November 4, 2014

I love the festive season - the crisp, cold weather; the cosy winter knits, and most importantly, a warm, comforting mug of mulled wine. If you're heading across the channel on the super-speedy Eurotunnel Le Shuttle this winter, you'll want to get your mulled wine fix. After all, Europe is known for its delightfully delicious variations on this winter classic. I've put together a 'Glühwein Glossary' so that you can decide which mulled wine will be warming you up this winter!

France's 'vin chaud'

France is known for its impressive vineyards and champagne houses, and the Alsace region is full to the brim with wine tours and tasting sessions. Although these tours are thriving over the summer months, the winter tours are just as worthwhile. Over 30 wine growers open the doors to their spectacularly decorated wine cellars, offering you some wonderful delicacies and a tasting of their 'vin chaud'; fruity, spicy, full-bodied, warming mulled wine. You'll be delighted by the berries, citrus fruits and vanilla flavours!

Warm cups of 'Vin Chaud' can be found at Christmas markets across the country
Warm cups of 'Vin Chaud' can be found at Christmas markets across the country

Germany's 'Glühwein mit Schuss'

No German Christmas market is complete without a warming mug of Glühwein. It has the same comforting tastes as traditional mulled wine, but don't forget to try it 'mit Schuss' (with a shot of your favourite liquor!). Most German markets serve the drink in specially designed ceramic mugs that reflect the unique history of that region.

In some parts of Germany, other fruit wines are used instead of grape wines to create a variation of the Glühwein. If you visit Frankfurt over the festive season, you may be able to taste Glühwein made with hard apple cider. You can also try Feuerzangenbowle; a delicious mug of Glühwein but with the addition of sugar caramelised by burning rum!

Glühwein stall
Glühwein stall

Other tempting twists

Why not try this delicious drink in other countries in Europe and discover how they mix up their mulled wine recipes? Nordic countries traditionally add raisins and almonds to create 'Glögg,' the Netherlands' 'Bischopswijn' is made using citrus fruits and spices, and in Bulgaria, honey and peppercorns are added to their 'Greyano Vino'.

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