Vin chaud, a classic French winter warmer

Vin chaud, a classic French winter warmer

Christmas in a glass!

Try this easy recipe for vin chaud, the great classic French winter warmer. When the thermometer drops, the French gather inside cafés, or go for a stroll along a cheerful marché de Noël sipping a mug of delicious mulled wine.

In a nation where wine is treated seriously, you would think that “warm wine” would be considered sacrilege, but wait till you’ve tried this lightly spiced, soothing, and comforting beverage. The best part… it is so easy to make at home, and the kitchen will instantly smell like Christmas!

Make vin chaud at home

Preparation time: 5 minutes
Cooking time: 20 minutes
Infusing time: 5 minutes


1 litre red wine (pick a good everyday wine, not too robust or tannic, for example a Côte du Rhône or Gamay … please save the Château Margaux for the meal)
1/4 litre water
Half an orange (unwaxed), thinly sliced
100 g sugar
1 stick of cinnamon
4 star anise
2 cloves


In a saucepan, dissolve the sugar with the red wine and water on low heat. Add the orange slices and spices. Keep on low heat for 20 minutes, do not allow it to froth or break into a boil. Turn off the heat, let it infuse for 5 minutes and serve.

À votre santé!


Alcohol abuse can harm your health, consume in moderation.

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Sylvia is a freelance journalist based in France, focusing on business and culture. A valued member of the France Media editorial team, Sylvia is a regular contributor to our publication.

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