Making holiday glögg from Washington wine

Below is a recipe my girlfriend adapted for making glögg - mulled wine - using wines from Washington. Enjoy!


- 2 bottles 2010 Magnificent Wine Co. Mountain Merlot (I chose this wine because it’s low in oak but other low oak red wines will do).

- 1 bottle Thurston Wolfe 2008 JWT's Port Premium Dessert Wine and 2 bottles Maryhill 2007 Vintage Port (these worked wonderfully but any Port-style wines will work)

- 750 ml bottle Christian Brothers VS Brandy

- 6 cinnamon sticks

- 15 cardamom seed pods (or 1 tsp whole cardamom seeds but do not use powder)

- 2 dozen whole cloves

- 1 orange peel, whole and washed

- 1 cup dark (not golden) raisins

- 2 cups sugar

Note: Some of these spices may be harder to find in their whole form at larger grocery stores. I found them all at PCC. I found both the Port-style wines and the brandy at Wine World in Seattle.


1) Crack the cardamom seed pods by placing the pod on the counter and laying a knife on top of it. Press gently with the knife until it cracks open but leave the seeds inside the pods. You may use 1 tsp whole cardamom seeds, but do not use powder.

2) Pour the red wine and the port into a stainless steel pot. Add 5 cinnamon sticks, cardamom, cloves, orange peel and raisins. Cover and simmer low heat.

3) In a separate pan put the sugar and 2/3 of the brandy. Warm over medium to low heat and stir occasionally until the sugar is dissolved. Let it simmer until the tiny bubbles enlarge to become bigger bubbles (about 15 min). This allows the sugar to caramelize.

4) Add the sugar syrup to the spiced wine in the pot. Cover and simmer on low heat for one hour stirring occasionally. Add one more cinnamon stick and continue to simmer (covered) for another 30 minutes.

5) You can add more of the brandy at this point but I highly advise against doing so. It packs quite a punch, but the alcohol is very well-integrated and goes down quite smoothly.

6) Turn off heat and let sit for about 15-20 minutes. Strain to remove the spices and raisins.

Serve warm in a mug. (Optional: serve with a garnish of fresh orange peel).

Reserve the wine bottles you used to bottle up the leftover Glögg. Makes approximately two and a half to three 750 mL bottles.

NB: I omitted the almonds in the original recipe and varied a couple ingredients. I did not serve with the orange peel that the original recipe recommends and it was still wonderful. I also let it simmer for an additional 30 min and waited another 15 minutes to strain all the spices and raisins.

Read the original recipe here:

Sean P. Sullivan


  1. mmmmm yummy. BTW, I think you could go with a little less sugar, but it was really good. KHR

  2. Some additional suggestions for red wines to use include wines from the Columbia Crest Two Vines series and Stonecap (thanks to reader Rick Hughes for suggesting the latter).

  3. Terry, it packs quite a punch and goes down far too easily so less is more when it comes to serving size!

  4. I can't wait to make up a batch! Will any kind of brandy work? Also, how do you know if a red wine is low oak? Any other Washington or Oregon wines you would recommend? The two vines is easy enough to fins though.

  5. JPineda, any brandy should work - that's just what I used. Most red wines you'll find under $10 are going to see minimal oak treatment and given that you're adding a lot of spices and flavors, I wouldn't put anything much above that in because you're not going to separate out the wine from the other flavors.

  6. Thanks! We'll make a batch and report back!


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