or … Mould Wine for the initiated!
Well, as I sit here huddled over my ancient pc, Santa’s little helper, fluffy hat on head and fleecy mittens on white knuckled hands (murder on the typing, so forgive me a spelling mistake or two!) my thoughts indisputably turn to winter warmers, and what could be better than a mulled wine? Few people can resist this rich, warm, and faintly exotic spicy tipple as it signifies the start of the festive season, good will and all that. This concoction has contributions from the UK, France, Cyprus, Greece, Poland and even the Lebanon, so a truly international draft that smells simply delicious.
Makes 24 glasses or 22 if you allow for tasting 😉
Select 2 bottles of medium or full bodied wine
My favourites include; Vasilikon’s Ayios Onoufrios, Fikardos Ravanti and Maratheftiko from Vouni Panayia. Etko and SODAP do very acceptable cartons of wine suitable for mulling. Don’t make the mistake of using any old plonk, especially that bottle of ‘vinegar’ re-corked and lurking under the stairs after a disastrous opening back in the summer! Only wine that would pass in your cooking is good enough unless you want to be left with a gallon of warm mouldy wine!
½ oz Cumin
1 oz Fresh Root Ginger, finely grated and including juice
1 orange studded with 10 or 12 Cloves
½ oz Mace
½ oz Nutmeg
1lb Demerara Sugar
¼ pt Apple juice
¼ pt Cranberry juice
Nice and easy does it … Start with a large saucepan, put all the spices in a little muslin bag (or place in the middle of a scrap of muslin, gather around and tie tightly), and place in the centre of the saucepan. Add the ginger juice, fruit juices and sugar and heat gently until all the sugar is dissolved. Add the wine, stirring gently and simmer for twenty minutes. Do not let the mixture boil as this will boil off the alcohol, and we can’t have that can we?
Optional for those who prefer Mulled Punch?
½ pt of Cream
¼ pt Cyprus Brandy (Greek) … Or (not, and)
¼ pt Vodka (Polish), unless you’re Polish-Cypriot? The mind boggles?
These slightly more alcoholic versions need the extras adding at the same time as the wine. Mix well and SIMMER. Remember if it is boils, it spoils!
These versions for the younger members of the family or those driving home are easy to adapt from this tasty drink. Why not try ginger ale instead of wine and add raisins and apple slices.
Just on a last note as I know you will be thinking about suitable wines for the dinner table over the festive period, here are a few ‘extra special’ wines, a Euro or two more expensive than usual but well worth it.
Cabernet Sauvignon 2000, Domaine Vlassides***
Shiraz 2003, Nelion***
Chardonnay (unoaked) 2003
Aes Ambelis Chardonnay Fume 2003, Olympus
New Year’s Eve
Petritis 2003, Kyperounda
Chardonnay 2002, Kyperounda
Domaine Nicolaides Rose 2003,
Domaine Nicolaides Cabernet Sauvignon Rose 2003, Olympus
That should keep you going … or not as the case may be 😉
By Stanna Wieclawska Kyriakou
Author of ‘Stop Whining and Start Wining’
Kyriakou Publishers, Spring 2005
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