Cranberry Citrus Mulled Chardonnay

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Nothing illuminates the senses and the soul quite like a pot of mulled wine steaming softly on the stove during the holidays. With just a few spices, fresh sliced citrus, and a touch of sweetness even an ordinary bottle off the shelf can become something magical, ready to bring a warm and friendly welcome to gathering guests as they come in from the cold.

Cranberry Citrus Mulled Chardonnay - Theresa Sinclair - wmt-theresa-3-270.jpg

More often enjoyed in Europe than in the United States, mulled wines are a timeless holiday tradition and well deserving of a revival. Sweet yet refined, hot spiced wines and ciders have been popular throughout time and each country has its own traditional recipes. Whether warming on a crackling wood stove in a woodland cabin or simmering on the kitchen counter in a slow cooker, mulled wine fills the air with a comforting scent of home and the excitement of the holiday season.

While mulled red wines and cider get all of the attention over the holidays, mulled white wines are an elegantly unique alternative for Thanksgiving that pairs nicely with both roast turkey and apple pie. Look for a white wine that's more dry and well rounded like a smooth Chardonnay because heating will make an acidic wine too astringent and harsh.

Cranberry Citrus Mulled Chardonnay - Theresa Sinclair - wmt-theresa-1-268.jpg

With their festive red color and tart and tangy taste, cranberries are a necessity for any Thanksgiving menu. Here we've ditched the familiar can shaped sauce and paired their bright flavors with fresh citrus, sweet honey, seasonal spices and a rich and balanced Chardonnay in a modern take on a holiday classic. Lending a touch of crisp and colorful sophistication, cranberries make this mulled wine a cause for celebration.

As the chill of winter draws us into our homes together, mulled wine makes the season just a little more special. To make dinner even simpler, this recipe can be made the day before and refrigerated until needed. This time resting is an important step as it helps the flavors to blend and develop together. Just before your guests arrive, gently reheat the mulled wine over a low heat and serve in steaming mugs garnished with a cinnamon stick, a sprinkling of fresh cranberries and a slice of orange.

Cranberry Citrus Mulled Chardonnay - Theresa Sinclair - wmt-theresa-2-269.jpg

Cranberry Citrus Mulled Chardonnay
Serves Six

Ingredients:
  • 1 bottle (750 mL) Chardonnay
  • 1 Orange, sliced thin, plus extra for garnishing
  • 1/2 cup Cranberries, plus extra for garnishing
  • 1 cup Water
  • 1/4-1/2 cup Honey, to taste
  • A 1" piece of fresh Ginger, peeled and sliced thin
  • 3 whole Cinnamon sticks, plus extra for garnishing
  • 5-6 whole Cloves
1. Combine all ingredients except the wine in a saucepan and simmer over
medium heat for 10 minutes, stirring gently to dissolve the honey and burst the cranberries.

2. Remove the saucepan from the heat and add the Chardonnay to the spice and fruit mixture. Cover the pan and allow the wine to mull for half an hour.

3. Strain the mulled wine through a mesh strainer to remove the cooked fruit and spices. At this point the wine can be refrigerated overnight.

4. Before serving, reheat the mulled wine at a low simmer either on the stove or in a slow cooker. A few more cinnamon sticks, ginger, and cloves may be added if a stronger flavor is wanted. It is important not to let the wine cook too long or too hot, but it can be kept warm throughout the evening to refill mugs as needed.

5. Serve the hot mulled wine in mugs or heatproof glasses. To make it even more festive garnish the glasses with a cinnamon stick, a slice of orange, and couple of fresh cranberries for color.

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