I had my third mulled wine of the festive season last night in the Clapton Hart. The first two were on Columbia Road, to warm my ice-pop fingers whilst ogling the pretty flowers.
I’ve noticed that there are a few common problems with the production of mulled wine.
1. Too many juniper berries and other small things that turn to grit in the bottom of your cup really do ruin the last few mouthfuls. And it always comes in such a small serving that every mouthful really counts. Solution: only put large pieces of fruit – like a slice of orange – in the cup. Leave the berries and un-dissolvable spices in the vat.
2. It’s always luke warm. This is particularly disappointing when you’re outside and it’s freezing. You’re handed a cup of potentially hand-warming mulled wine, steam is rising from the polystyrene cup, but as you push it between your parted lips and let the wine trickle ever so slowly into your mouth, you realise it’s luke warm. And so you down it and instantly need another one. Solution: turn up the heat, serve quickly and efficiently, serve in metal cups (?) but still down it as it will inevitably get cold quickly.
3. When making my own mulled wine, I always forget to buy crap red wine to boil up and end up pouring in a nice bottle of Merlot. I’ve been told that the quality of the red wine doesn’t matter so the solution is pretty obvious – get organised. Plan ahead.
And I hereby declare the beginning of my solo mulled-wine-mission. For everyone else’s sake – I’ll sample as much as possible in the coming weeks, from various venues, and report the results.