advertising Policy  |  Privacy Policy  |  Contact Us  |  About Us  |  Help
Website powered by Foundation