Warm Your Soul with our French Mulled Wine Recipe

As temperatures drop and snowflakes begin to fall, there is nothing quite like warming up with a festive, spiced drink. That is why I am delighted to introduce you to my favorite French winter drink: Vin Chaud.

Vin Chaud, or hot mulled wine, is a holiday staple in France, particularly during Christmas markets like Marché de Noel. It is no wonder that the intoxicating aroma of spices like cinnamon, cloves, and cardamom wafting through the air has become synonymous with the festive season.

This French version of mulled wine traditionally uses a fruity red wine like Beaujolais, Chinon, Bordeaux, or Anjou. The wine dates back centuries, and many countries have their twist on this spicy drink. However, the French Vin Chaud is unique because it adds cognac, which brings a rich depth of flavor to the drink.

Whether you want a warming drink to ward off winter chills or create an irresistible atmosphere for your holiday party, this recipe is sure to delight your senses. So grab your warmest sweater and let’s get started!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Marché De Noël Vin Chaud - French Spiced Mulled Wine
Marché De Noël Vin Chaud – French Spiced Mulled Wine

Are you looking for a cozy and festive drink to enjoy during the cold winter months? Look no further than this French mulled wine recipe, or vin chaud, which is traditionally served at Christmas markets throughout France.

But why should you try this particular recipe? For starters, it’s incredibly easy to make with just a handful of ingredients that you may already have on hand, including red wine, cinnamon sticks, whole cloves and cardamom pods. Plus, the addition of orange zest and lemon adds a citrusy kick that balances out the warmth of the spices and sugar.

But the real star ingredient of this recipe is cognac. Just a splash of this flavorful brandy elevates the flavor profile and gives your mulled wine an extra layer of complexity that you won’t find in other versions. Trust me when I say once you’ve tried mulled wine with cognac, there’s no going back.

Not only is this recipe easy and delicious, but it’s also customizable to your taste preferences. If you prefer things sweeter, simply add more granulated sugar. Or, if you like your drinks extra spicy, feel free to add more cinnamon sticks or cardamom pods.

Overall, this French spiced mulled wine recipe is the perfect cozy drink to enjoy during the chilly winter months. Whether you’re curled up by the fire or hosting a holiday party, vin chaud is sure to impress your guests and warm their hearts (and hands). So grab a bottle of red wine – beaujolais chinon bordeaux anjou works best – and get ready to experience the magic of French Christmas markets from the comfort of your own home.

Ingredient List

 Warm up with a cup of French spiced mulled wine.
Warm up with a cup of French spiced mulled wine.

Ingredients for French-inspired Spiced Mulled Wine Recipe

To really make this warm and spicy mulled wine from a French “marché de Noël,” you will need the following ingredients:

  • 750 ml red wine (go for fruity red wines like Beaujolais, Chinon, Bordeaux, or Anjou)
  • 4 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 orange, zest of
  • 1 lemon, zest of
  • 4 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 6 whole cloves
  • 4 cardamom pods
  • 2 star anise (optional)
  • orange slices (for garnishing)

All these spices like cloves, cinnamon sticks, cardamom pods are winter spices that give that warmth feeling inside out. The addition of citrus zest cuts through the richness and spiciness of the wine, adding a refreshing aroma. The granulated sugar sweetens and balances out the acidity of the red wine to create a harmonious flavor altogether.

The Recipe How-To

 This Marché De Noël Vin Chaud is the perfect cozy drink for the holiday season.
This Marché De Noël Vin Chaud is the perfect cozy drink for the holiday season.

This Marché De Noël Vin Chaud recipe is easier to make than you might think. Here are the steps to create a delicious and warm spiced mulled wine that will transport you straight to a French Christmas market.

Ingredient List

Before we start, let’s gather all the ingredients needed for this recipe:
– 750 ml red wine (a fruity red wine like Beaujolais, Chinon, Bordeaux, or Anjou works best)
– 4 cinnamon sticks
– 1 orange (zest of)
– 1 lemon (zest of)
– 4 tablespoons granulated sugar
– 6 cloves
– 4 cardamom pods
– 1 star anise
– orange slices (for serving)

Recipe Instructions

  1. Pour the red wine into a large pot and place it on low heat.
  2. Add the cinnamon sticks, orange zest, lemon zest, cloves, cardamom pods, star anise, and sugar. Stir well until the sugar dissolves.
  3. Let the mixture simmer on low heat for at least 30 minutes (but not more than an hour). The longer it simmers, the stronger the spiced flavor will be.
  4. Remove from heat and strain out all the spices and zest.
  5. Serve hot with orange slices as garnish.

Substitutions and Variations

If you’re looking to switch things up a bit or don’t have all of the ingredients listed, here are some substitutions and variations that work well with this recipe:
Alcohol-free: Replace the red wine with apple cider for a non-alcoholic version.
Different Spices: Experiment with winter spices like nutmeg or ginger instead of cardamom pods or star anise.
English Mulled Wine Version: Add a splash of cognac for an English mulled wine version.
French Version: For a French version of the recipe, use a dry red wine instead of a fruity one.

Tips for Perfect Results

  • Don’t Boil: It’s essential to keep the heat low and let the wine simmer. Avoid boiling the wine; otherwise, it will evaporate the alcohol and affect the taste.
  • Choose Quality Ingredients: Choose good quality and fresh ingredients to ensure optimal results.
  • Cooling Off: Allow the mixture to cool slightly before serving, so it’s not overly hot.


  1. What wine is best for mulled wine?
    A: A fruity red wine like Beaujolais or Pinot Noir is ideal. Try to avoid tannic or oaked wines.

  2. What is vin chaud?
    A: Vin chaud means “hot wine” in French and refers to a spiced mulled wine served during the colder months.

  3. What type of spices are used in mulled wine?
    A: The traditional spices used in mulled wine are cinnamon, cloves, and star anise,

Substitutions and Variations

 Simmering wine with spices will make your home smell incredible.
Simmering wine with spices will make your home smell incredible.

When it comes to making mulled wine, there are countless variations that you can try depending on your personal preferences or the ingredients available in your pantry or local store. Below are some common substitutions and variations that you might find useful:

– What wine to use: The best type of wine for mulled wine is a fruity red wine with low tannins and high acidity, such as Beaujolais, Chinon, Bordeaux, or Anjou. However, you can also use other types of red wine or even white wine if you prefer a lighter flavor. Just avoid using expensive or aged wines as their subtleties will be lost in the heat and spices.

– Spices: Cinnamon sticks, whole cloves, and cardamom pods are the most traditional spices used in mulled wine recipes. However, you can also experiment with other winter spices like star anise, ginger, nutmeg, allspice, or black pepper for added depth and complexity.

– Orange and lemon zest: The zest of citrus fruits adds a bright and zesty element to mulled wine that balances out the sweetness and spice. If you don’t have an orange or a lemon, you can use other citrus fruits like grapefruit or lime.

– Sugar: Granulated sugar is the most common sweetener used in mulled wine recipes. However, you can also use brown sugar, honey, maple syrup, agave nectar, or any other sweetener to taste.

– Apple cider: For a twist on classic mulled wine recipe, you can substitute some of the red wine with apple cider for a fruity and warming twist. This version of mulled wine is especially popular in English Christmas traditions.

Remember that these substitutions and variations are just suggestions – feel free to experiment with different flavors and combinations until you find your perfect mulled wine recipe!

Serving and Pairing

 All you need for this recipe are some classic spices, red wine, and oranges.
All you need for this recipe are some classic spices, red wine, and oranges.

When it comes to serving this cozy French spiced mulled wine, there are a few things to keep in mind. The first is that you want to serve it hot. This makes it the perfect beverage to serve on chilly winter evenings. You can either ladle it into individual mugs or set up a punch bowl for your guests to self-serve.

As for pairing, vin chaud is a versatile drink that can be enjoyed with many dishes, both sweet and savory. One classic pairing is with gingerbread cookies or spiced nuts, which complement the warm flavors of the mulled wine. On the savory side, you might try serving some cheese and charcuterie platters, followed by a hearty beef stew or coq au vin.

If you prefer something sweet, try pairing this mulled wine with apple pie or other fruit-based desserts. The tartness of the fruit will contrast beautifully with the spiciness of the wine. And if you’re feeling adventurous, add a splash of cognac to your vin chaud for an extra kick of flavor.

Overall, the possibilities for serving and pairing this French spiced mulled wine are endless. Whether you’re hosting a holiday party or simply enjoying it on your own by the fire, this festive beverage is sure to warm you up from the inside out.

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 The mix of fruit and spice creates a delicious flavor and aroma in every sip.
The mix of fruit and spice creates a delicious flavor and aroma in every sip.

Vin Chaud is a perfect drink for serving in festive gatherings, especially during the winter season. Fortunately, this charming concoction is relatively low maintenance and can be made ahead of time. For optimal results, make sure to cool the hot mulled wine to room temperature before you store it.

Storing Vin Chaud is easy. Transfer the cooled spiced mulled wine to an airtight container, seal it properly, and store it in the refrigerator for up to five days. When it comes time to heat, gently reheat over low heat until heated through. Be careful not to boil it.

Reheating Vin Chaud requires tender treatment as doing so can damage the wine’s aroma and flavor. If you’re looking to reheat a smaller quantity, use a microwave by heating the drink in bursts of 20-30 seconds and stir each time until heated through fully. Alternatively, you can use a saucepan by reheating over low heat for six to eight minutes or until it’s hot enough for your taste buds.

In conclusion, keeping Vin Chaud on hand is simple with these storing and reheating tips. Enjoy this French spiced mulled wine drink in many ways – either as an ideal companion during cold winter nights or as a celebratory drink served at parties and get-togethers alike.

Tips for Perfect Results

 This easy recipe is perfect for a night of entertaining guests at home.
This easy recipe is perfect for a night of entertaining guests at home.

To achieve the perfect Marché De Noël Vin Chaud or French spiced mulled wine, here are some tips that I can share with you:

Firstly, always use good quality red wine as the base for your mulled wine. It is always best to choose a fruity red wine like Beaujolais or Chinon, Bordeaux, or Anjou to create the perfect mulled wine.

When it comes to spices, you can be flexible in adding more or less depending on your preference. However, a great rule of thumb would be to stick with winter spices like cinnamon sticks, star anise, cloves, and cardamom pods.

To add more citrus flavor to your mulled wine, you can use orange slices or even the zest of an orange and a lemon.

For a French version of mulled wine, always use Cognac instead of brandy. Using Cognac instead will give you a smoother finish for your mulled wine.

When heating your mulled wine, do not boil it as it can burn off the alcohol and alter the taste of your drink. Brew it over low heat until it just starts to steam for a delicious and flavorful result.

Lastly, let your vin chaud sit for at least an hour before serving. Doing this allows all of the flavors from the spices to infuse entirely into the wine.

By following these simple tips in creating an excellent spiced mulled wine recipe version like Marché De Noël Vin Chaud or French Spiced Mulled Wine!


Now, we come to item (9) on our list, which is the frequently asked questions or FAQ portion. As much as we love crafting and sharing our favorite recipes, we understand that every cook or chef may have their own set of questions about the recipe. Rest assured that we’ve got you covered with this comprehensive FAQ section. So before you start your cooking adventure, check out these common and not-so-common questions and learn more about how to make the perfect French Spiced Mulled Wine, Marché De Noël Vin Chaud.

What wine is best for Vin Chaud?

When it comes to making the perfect warm and spicy mulled wine or vin chaud, choosing the right type of red wine is crucial. It’s recommended to go for fruity options like Pinot Noir or Merlot. Wines hailing from Bourgogne region in France are also great choices. Avoid using very dry red wines, such as Cabernet Sauvignon, which have tannins that can turn bitter when heated to a simmer.

What is the French equivalent to mulled wine?

A hot and aromatic beverage made with mulled wine, spices, and sugar is referred to as vin chaud, which shares similarities with glögg from Sweden and glühwein from Germany.

Is gluhwein the same as Vin Chaud?

Mulled wine, also referred to as vin chaud in France and Glühwein in Germany, has been a beloved European winter staple for many centuries. It is said that even the Romans enjoyed a heated version of wine during their time, which was spiced up with cinnamon, ginger, cloves, nutmeg, cardamom, and sugar.

What wine is best for making mulled wine?

When it comes to crafting the perfect mulled wine, selecting the right kind of red wine is key. Some of the best options to go for include Merlot, Zinfandel or Garnacha, which are all known for their bold flavors and full-bodied profiles. Target labels that describe the wine as “jammy” or with “notes of vanilla” to ensure that the finished product is rich and aromatic.

Bottom Line

In conclusion, Marché De Noël Vin Chaud – French Spiced Mulled Wine Recipe is an easy and delicious way to get into the holiday spirit. This quintessential French winter drink is perfect for sharing at parties, family gatherings, or just cozy nights in. The combination of citrusy notes from the lemon and orange zests, the warm aroma of cinnamon sticks, and the depth of flavor from red wine make this recipe a crowd-pleaser.

You can customize this recipe to your liking by substituting different types of wine or using winter spices like star anise or cloves cardamom pods. Don’t be afraid to play around with the recipe until you find the perfect balance of flavors for your palate.

Whether you prefer the fruity red wine from Beaujolais or Chinon, Bordeaux, or Anjou’s sophistication or a slightly sweeter taste with apple cider among other alternatives, you can always find the best match for your taste.

As you sip on a warm cup of Marché De Noël Vin Chaud – French Spiced Mulled Wine, you’ll be transported to French Christmas markets and feel like you’re experiencing holiday cheer like never before. So why not give it a try? This recipe is easy to make, and the results will surely impress all your friends and family.

In conclusion, embrace the festive spirit with a glass of this delicious mulled wine today!

Marché De Noël Vin Chaud - French Spiced Mulled Wine

Marché De Noël Vin Chaud - French Spiced Mulled Wine Recipe

Whether you have just come of the ski slopes or you are wandering around a French Marché de Noël, a Christmas Market, this is JUST the beverage to warm the cockles of your heart, as well as your frozen fingers and toes! Vin chaud is hot-spiced wine served the French way, with a slug of Cognac of course! It's a traditional welcome drink and is very popular where I live in the South West of France; especially at Christmas and New Year – and you’ll find it in all of the Christmas Markets at this time of year. Ladle this mulled wine into some heavy cut-glass punch cups; or for a real French feel, use an assortment of old wine glasses and to avoid them cracking, place a teaspoon in to the glasses beforehand - this takes the heat away from the glass. One word about the wine, please DO use a good wine, and not what is known as a "cooking wine" - I find that Beaujolais works well or a fruity Chinon.
No ratings yet
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Course Beverage
Cuisine French
Calories 204.9 kcal


  • 750 ml red wine (Beaujolais, Chinon, Bordeaux or Anjou)
  • 4 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 orange, zest of
  • 1 lemon, zest of
  • 4 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 6 cardamom pods
  • 6 whole cloves
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 1/3 cup cognac


  • Wrap the cardamom pods and cloves in a piece of cheesecloth or muslin.
  • Mix the rest of the ingredients, apart from the cognac, together in a large saucepan. Add the bag of spices. Bring the mixture to a gentle simmer over a low heat. Do not allow the wine to boil.
  • The mulled wine is hot enough when the sugar has dissolved. Add the Cognac to the saucepan when the sugar has dissolved and ladle the mulled wine through a tea strainer (or colander) into punch cups, mugs or glasses.

Add Your Own Notes


Serving: 214gCalories: 204.9kcalCarbohydrates: 17.4gProtein: 0.1gSodium: 7.3mgSugar: 13.7g
Keyword < 30 Mins, Beverages, Brunch, Christmas, Citrus, Easy, European, Fruit, German, Lemon, Oranges, Punch, Swiss, Tropical
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