(Provided by James River Cellars)
1 bottle of wine (such as James River's Chambourcin)
A half bottle (325 ml or approximately 1 1/4 cup) of water (optional)
1 bag of mulling spices*
Half of an orange, sliced (about four slices)
1 slice of lemon
3 tablespoons of sugar (3 1/2 if you use dry wine)
A pinch of black pepper (optional)
Combine the ingredients in a stock pot and turn the heat to high. Bring just to a boil and then turn off the heat. Serve hot.
James River Cellars' Mitzi Batterson notes that the process of bringing the wine to a quick boil will not remove the alcohol. She also says to make sure you remove the spice bag and fruit from the wine before storing it; otherwise it will become bitter.
* Batterson recommends Olde Tradition Spice ( oldetraditionspice.com ), available at the winery ( jamesrivercellars.com ) in boxes with eight tea-bag-size packages; Penzeys ( penzeys.com ) in Carytown also sells a mix of mulling spices with cloves, cinnamon, allspice, cardamom and mace.