What’s up Winos!!
Happy December and Happy Holidays. I cannot believe we are already halfway through this month. In the blink of an eye we will be ringing in the New Year. 2017, please don’t let us down! Be the superhero we need and deserve. 2016 has been a true test but I hope to provide a little bit of wine pleasure for everyone in these last few weeks.
I decided to change things up a little bit this month partly because I’ve had a few too many wild weekends since the last TGSWC and cannot fathom drinking a whole bottle of wine, but also because I refuse to get predictable. I’ve got to keep my “fans” and haters on their toes, you know?! For December I wanted to enjoy a wine that was a tad more festive. It’s chilly out and I was craving a warm and cozy beverage rather than an entire bottle of wine (shocking, I KNOW!) so I decided to try something way outside my “uncork-then-pour” comfort zone.
The December selection for TGSWC is…
That’s right, I’m stepping my wine game up so many fudging notches. In case anyone is unaware, mulled wine is typically a hot or warmed wine that has been steeped with various mulling spices. So I not only had to buy a cheap ass bottle of wine, I then had to ENHANCE it with SPICES. Y’all, I cannot cook to save my life (unless it’s Srirasta…recipe coming soon!) so this was a rather large and nerve-racking task. Thankfully, pre-made mulled wine spice packets are available to aid in the process of making festive warm wine.
Even though the packet had very clear and deliberate instructions on the back, I was still freaking out about making this. (To give a little context, I almost put aluminum foil in the microwave without thinking about it two weeks ago.) I started by pouring a few glasses of wine into a pot and heating it up very slowly. I have enough Food Network knowledge to know that alcohol will burn off if you boil it and lord knows that burning off the alcohol is the LAST thing I wanted to do with this drink. I went low and slow, testing the temperature with my pointer finger every few minutes.
As it was warming, I got the mulling spices ready. My bag recommended about one (1) teaspoon per glass of wine. The trickiest part about the mulling spices was the fact that I was supposed to put them in a tea ball/infuser. Thankfully my roommates, who are far more advanced and evolved than me, had a cute little tea infuser. Based on research I did (i.e. one Google search that lasted all of 47 seconds) if you don’t have a tea ball, you can put the mulling spices directly into the wine and then strain out upon serving. I let the spices steep for five minutes to get the maximum effect and then served up the warm and aromatic beverage.
I’m making this whole process sound way more complicated than it actually is.
Heat up some dirt-cheap wine slowly, drop in a teaspoon per glass of store bought mulling spices, let steep for 3-5 minutes, and then enjoy the hell out this festive drink.
Total time to make mulled wine: 10 minutes!
Warm wine sounded unappealing at first but now I’M HOOKED. This is the ultimate holiday drink in my book. BYE EGGNOG, SEE YA NEVER. Mulled wine is where it’s at. It smells like the holidays – cinnamon, nutmeg, and whatever red wine smells like. Holy cow, does warm wine go down smooth. The warmth and the spices cut any bitterness that comes with a cheap red wine. Next time I’m struggling with a bad bottle of $4 wine, I’m throwing it on the stove with some spices. TOTAL GAME CHANGER.
If I can spruce up a glass of wine without screwing it up then there is hope for us all! The Mulling Spice packet can be bought at any Cost Plus World Market (new favorite store) as well as on Amazon. I recommend stocking up because it’s going to be a long winter and a long four years in general. (Didn’t forget about you, Trump, you piece of shit!)
Mulled wine will warm and lift your spirits this holiday season, I promise! Give it a try, especially if you’re wanting an extra cozy evening, wrapped up in a blanket next to a fire place, and enjoying a deep chat with your best friend or family. It will not disappoint and will legitimately warm you from the inside out.
Happy Holidays everyone! I hope these next few weeks bring you joy, love, and a sense of comfort. Cheers to a great year of cheap wine and may 2017 bring even cheaper wine.