Traditional French Vin Chaud (Mulled Wine) Recipe for Christmas

Want to reproduce the Vin Chaud? Even if this mulled wine isn’t just for Christmas – while you’ll find Vin Chaud everywhere you turn at French Christmas markets. This French mulled wine is a winter-long drink that is perfect on a cold night, after skiing, after sledding, or any other time you want a warm cup of something comforting. So since the cold and Christmas are coming, let yourself be tempted by this great recipe!

The Traditional French Vin Chaud (Mulled Wine) Recipe


  • 1 bottle of red wine (750 ml)
  • 100g sugar (brown sugar, honey or maple syrup)
  • The juice of an orange
  • 1 orange peel
  • 2 cardamom seeds
  • 2 cloves
  • 1 star of star anise
  • 1/2 vanilla pods

For decoration purposes

  • 2 orange slices
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 2 aniseed stars


STEP 1 :
Heat the red wine in a saucepan with the brown sugar.

STEP 2 :
Add to the wine a whole star anise, a cinnamon stick, two cloves, two cardamom seeds and 1/2 vanilla pod (open it and scrape it to collect the seeds with the tip of a knife).

STEP 3 :
Add an orange zest and the juice of an orange. Bring to a boil for 4 minutes. Turn off the heat, cover and let stand for 24 hours.

STEP 4 :
Warm it up at the last minute, pour it into the cups with a strainer. Decorate with a star anise, a cinnamon stick and 1/2 slice of orange per cup.

Be careful: Although mulled wine is easy to prepare, it is important not to let the mixture boil. This will ensure the drink remains fresh-tasting and not too bitter.

How To Choose Your Red Wine For Your Mulled Wine Recipe?

Is your cellar packed full of great vintages just waiting to be uncorked? Don’t you dare! The last thing you want to do is sacrifice a good bottle of wine to make a cocktail! Follow the same principle as when making sangria and opt for a bottle of red you like, but that is inexpensive.

Choose a wine with the taste tag fruity and medium-bodied or aromatic and supple instead of a wine that is too tannic and full-bodied. The spices and fruit added to the recipe will make the primary aromas of the wine stand out, which is why it is important to choose grape varieties that blend well with those spices. Syrah, Tempranillo and Grenache pair excellently with these kinds of aromatics.

Our Red Wine Suggestion

Le Devoy Grignan-les-Adhemar by Domaine Andre Aubert 2017

Le Devoy Grignan-les-Adhemar by Domaine Andre Aubert 2017

The Rhône Valley is the second-largest wine region after the Languedoc- Roussillon, and it is the Southern Rhône wines that make up 95% of all production from this region. This area is dominated by Châteauneuf-du- Pape. This famous appellation has allowed up to 13 grape varieties to be used, but is mostly dominated by Grenache.

Grignan Les Adhemar literally lies in the centre of the Rhône Valley. Domaine André Aubert, has been formed over decades and today comprise more than 280 hectares spread from north to south of the prestigious Southern Rhone Valley on the appellations Côtes du Rhône, Côtes du Rhône villages, Visan, and Grignan-les-Adhémar.

This producer takes the best of both worlds, (North and South Rhône), and blends them to make this tasty little treat. How do they keep the price so low? That we do not know, but we are happy to take advantage of it.

The Grignan les Adhemar le Devoy checks in as a blend of 40% Grenache, 40% Syrah and 20% Carignan that was completely destemmed and aged for six months in concrete tanks.

It’s rich, mouth-filling, fresh and easy-drinking at 17.95/bottle.

El Picaro Toro by Matsu 2018

Crafted from Spain’s native Tempranillo grape, today’s vibrant “El Picaro”, from Bodegas Matsu, is a revelation at this price. Structured, persistent, aromatic, and downright electric, this wine is a great bang for the buck.

100% Tempranillo, the nose is ripe blackberries and blueberries melded with subtle hints of fresh cocoa. The palate is strong yet supple, with healthy tannins and a long warm finish. If you’re looking for a stellar house wine that won’t break your budget, this playful yet elegant Spanish red will impress your most discerning party guest. 

Check out the labels as well…rather than go with a traditional label design, a branding team came up with the great concept of portraying 3 generations of winemakers on their current bottles. A great face to a great wine.

El Picaro Toro by Matsu 2018

Horseshoes & Handgrenades by Maison Noir Wines

Horseshoes & Handgrenades by Maison Noir Wines

A creation from the iconoclastic sommelier André Hueston Mack whose reputation is firmly established. This recognition catapulted him to the coveted role as sommelier at Thomas Keller’s world-renowned restaurant The French Laundry in Yountville, California.

Horseshoes & Handgrenades is fruit-driven, full-bodied complex red blend sourced from Southern Oregon and Red Mountain Washington. The rich, ripe, voluptuous fruit comes from Oregon Syrah with just enough Washington Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot to give it complexity and structure. Think cherry pits and leather whips!

Acentor Rioja by Isaac Fernandez Selección 2018

Many of the most-hyped reds on the market today are lighter with finesse rather than your classic robust red . Today’s Cinsault Syrah from Pearce Predhomme is made in this style and is the perfect match to the season!

This is such a spot-on, look-it-up-in-the-dictionary expression of Syrah Cinsault from a place I feel like we all should experience just to get on the same page. At under 25 bucks anyone who drinks this is sure to appreciate it!

Brilliant medium purple. Fresh ripe red & black fruit; cherry, strawberry, & wild raspberry. Intense spice / sous bois, smoke. Granite minerality. Light-bodied, vibrant acid, grippy though delicate tannins; with surprisingly powerful fruit & spice; punching above its weight in flavour. Very balanced & low alcohol.  91 Points – Platter’s Wine Guide 2019

Acentor Rioja by Isaac Fernandez Selección 2018

Where to find these wines in Canada?

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