Optimum Mulled Wine Temperature: Hot – But Not Too Hot, Please

Even though most Christmas markets are likely to be canceled this year, for many, mulled wine and punch are simply part of the cold season. The preparation on the stove at home is not a problem. Nevertheless, it does not hurt to follow a few tips.

It is best to prepare mulled wine yourself and enjoy it as fresh as possible while it still contains all its aroma. You can also buy the popular winter drink bottled or in tetra packs.

It is best to heat cold mulled wine evenly in a saucepan to drinking temperature, but never bring it to a boil. However, authorities recommend that you should not use a pot made of copper, aluminum, or iron: If the wine is kept warm in it for too long, metal residues could migrate into the drink. For this reason, at Christmas markets there are almost exclusively instantaneous water heaters made of stainless steel, in which the mulled wine is heated to drinking temperature directly before it is served.

The optimal mulled wine temperature

But what is actually the best drinking temperature for the popular winter drink? A recommended mulled wine temperature is around 70 degrees. If you want to be sure that the mulled wine on the stovetop at home is at the perfect temperature, you can use a kitchen thermometer. The seasoned red wine should therefore be hot – but not too hot.

Because when the mulled wine starts to bubble in the pot, it has exceeded its boiling point, which – in contrast to water – is only around 78 degrees due to the alcohol content. Then the alcohol in the wine begins to evaporate, affecting the taste of the drink (and of course reducing the intoxicating effect).

If red mulled wine has been cooked too hot, it not only loses alcohol and aroma, but can also turn brown because the sugar in the drink caramelizes during the boiling and the spices burn. The mulled wine then tastes correspondingly bitter and stale. If heated for too long, the breakdown product hydroxymethylfurfural (HMF) can also be formed, the health effects of which have not yet been finally clarified.

It is therefore best not to heat up mulled wine for an unnecessarily long time, but instead put it in a well-insulated thermos flask when it has reached the optimum temperature. The aroma does not dissipate so quickly in the pot either. And: Even if it’s not very stylish, cups of (bought) mulled wine can also be heated in the microwave in order to lose as little taste as possible.

This is what fresh mulled wine should taste like

How do you recognize good mulled wine? The fresh drink should have a fruity-sweet and spicy taste. “A typical mulled wine must primarily taste of cinnamon and cloves,” writes the Chemical and Veterinary Investigation Office (CVUA) in Stuttgart. “In the case of mulled wines with a cooking tone and bland taste, the suspicion arises that the product has been heated for too long.”

Incidentally, mulled wine is also available in organic quality, for example from the brands “Heißer Hirsch” or “Kunzmann”. Opened packs of mulled wine keep in the fridge for about three days, and the sweet drink ferments quickly at room temperature. Mulled wine can be kept in its original packaging for two years.

Of course, you don’t have to use purchased products, you can also make mulled wine yourself: We have put together three mulled wine recipes for you.

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