KOREAN PEAR MULLED WINE | GIFT IDEA

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In this year alone, my home brew mulled wine production stopped at the fifth batch. It’s the most I have made. Never have I anticipated to delve deep in brewing batch after batch for friends and family as a gift this year. The two gift options were either a Christmas Time Mulled Wine for those who fancy a deep, full-bodied, dry finish, or the Korean Pear Mulled Wine for a pure, tropical, lengthy finish.

As you may have guessed it from my title, today’s recipe is an East meets West mulled wine. I am using a Sauvignon Blanc this time to brew with Korean pears. They are ginormous and unstoppable. Their size and succulence are comparable to their counterparts from China, the only disparity is that Korean pears are notably sweeter. China pears are thirst-quenchers yet without much taste to them.

To start off, we need to make a healthy sugar base, using our key fruits, pressed juice and honey. Make sure you purchase proper quality raw honey, that has a deeper shade of yellow, not those cheap, golden looking liquid fake honey that contain syrups or other components to achieve the unique taste and texture of real honey. Read the label and origin of the honey before you purchase.

Once this concentrated sugar base is formed over a rolling boil, pour in Port and Sauvignon Blanc, and the festive spices. Do not cover the pot fully, tilt the lid slightly so that some alcohol is boiled off. Leave it to simmer between 40 minutes to 1 hour until all the flesh are fully softened, and juices are released. I would highly recommend to leave out the pot overnight for it to sit, and strain the solids on the next day. Reheat in a microwave oven for 1 minute 30 seconds at 600W, and ladle into heat proof wine glasses to serve!

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Beyond just a holiday drink, mulled wine is celebrated as a health drink with plentiful of health benefits you can read more in my previous post!

So if you have any wines sitting around your house, get up and brew yourself or a dear friend of yours a bottle of warming, traditional mulled wine. Alternatively, you may check out a diverse range of ethically produced wines from TTG wines, and enjoy a 10% discount when you use the promo code “POUT10”.

Just to clarify that it is not an affiliated code, and I do not earn a commission in your every purchase.

Leave your comments down below if you have any questions prior to brewing your first mulled wine!

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KOREAN PEAR MULLED WINE

(Serves 6)

Preparation time: 5 mins

Time: 50 mins

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 x 750ml bottle Sauvignon Blanc (Walnut Block, TTG wines)

  • 375 ml Fine Ruby Port, Taylor's

  • 750 ml fresh pressed apple & ginger juice (Cawston)

  • ½ cup fresh cranberries, gently crushed

  • 1 large Korean pear, peeled and cut into large chunks

  • 2 heaping tsp acacia honey

Spices

  • 1 large cinnamon stick

  • 2 tbsp whole gloves

  • 1 tsp ground nutmeg

  • 2 star anise

DIRECTIONS

  • Pour apple & ginger juice, pear, cranberries, honey in a medium-sized pot over medium high heat. Stir gently till honey has dissolved, bring it to rolling boil for 5 minutes (I’m using induction hob at heat mark 7).

  • Turn heat to low (mark 5), pour Sauvignon Blanc, port, and all spices into the pot. Put the lid on partially, simmer for 40 minutes, till you hear all the cranberries “pop” and pear chunks softened.

  • Remove from heat, let it cool for 5 minutes. Strain solids from the mulled wine, press them through the kitchen sieve for extra bit of mulled wine essence. 

  • Alternatively, leave the pot out with the lid on to cool overnight. Strain the solids. ladle them in mugs, and reheat in a microwave oven for 2 minutes to serve. Store the remaining in air tight glass bottles, refrigerate and store up to 3 days for a richer taste.

Happy Holidays!Xx

- Ally

CHRISTMAS TIME MULLED WINE (IMPROVED)

Nursing a warm glass of mulled wine, and get cosy with loved ones during this festive season.
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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.

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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” 😘

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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.

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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

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This is a collaboration for the holiday season, not a sponsored post. All the words, snd perspectives came from me.

CHRISTMAS TIME MULLED WINE

(Serves 6)

Time: 35 mins

INGREDIENTS

  • 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

DIRECTIONS

  • 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.

Happy holidays!Xx

-Ally

MERRY CHRISTMAS | SLOW COOKED MULLED WINE

Merry Christmas everyone! Michael Bublé version of "All I Want for Christmas Is You" was on repeat on my phone as I finished bottling and wrapping two batches of mulled wine earlier. If you're thinking hard about what to prepare for a Christmas potluck or what kind of easy DIY gifts for your loved ones, this mulled wine may fit the bill! 

Speaking of those two batches of mulled wine, they were brewed with the same method but different concoctions due to the availability of the fruits in the supermarket. Brewing slow cooked mulled wine is a tradition to Ryan which he holds dear every Christmas. It all started when he was 18. Aunt Wendy sent a greeting card with a mulled wine recipe attached to it that Christmas. His memory of that recipe was in bits and pieces, what he remembered was that red wine, oranges, cinnamon sticks and cloves served the base of the drink.

With his experimental nature, this guy was toying with the idea of adding more spice, sweetness to dilute the potency of a traditional mulled wine for which his family are non heavy drinkers. In the end, port wine, cayenne pepper, heather honey and cranberry juice were the additional ingredients, none of them was bought from the supermarket with intent. They were the common items in their everyday kitchen. And that marked the beginning of his series of mulled wine journey... 

Every year, the zesty citrus touch and spicy kick remain in the mulled wine, except for this year, he created two versions. One with fresh cranberries and the other one with persimmons and grapes (they were never bought with intent again, we had too much to finish.)  If you fancy a spicy and bitter after taste of the wine, watch the video the above! For those who adore yours to be sweeter, go for the latter version😊 Believe it or not, we are stoked for making our third batch next week when the fridge is quarter filled with mulled wine now, hehehehe....

Wrapping my hands around a cup of warm mulled wine and indulging every sip are suffice to feel a lot like Christmas. The warm balmy liquid trickled smoothly down its way in my throat and sat quietly in my tummy of caramel waffles. Surprisingly, the punch of caramel that made me cringed was washed away with mulled wine. Having it alone or pairing with either sweet treats or savoury cheeses and crackers will not go wrong.

We were inspired to serve a warm, low alcohol content mulled wine for friends and family, allowing them feel the fuzzy glow and drift off to sleep. I called it the "sweet dreams wine"! Oh, it is advisable to drink it several hours before you hit the sack as any booze, disrupts your sleep after you visited slumberland for barely a few hours. We'll be guilty for causing people to wake up feeling groggy and kill the festive mood in an instant😪

What I like about mulled wine is that my Asian flush face hardly makes her appearance and I'm still wide awake, after 2 glasses, though, the giggly self never hides. Also, mulled wine was discovered as a home remedy for my coughs and colds. 

Below are some tips from Ryan to make the perfect home mulled wine:

  • The mulled wine consists of citrus base+ 3 spices + 1 sweet fruit+ 1 juice
    • Orange and lemon won't let you down. Tangerine, blood orange, grapefruit bring a more festive pump.
  • Do not put too much spice in the beginning. Sparingly is the key word and adjust accordingly to your palate. 
  • Avoid boiling the mixture, it will burn off alcohol and affect the taste. Always let it simmer. 
  • Keep in an air tight glass jar, the longer it sits in the refrigerator, the deeper and robust it tastes.

SLOW COOKED MULLED WINE WITH CRANBERRIES

Ingredients (serves 14 cups)

  • 1 orange, in chunks
  • ½ cup cranberries, smashed
  • 2 bottles Cabernet Merlot
  • 240 ml cranberry flavoured grapefruit juice
  • 3 cinnamon sticks, break in halves
  • 1 tablespoon cloves
  • 1 tablespoon dried chilli flakes
  • 2 tablespoons organic raw eucalyptus honey

Directions

  • Add cinnamon sticks, cloves, red wine, dried chilli flakes into a stock pot. 
  • Turn on fire to medium heat and gently add honey and stir slowly till it dissolves. Pour in orange, cranberries and cranberry flavoured grapefruit juice in the mixture. Give it a quick stir and turn down to low heat. Close the lid to let it simmer for 40 minutes. 
  • Turn off the heat and let the mulled wine sit for at least 30 minutes. Put sieve in mulled wine to filter solids before scooping into glasses or airtight glass jars.
  • Once the mulled wine has cooled down further, keep glass jars in the refrigerator. They can be kept for up to three months.
  • Reheat mulled wine before drinking, it is perfect to serve with sweet treats or savoury cheeses and crackers. 

SLOW COOKED MULLED WINE WITH PERSIMMONS AND GRAPES

Ingredients (serves 14 cups)

  • 1 orange, in chunks
  • 2 persimmons, in chunks
  • ½ cup seedless red grapes, in halves 
  • 2 bottles Cabernet Merlot
  • 240 ml cranberry flavoured grapefruit juice
  • 2 cinnamon sticks, break in halves
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon cloves
  • 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 tablespoons organic raw eucalyptus honey

Directions

  • Add cinnamon sticks, ground cinnamon cloves, red wine, cayenne pepper into a stock pot. 
  • Turn on fire to medium heat and gently add honey and stir slowly till it dissolves. Pour in orange, persimmons, grapes and cranberry flavoured grapefruit juice in the mixture. Give it a quick stir and turn down to low heat. Close the lid to let it simmer for 40 minutes. 
  • Turn off the heat and let the mulled wine sit for at least 30 minutes. Put sieve in mulled wine to filter solids before scooping into glasses or airtight glass jars.
  • Once the mulled wine has cooled down further, keep glass jars in the refrigerator. They can be kept for up to three months.
  • Reheat mulled wine before drinking, it is perfect to serve with sweet treats or savoury cheeses and crackers. 

Gifts. Christmas songs. Christmas tree. Fairy lights in the house. All checked! I'm soaking in the joyous mood already, sooooo ready for a week of feasting and catching up with everyone. Once again, Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!🎄🎁💫

-Ally Xx