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 at ’Tis the season for mulled wine. What is mulled wine? It is a flavor explosion of winter spices, all packed into a warm wine drink. Sounds fabulous, right?! Maybe this Christmas you might just have to give it a try.

In concept, mulled wine originated in Rome in the 2nd century, but made it to our homes today because over the centuries it remained part of the culture in Sweden. Over the centuries, as mulled wine spread back around Europe, it was renamed “Glogg” when other alcohols were added, such as brandy or vodka. And in the late 1800s its popularity spread around the globe and officially became part of a Christmas tradition. I don’t know why the name Glogg didn’t stick, but the concept did, even today.

Those of us from Chicago know the smells and tastes of it very well, especially if a trip to the annual Christkindlmarket was included as a holiday tradition. There was nothing I looked forward to more at this time of year than taking in the lights and sounds of the cold, windy city along State Street and Michigan Avenue. But that experience wasn’t complete until I visited the Christkidlmarket to get a warm mug of mulled wine in my hands. Since moving to North Carolina, at Christmastime I have missed those cold winter nights taking in the sights and sounds of the city with that festive traditional drink. I cannot reproduce this beautiful Christmas experience, but I can enjoy some of my own warm Mulled Wine in my home at Christmastime.

So here’s to all my readers! I raise my mug of warm wine to you this Christmas. I wish you all a very Merry Christmas and pray you can stay warm with your own mug of mulled wine!