There’s nothing like a fragrant glass of mulled wine to warm you up on a cold winter’s night. A couple of sips of the delicious mix of red wine and spices and the icy chill just seems to vanish!
Mulled wine is a warming winter drink which originated in the Northern Hemisphere more than a century ago.
It consists of boiled spices such as cloves and nutmeg mixed with warm red wine and sweetened with sugar. The traditional English recipe uses port or claret, but any kind of red wine may be used.
Mulled wine is fairly simple to prepare and you can easily make your own at home.
It may have associations with white Christmases and snowy winter holidays for many people, but the tradition of mulled wine is alive and well in New Zealand.
We’ve found several restaurants and bars where you can enjoy it this winter.
Coco’s Cantina has a fantastic winter menu which includes ravioli, bruschetta and saltimbocca. And, you can finish off your hearty cantina meal with a delicious glass of mulled wine.
Mairangi Bay’s Montrose Café, with its welcoming open fire and large oak chairs and tables, offers a haven from the cold, wet weather outside. The winter menu consists of popular classics such as Beef Wellington and Beef and Guinness Hot Pot, so while you may drop in for a glass of mulled wine, you could end up staying all night.
Nestled in the heart of West Auckland Wine Country, Artisan Wines offers a complete experience for those who love the good life. There are wine tastings, wine tours and an excellent restaurant. Due to popular demand they’ve brought mulled wine back this winter. And, even better, you can purchase their secret mix to prepare and enjoy at home!
As its name (which means “truth” in Russian) suggests, Pravda serves good honest bistro fare. It’s also known for quality coffee and a range of winter warmers including mulled wine.
Come on in and enjoy a jug of mulled wine ($6.50 a glass or $15 a jug) at Mayfair Cafe this winter. Their menu brings together the very best of New Zealand, European and Asian cuisine to create something quite special. Mayfair Café has a real sense of history and tradition, retaining much of the magic of its former life as a theatre.
The weary skier could do a lot worse than enjoy a couple of mulled wines at Cafe Bonjour. You could almost be in a mountain resort somewhere in the Swiss Alps!
Atlas Beer Cafe on Steamer Wharf is well known for its craft beers as well as tasty tapas, steaks and Sunday roasts. This winter they’re also making mulled wine ($6.50 a glass) on the premises, just the ticket after a hard day on the slopes.
Editorial by Nicholas Chidley
9 July 2012