Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Drinks Around the World: Vin Chaud (France)

At the start of every month, Travel Wonders highlights a special drink from my travels around the world. Visiting the French Alps in winter, I recall drinking a spicy warm red wine that the French call vin chaud. Since then I learned that it is similar to gl├╝hwein in the Germanic nations and called mulled wine in English.

It is easy to make at home which I have done several times. Simply take a bottle of cheap (or corked) red wine and add a few cinnamon sticks, several cloves, two thinly sliced oranges (or lemons) and a quarter of a cup of honey. Heat slowly, letting the wine mixture simmer but not boil. Serve nicely warmed and enjoy the relaxing and spicy drink. The aromas are simply superb.

Vin chaud originally revived wine that had gone off - a far more regular occurrence in times past with poorer wine corks and storage.

A favourite in the winter snowfields, vin chaud is an excellent end to a day of skiing or hiking in the mountains. Salut to all!

Photo Credit: Image

Previous Drinks Around the World include Bloody Caesar from Canada, a Pisco Sour from South America, Singapore Sling, Belgium's Chimay Beer, Scotland's smoky Talisker Scotch Whisky and the Czech Republic's Becherovka.


Shannon OD said...

I enjoyed mulled wine for the first time last Christmas in the Mountains in Australia - it was so delicious and cozy; thanks for reminding me about this drink! :-)

Mark H said...

@shannon OD: I've never had it in my own country but it makes sense in the mountains. Nothing seems more suited to an alpine setting.

Sherry Ott said...

Mark - thanks for putting mulled wine back on my holiday drink radar! As I"m back in the cold weather this holiday season - mulled wine sounds like the perfect drink sitting by a fire! Cheers!

Mark H said...

@sherry ott: Pls enjoy and think of those cosy wintry evenings. This one is practical to make at home - I am talentless in the kitchen but I have mustered up a reasonable vin chaud (the French make it sound nicer somehow) or mulled wine for winter gatherings.

Shannon said...

As I sit here at home on a cold rainy day, I'm thinking a glass of vin chaud would be just fine about now :)

Burgundiva said...

I'll be making this tomorrow! Though I wouldn't suggest that people use corked wine... In this case "off" wine is just wine that is maybe getting old, or perhaps just simple cheap/table wine.

Corked wine is actually spoiled, so you definitely don't want to drink that.

Mark H said...

@shannon: Too hot here in Sydney right now but a lovely thought.

@burgundydiva: Thank you for your advice. Corked wine doesn't sound the best bet.

bagunca said...

This kind of spiced wine is drinked all over the world, with some variation in the recipe, even in Brazil.

Mark H said...

@bagunca: I knew it was fairly wide spread but didn't realise that Brazilians had vin chaud. Much more a cool climate drink to me.

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