Mulled Wine

The time is fast approaching for some Antipodeans to celebrate “Christmas in July”. Being from the Northern Hemisphere, I have always looked forward to a cold, and hopefully snowy,¬†Christmas, but now living in Australia it doesn’t seem quite right that it is hot at Christmas time! For a few years after I emigrated I hung on to the traditional roast turkey with all the trimmings, followed by Christmas pud and brandy butter. But then I discovered the joy – and a lot less work in the kitchen – of having crayfish, king prawns, salad, hollandaise sauce and Champagne. That said I still sometimes have to get my fill of a traditional English Christmas lunch. But over here it is quite hard to get pork chippolatas, chestnut puree for stuffing and cranberry jelly. It invariably involves a great deal more planning than popping down to your local Waitrose or Sainsbury’s!!

The other thing I miss is the lead up to Christmas. All the ads on TV, the Christmas music blasting out of every speaker in every shop, the Christmas decorations, the air of expectation in the air, carol singers serenading country households up and down the country, and of course the multiple parties with the de rigeur mince pies and mulled wine.

Having the means of making wine and this obvious love of all things to do with Christmas got me thinking one year. What about making mulled wine and then selling it to people who came into the cellar door by the glass? Instead of using the cheapest bag in box wine I could use my own cabernet and shiraz, which would make the end result far better than the fairly ordinary ones had at Christmas parties back in the old country. So we started making it in 2004 and haven’t looked back since! It’s now made from ANZAC day till the end of October. (The latter might seem quite late but it is often cool at night here in the Adelaide Hills during the Spring). We also now sell it by the bottle so you can take it home with you. It is ready to drink, you don’t need to add anything, just heat it up and enjoy!

Cheers! James

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