The air is brisk, the dooners are spread around the living room, fireplace smoke gloriously taints the air, it’s time for Mulled Wine!

This recipe was developed during Melbourne lockdown, and proudly can be said to be an adequate substitute for friends. But as Dan discovered, the company of good friends elevates the enjoyment & complexity of this beverage to a whole new level.


1 bottle of Wangolina Lagrein (current vintage)

100-150 grams of castor sugar (depending on taste preference)

2 mandarins (or 1 orange)

peel of 1 lemon

8 cloves

3 star anise

1 cinnamon stick

1 whole nutmeg, freshly grated

1cm cube of ginger, peeled


1. Peel both mandarins and squeeze the juice through a strainer, keeping the peel of one. (If you’re using an orange instead, peel it first then squeeze about half a cup of juice. Again, keeping the peel)

2. Push the cloves into the mandarin peel. This helps to perforate the skin, allowing the oils to better infuse. It also makes the cloves easier to retrieve out at the end.

3. In a saucepan, combine the juice, peels and spices, then cover with 100 grams of castor sugar. Pour a glass of Wangolina Lagrein over the top, or just enough to cover all the ingredients. Give it a good stir.

4. On a low heat, cover the saucepan and gently bring the mixture up to a simmer for 20-30 minutes. Be careful not to let it boil, as boiling will cause the precious ABV in the wine to evaporate.

5.  After the mixture has had time to infuse, add the rest of the wine and bring it up to serving temperature. Taste it, and add the extra 50 grams of sugar if you feel it’s needed.

6. Rinse your serving vessels in hot water and dry them first, so the mulled wine doesn’t cool down too quickly. Serve and garnish with a cinnamon stick if you’re feeling a bit fancy.

7. Put on your best pair of woolen socks, and enjoy with some dark chocolate.

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