Nothing evokes those cosy, Christmassy feelings like the smell of a pot of mulled wine simmering away on the kitchen stove. Fruity, spicy and boozy, ready-made mulled wine is the perfect accompaniment to wash down a crumbly mince pie and warm those bellies around a winter fire.
We’ve scoured the supermarkets from Tesco to Asda and Waitrose, and searched online on Amazon, John Lewis and eBay to bring you this guide on the best mulled wine available in the UK. Read our tips on how to spot a winner, then head on to our ranking of the top 10 bottles and spice packet mixes to buy this Christmas!
It can be a lovely winter ritual to prepare your own mulled wine, blending fresh herbs and spices with some of your favourite bottles of red. But with Christmas season being as busy as it is, cutting a few corners here and there is never a bad thing - and these days, the options of ready-made mulled wine can be just as delicious as your own blend!
Ramp up the flavours by adding slices of orange, star anise and cinnamon sticks to the pot as you warm it through. You'll have the house smelling like a German Christmas market in no time. And did we mention that it costs a fraction of the price to go ready-made? That's a win-win if you ask us!
Warming up your hands as you crowd around a crackling fire, or warming up your house as you share an evening of Christmas movies and festive snacks - the winter holidays wouldn’t be the same without our beloved mulled wine. Here are our tips on picking out the best of the bunch!
When it comes to ready-to-glug mulled wine, you have two options - packets or bottles. Bottles include a mix of spices and flavours already blended, making it the quickest to pour into mugs, and into your bellies! Usually, you won't need to buy any additional ingredients, so it will just need a quick warming on the stove. That said, if you’re picky, you may find them too sweet or simply not to your taste.
Spice mixes are great for those who like to make their own mulled wine, just to their liking. A good compromise between making your own and buying a store-bought bottle, you can choose your preferred wine, whether that’s a deep rioja or a light merlot, and pour in the spice mix to Christmassify your brew! Spice mixes can also be added to juices, punches and fruit teas for a non-alcoholic option.
Mulled wine (or glühwein as it’s called in Germany) when done right, carries a complex mixture of flavours, spices, fruits and berries. Each blend has it’s own unique twist and you’ll find that no two bottles are the same. Here are a few things to look out for when deciding on the flavour.
Spices are everything when it comes to cooking, and it’s no different with mulled wine. Every blend has a distinct flavour but the key ingredients to look out for are cinnamon, clove, star anise and nutmeg.
It's these spices that hold the key to unlocking the Christmas spirit as the pungent aromas fill the air! Many bottles also recommend adding some fresh spices to your mug for an extra Christmassy feeling.
Spices are great and all, but they aren’t the only thing which gives mulled wine its signature flavour. Citrus notes such as orange and lemon balance out the heady, fragrant spices, complementing the overall flavour of the drink.
A slice of orange is often added to the pot whilst it’s simmering to help bring out the citrussy flavours, but it’s just as good to get a wine that already includes that particular taste in the mix.
Mulled wine usually goes one of two ways. You could get one that's light, quaffable and sweet, filled with notes of berries and blackcurrants. However, these wines can taste a little like hot squash.
If you opt for a rich, velvety taste that's more on the bitter side, you might find the aftertaste is too tart. So, if you’ve got a bit of a sweet tooth, or want to take the edge off a bitter brew, choose a mulled wine with added honey or maple syrup for extra sugary points!
Mulled wine is an alcoholic drink, but the amount of alcohol (ethanol) in each bottle varies significantly from a slightly spikey hot squash to a boozy, blow your socks off and spill your wine down your shirt kind of bevvy. The ABV (alcohol per volume) will give you an indication of just how strong that bottle is.
For mulled wine, the ABV can be anything from 5% to 14%. Although not foolproof, the price is often a good indication of how much alcohol is in the bottle. If you get the bottle home and realise it hasn't quite got enough bite, fear not! Traditionally a shot of brandy, rum or amaretto is added into the mix, but we'll leave that part up to you.
It’s a common misconception that all wine is vegan; after all, it only contains grapes right? Wrong! The fining process of wine-making more often than not uses animal fats and byproducts to turn it from an organic cloudy liquid to crystal clear.
So if you’re vegan and planning on buying a pre-made mulled wine, you'll need to check the bottle is suitable for your diet prior to buying.
Mulled wine may be an age-old traditional winter warmer, but these days more and more supermarkets are jumping on the chance to provide a wine-to-go. Read on for our ranking of the top 10 best to buy in the UK!
|Spices||Allspice, cloves, nutmeg and cinnamon|
|Citrus||Dried orange peel|
|Spices||Clove, cinnamon, star anise, nutmeg|
|Citrus||Dried Orange Peel|
|Spices||Cinnamon, nutmeg, clove|
|Citrus||Orange and lemon|
|Spices||Cinnamon and clove|
|Spices||Cloves and cinnamon|
Pack of 6
|Spices||Nutmeg, cloves and cinnamon|
|Citrus||Orange and lemon|
|Spices||Elderberry, damson, bay, cloves and cinnamon|
|Spices||Cinnamon and nutmeg|
|Spices||Clove and cinnamon|
|Citrus||Orange and lemon|
Lyme Bay Winery
Helen's Own International
Seasonal Mulled Wine
Glühwein Mulled Wine
Christmas Mulled Wine
Mulled Wine Spice Mix
Mulled Wine Spice
Traditional German Glühwein from a Family-Run Winery
An Age-Old Recipe Passed Down by Monks From Holy Island
Mulled Wine Spiked With Chilli and Honey
Mulled Wine With Deep and Juicy Black Fruit Flavours
The Best Boozy Choice
A Mature Full-Bodied Red From Waitrose
The Cheap and Cheerful Bottle From Asda
Home-made Glühwein to See You Through Winter
A Christmas Spice Mix to Add to Your Favourite Wine
The Sweetest Mulled Christmas Drink
|Spices||Clove and cinnamon||Cinnamon and nutmeg||Elderberry, damson, bay, cloves and cinnamon||Nutmeg, cloves and cinnamon||Cloves and cinnamon||Cinnamon and clove||Cinnamon, nutmeg, clove||Clove, cinnamon, star anise, nutmeg||Allspice, cloves, nutmeg and cinnamon||Cinnamon, clove|
|Citrus||Orange and lemon||Orange||Citrus zest||Orange and lemon||Orange||Orange peel||Orange and lemon||Dried Orange Peel||Dried orange peel||Orange|
One of the best things about Christmas has to be the food. There really is no better time of year to tuck into a mince pie, with a cheeky glass of port on the side. To help you stock up in time for the festive season, check out the links below for more of the most sumptuous Christmas fare in the UK!
We hope that you've enjoyed our guide to our nations favourite Christmas tipple. Now that you have a better idea of what to expect from a decent Mulled Wine, you'll be able to find the perfect one to toast in the festive season. Enjoy!
Author: Roxy Pratley
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