About The Author:

"Roger, The Wine Guy" is Roger Yazell, CWS. He is a member of the International Wine Guild and has had a long time admiration of wine. After careers in broadcasting, advertising and marketing account management, he explored his love of wine in hospitality, wholesale and retail sales. The intent of Roger's Grapevine is to share stories, history and information that will add to the reader's love, enjoyment and appreciation of wine and sake'.

Questions, requests for topics and comments are always welcome via email: rogerthewineguy@gmail.com.

(Note: The Wine Guy is currently undergoing chemotherapy and this blog will be on hiatus for the duration and into a recovery period. The Wine Guy is planning to celebrate his recovery with a trip to the two wine producing regions in Argentina and that should provide for some interesting new blogs. Meanwhile please enjoy the archives and feel free to email in the interim.)

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Try a hot wine for the holidays!

How time flies! We’re already a week into Advent, the traditional season for hot, mulled, spicy wines. One of my readers asked me to blog about Gluhwein, one of the most popular hot wines during this time of year. I’m glad to comply and thought I would briefly mention two other traditional hot wines appropriate for the holidays, as well.

Gluhwein (or Glow Wine) is popular in Germany, particularly Bavaria and its popularity has spread here to the U.S. Traditionally Gluhwein is made with a fruit forward red wine accented with mulling spices and served warm to hot with a cinnamon stick. There are numerable recipes on line and most will call for a cabernet sauvignon or a cab-merlot blend. For the less adventurous, many wine retailers will stock and offer some quality ready made Gluhweins from Germany. Schmitt-Sohne makes one of the most popular selling Gluhweins in the U.S. market. Many retailers will also sell the spice mix to which you can add the wine you want to utilize. A complimentary dash of liqueur or brandy is often called for in many Gluhwein recipes and you’re certainly welcome to add per your taste and preference.

Glogg is the Nordic version of the Germanic Gluhwein. It is most popular in Sweden. While ready-made Glogg wines are difficult to find in some areas, the Glogg mix is more common at both food and beverage stores as a seasonal item. It is often combined with fruit juices and heated as a non-alcoholic drink for kids and many hostesses have discovered its value as a holiday potpourri. Putting a saucepan of Glogg mix on the stove at low to medium heat will fill your home with spicy holiday aromas in less than an hour. Again, as with Gluhwein mixes or recipes, the Glogg mixes and recipes work well fruit-forward, somewhat sweeter red wines. Residents in The Wine Guy’s home state of Arizona have turned to Kokopelli Winery’s “Sweet Lucy” as a popular wine of choice for making both Glogg and Gluhwein.

Wassail is another hot mulled holiday beverage associated with this holiday season. Its name derives from an old Middle English phrase, “waes haeil”, which meant “be healthy”. Wassail is typically served hot with mulling spices much as Glogg and Gluhwein but its base is typically mulled cider, beer or mead. Of these mead, or honey-wine, is the most popular in the U.S. A California vintner who makes a quality and often highly rated mead is Chaucer. A packet of mulling spices accompanies their 750ml bottles of mead. Added to the mead, these spices help make a perfect Wassail for your holiday toasting. The wonderful thing about Mead is its ability to be served hot with the mulling spices, at room temperature, or even chilled as an aperitif or dessert wine.

Make it a warm and cozy holiday season. Enjoy a hot wine with family and friends!

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