The undulating hills of Piedmont in Northern Italy is the home of the Unesco protected Baroloa and Barbaresco wines. In the cold winters here, they drink their version of a mulled wine called Vin Brule. The Piedmont region has had a lot of French influence over the centuries and this is reflected in their food and culture.
I guess Vin Brulee is one of those recipes that vary from family to family but they all seem to agree that it has great medicinal properties in warding off colds. I got this recipe from my new friend Chiara, a local Piedmont girl I met on my recent visit there for the Alba Truffle Fair.
It is very similar to a Vin Chaud or a Gluhwein as it involves adding warming spices and citrus to a red wine and heated. Once you have made of pot of this, the whole kitchen starts to smell really festive. You can find lots more mulled wine recipes or Christmas drinks ideas here.
As Barolo is a quite an expensive red wine, it might not be your choice to use this wine in the recipe. You can swap it out and use any other full bodied red wine instead.
Vin Brule Italian Mulled Wine
- One bottle of Piedmontese Barolo wine
- 50 g of sugar
- One stick of cinnamon
- 3 cloves
- 3 cardamon pods
- A pinch of mace
- Skin of a lemon
- Skin of an orange
- Put all the other ingredient in a pot with about a glass of wine, heat and stir until sugar has dissolved.
- Pour in the remainder of the wine and bring to a boil. The Italians like to boil their wine so there is very little alcohol left. You can choose to just warm up the wine instead.
- Strain the mulled wine into a serving jug and serve it immediately.
Note: Barolo is a DOCG wine from the Langhe area in Piedmont, Italy. The Barolo vineyards were granted World Heritage Status which controls how much is produced and the strict locations where this wine can be produced. The are where the Barolo wine is produced has been growing grapes since 5 C BC and is one of the best wine growing areas in Italy.
The wine for this recipe was provided by Waitrose Wines.