Gluhwein, infused with spices synonymous with the festive season (think cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, and cloves), is one of the hottest sellers in Christmas markets across Germany.
There, you can get it in ceramic mugs. The popularity of this wine is such that its bottled version sells just as well. However, one dilemma when buying Gluhwein by the bottle is how to heat it when you want to have it.
If you have a bottle of Gluhwein sitting at home because you do not know how to warm it up, you have come to the right place! Read on as we explain how to heat Gluhwein from the bottle.
Gluhwein is the German version of spiced wine enjoyed around Christmas time. The wine is served hot or warm, often with a slice of citrus fruit with cloves poked through it.
When enjoyed during a stroll through a Christmas market or made at home with a red wine of your choice, it is already warm and ready for you to sip. The scenario changes a little when you have a Gluhwein bottle.
Heating up Gluhwein the correct way is essential to preserve the spice-infused taste of the wine. Overheat it, and you risk the wine changing its flavor, or worse, turning bitter. Here are two foolproof ways of heating spiced wine to enjoy it thoroughly.
One tip is always to ensure the Gluhwein is at room temperature before heating it. For bottles stored in a cool place, a sudden temperature change can cause the flavor to alter.
The first and most straightforward way of heating store-bought Gluhwein is to use a saucepan. Please make sure the pan is clean, or it could spoil the wine. Better yet, keep a separate pan to warm up Gluhwein or other versions of spiced wine, which is used for only that purpose.
Pour the wine into the saucepan from the bottle. A better option would be to preheat the pan on a low flame. Once the wine is in the pan, make sure to simmer it on low heat until thoroughly warmed up.
There really is only one rule to follow: do not boil the wine. If boiled, the wine will change its flavor, and if the red wine used while making the spiced wine is high in tannins, it could also turn bitter.
A safe bet would be to ensure the temperature stays below 160 degrees Fahrenheit.
Stir occasionally to encourage even heating. At this point, you can taste to see if the wine needs sugar. If so, add in the sugar and stir until dissolved. A sneaky trick to make bottled Gluhwein taste even better is to add a few slices of citrus fruit while warming up.
Once your wine is warm enough, you can pour it out in a cup or glass of your choice and enjoy.
If you own a slow cooker, it can be used to warm up Gluhwein. Make sure that you keep it on the LOW setting and pour the bottle’s contents. Stir the wine from time to time until heated.
You can also add spices and citrus fruit rinds while warming up the wine as per your taste. This will enhance the flavor of the bottled Gluhwein, providing it with an added punch.
However, it is not necessary to do so. Once heated, strain the wine before serving if you have added spices and fruit to it.
Many people use slow cookers to mull homemade Gluhwein and keep it warm. It not only keeps the wine servable for long, but it also makes your house smell like Christmas.
While it may be tempting to pour a cup of Gluhwein for yourself and heat it in the microwave, you should never go that route. Using a microwave may seem like the easiest way to warm up wine, but it often makes it taste burnt.
Even though microwaves come with various heat settings, it still does not provide the gentle heat needed to preserve the flavor of Gluhwein. The lack of temperature control can heat the Gluhwein too much, too quickly. Thus, we would never recommend this method.
Read Also: Can You Drink Gluhwein Cold?
Heating Gluhwein from the bottle is simple, with only a few things to keep in mind. However, if you are not consuming an entire bottle of German spiced wine in one night, you need to know how to store it to reheat it at a later date properly.
While an unopened bottle of Gluhwein can last for years, an opened bottle will only stay good for three to five days.
If you have heated more Gluhwein than needed, wait for it to cool down completely and funnel it back to the bottle. Invest in a rubber bottle stopper to prevent air from getting inside if the original seal was cork. With a screw top, close the bottle as tightly as possible. The aim is to keep oxygen out of the bottle. Steer clear of vacuum sealers to preserve the aromatics of spiced wine.
Once the bottle is resealed, place it in the fridge and enjoy it preferably within three days. In theory, the wine can be reheated and consumed for five days, but it will lose its signature punch and may taste different.
Reheat using one of the methods mentioned above.
For the homemade version of Gluhwein, sealing the liquid in an airtight glass container works well. The wine can be consumed within five days of refrigeration.
Final Thoughs on Heating Gluhwein
When you intend to enjoy Gluhwein from the bottle over the Christmas holidays, you can heat it using one of two simple ways: use a saucepan over the stovetop or use a slow cooker. The wine should be heated gently to preserve the full spice kick and flavor in both cases.
While heating Gluhwein from a bottle, you can also add citrus fruit rinds or adjust the sugar level. If you have leftover Gluhwein in the bottle, you can reseal it and keep it in the fridge to reheat within five days.
Read Also: Mulled Wine vs. Gluhwein