Christmas wouldn’t be completed without hugging a steaming mug of mulled wine, watching Lord Of The Rings trilogy after dinner time, on the leather couch. That’s how the Kirwans celebrate Christmas every year in Aberdeenshire. Before we returned for Christmas in 2017, Ryan introduced his signature home brew mulled wine to my family. When they first sipped it, it tasted like herbaceous cranberry juice muddled with heirloom naval oranges and a tickling hint of cayenne pepper. This undeniable warmth stolen their hearts. My parents nods were in synced, they have never been happier and approved this son-in-law to be right after, lol.
As I am leaning towards sustainability this year, I’ll be using RNW Cape Blend South Africa from TTG wines to brew my first batch of holiday mulled wine. Today’s post is one of the holiday wine-pairing series TTG wines and I created using their sustainably produced and organic wines from vineyards around the world. Blessed by cooling mornings and diffused sun rays a few Sundays ago, I seized the chance to head into the woods and capture a simple picnic session with my dearest friend, Odelia.
Emma and Mags are two lovely, and enthusiastic wine experts behind TTG wines, their eye to source and introduce handcrafted wines at an affordable price has distinguished themselves from others in Singapore. They offer a diverse range of sustainably produced red wines, white wines, rose wines and champagne you can consider for a Christmas gift or simply pair with what you served for every day dinners. Check out these carefully sourced wines under $45 here, and enjoy a 10% discount using my code “Pout10” 😘
Let’s talk a bit about the RNW Cape Blend. It possesses a faint bouquet of violet and blueberry, combined with elegant oak notes, earthy minerality, leading to an enticing sniff when I’m pouring out. It’s fruity, juicy entry complements with the lusciousness of the pithy orange, and enhanced a prolonged pleasant aftertaste of a mulled wine.
Here are a few tips for brewing your mulled wine:
Look out for purely cranberry juice, not those that are mixed with triple berries or pomegranate, they are juices enhanced with artificial sweeteners, meh. If you can’t find cranberry juice, orange juice with pulp works well too.
Gently crushed fresh cranberries using the back of a ladle till they “popped” open. This creates an exit for their juices to flow into the wines under a rolling boil later.
Using the Jamie-Oliver’s way of kicking off with a syrup base first, pour cranberry juice, followed by orange, cranberries cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg, dark chocolate under medium high heat. Once it starts boiling, pour in red wine and port to cover. Then bring to a rolling boil at medium heat, we do not want to boil off all the alcohol, such a waste!
After adding star anise, and a pinch of cayenne pepper, cover the lid to keep the mulled wine from evaporating.
Strain the fruits and spices and ladle warm mulled wine in a microwave oven-safe mug to serve. Alternatively, what I’ll do is to cover filtered mulled wine with a beeswax seal and let the cool overnight for a denser flavour.
The power of mulled wine extends to its unexpected health benefits. There’s certainly no harm indulging it over other sugary cocktails or fortified wines during this festive season. As age is catching up every year, the more we ought to drink responsibly, and sensibly to protect our health.
Here are the benefits of sipping mulled wine:
Improves digestion and eases constipation: Too much good food with low intake of fibre this season may cause you a higher chance in experiencing indigestion or constipation. You’re in good hands hun, the presence of cloves in mulled wine may increase gut mobility and improve the digestion power through gastro-intestinal enzyme secretions with their antibacterial, antispasmodic and anaesthetic properties. Whole cloves stimulates digestion with its fibre content, and relieves constipation.
Boosts immune system: The mulled wine contains orange, cranberries and cloves, they are high in Vitamin C. Vitamin C acts as an antioxidant in our bodies and helps to protect our body from oxidative damage by fighting against infections and free radicals. Meanwhile, it prevents us from catching in this cold season. A festive season is also a season prone to sniffles.
Decrease the amount of glucose: With cinnamon sticks in the mulled wine, it has shown to lower the level of glucose that enters our bloodstream by 10-29% after savoury, and sugar laden meals at high frequency this season.
Reduces chances of having a stroke: Red wine tannins contains resveratrol, which come from the skins of grapes used to make the glowy ruby red liquid. As grape skins are fermented longer in red than white wines, the resveratrol content is higher, and they help to reduce “bad” cholesterol (LDL), and remove chemicals causing blood clots. Hence they say a glass of red a day is good for your heart, but don’t get carried away.
Enjoy this warm winter sangria clutched in your hands and put on Michael Bublé Christmas album on loop mode :D
This is a collaboration for the holiday season, not a sponsored post. All the words, snd perspectives came from me.
CHRISTMAS TIME MULLED WINE
Time: 35 mins
1 bottle RNW Cape Blend
375ml fine ruby port, Taylor’s
750ml cranberry juice, Ocean Spray
3/4 cup fresh cranberries
1 large heirloom naval orange
10g 70% dark chocolate, Lindt
3 dashes cayenne pepper
1 tsp ground nutmeg
2 star anise
2 tbsp cloves
2 cinnamon sticks
Slice away both ends of orange, and slice remaining in five parts. Gently crushed fresh cranberries with the back of a ladle.
Pour cranberry juice, fruits, dark chocolate, nutmeg, cloves and cinnamon sticks in a medium-sized pot over medium high heat. Bring it to rolling boil for 5 minutes.
Turn heat to low, pour red wine, port, and add star anise, cayenne pepper into the pot. Put the lid on, simmer for 30 minutes, till you hear all the cranberries “pop” and softened.
Strain solids from the wine, and ladle it into heatproof glasses/ microwave oven safe mugs to serve. Alternatively, leave the pot out to cool overnight, and ladle into air tight glass jars. Refrigerate and store up to 3 days for a richer taste. Reheat in a microwave oven for 2 minutes to serve.