Saturday, December 27, 2008

Mulled wine

I'm thinking of making mulled wine during one of my Christmas visits. Big ol' box of wine, some spices, a pot, low heat, a ladle, some glasses, a fireplace, some cats...

I drink mostly boxed wine these days. I drink only rarely, usually just before a blood donation, so I need something which will keep for a long time after opening. Wine in a box is protected from light and oxygen, so it will not turn to vinegar in the eight weeks between blood donations - or even over the course of sixteen, twenty-four, thirty-two, or more weeks.

But boxed wine does change over time. It improves. Upon first sampling a box, the wine usually tastes shallow, very one-note. Over time - eight weeks, minimum - the once-tapped wine begins to develop complexity, and begins to resemble the more expensive Charles Krug Cabernet Sauvignon that my friends and I used to enjoy so much. I can't explain how, unless some air is getting into the collapsing inner bag and is causing a slow oxidation. Whatever, the wine tastes good - and gets better over time.

It is possible that the last time I had anything resembling mulled wine - boxed wine poured into a mug with cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon, and a few other spices added, all stuck in a microwave for forty-five seconds or so - was the morning that my grandmother died, after I came back from seeing her body at the hospital. Ten years? That's a long time between mugs of wine.


cooper said...

Harold, the improved taste is the plasticizers in the vinyl liner being leached out by the alcohol and migrating into the wine. Enjoy.

I was hearing on the radio yesterday that giving blood regularly, especially for men, rids the body of excess iron and contributes to longevity, as if that's a plus of some sort.

OK. I'll take my meds now. Happy Holidays, Data Boy.

Isis the Scientist said...

That sounds wonderful! I love that Christmas lasts for 12-ish days, giving us the ability to enjoy things like this beyond the 25th.

Todd HellsKitchen said...

Sounds like a man that enjoys his wine...!

D.B. Echo said...

Coop, that's actually how I got into donating blood. I was fascinated by the old-time bloodletting fads of the 1700s and the purported medical benefits. (Bloodletting came about from the observation that women generally live longer than men. It was decided that the cause must be periodic blood loss. Line up for the leeches, men! Or the knife and heated glass vessels...) And you know me, I'm all about the healthy living.

My dear Dr. Isis - who is someone who is in fact all about the health, and family, and science, and shoes - our tradition is to leave our decorations up until at least Russian Christmas. Though my tree was up, fully decorated but unlit, for the entire past year!

Todd, yes, I do enjoy mt wine! I can't afford to develop too refined a palate, though - "drinkable" is good enough for me!