Review: Spicy Vines Spiced Wine

spiced wineWhether you call it mulled wine or gluhwein or glogg, spiced wine is a holiday tradition. Spicy Vines wants to bottle the experience — sort of — and bring it to you in a familiar package, without having to resort to kitchen alchemy.

Spiced Wine, by California-based Spicy Vines, starts with nonvintage, non-specified grape wine and adds traditional flavorings to the mix. Spicy Vines doesn’t specify what’s in here, but I doubt they would be surprising. The nose offers cinnamon and almonds, the body cloves, orange peel, and vanilla. The base wine is harmless and unremarkable, but it’s arguably better than the plonk most home glogg-brewers use as the base for their own mulled wine creations. The overall impact, at just 13.2% alcohol, isn’t as throat-burning as many mulled wine recipes. It’s got just enough Christmasy flair to add interest, but it’s ultimately innocuous enough for even those who are normally put off by mulled wine to enjoy. Those looking for a deeply “spicy” experience — as the bottle’s huge label seems to promise — may be a bit disappointed.

Spiced Wine can be served at room temperature or heated. If you warm it up, do so carefully and only a few seconds in the microwave at a time. This is a beverage that is best just slightly warmed. Too hot and it starts to get a little acrid.

B / $23 / spicyvines.com

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