In the spirit of holiday traditions, I’m sharing one of my newer traditions - mulled wine.
I’m not going to give a recipe because my wife and I aren’t the instigators of the tradition. For most of my life (until I was 35), my grandmother had the whole family over for Christmas Eve. It was just where we went, no questions; it was part of the holiday.
Since she’s been gone, my cousin has held the same event every year. Unfortunately, I now live about 45 minutes farther away, and, if the roads are bad, it’s not that feasible to drive. The first year that my wife and I couldn’t make it up to my cousin’s, some friends of ours invited us to their house after church.
We didn’t realize how special the invitation really was. We got to their house, and they had prepared the most perfectly done finger foods. I thought the cookies and desserts had been store-bought, but they were homemade. And to top off all the great food, there was a big pot of mulled wine ready to be shared.
It’s red, warm, spicy and tastes all the better for sharing it with friends, starting off our celebration of Christmas. Could I do a better mulled wine? Maybe. Do I want to do a better mulled wine? No; I want this to be something our friends do, without competing with what I think is “better”.
As I get older, I realize that not everything about wine has to do with the “best” wine or the most expensive… It sometimes has to do with the people with whom you share it. The addition of good friends makes even mediocre wines great.