Last year around this time my husband had a rare mid-week day off from work so we took an impromptu trip to Michigan wine country. The wine cannot compete with Napa, but we were pleasantly surprised by the charm and quaintness of the area. We stopped off at one vineyard that served warm spiced wine and I was hooked. We bought up a few bottles of wine and the accompanying spice packets. A few months later we were ready to debut this cozy and seasonal wine on Thanksgiving Day only to find that the spice packets had mysteriously disappeared from my kitchen. I will likely find them in a few years in an entirely illogical spot. Determined to serve spiced wine on that day, I threw together my own spice pouch and the resulting wine was fantastically flavorful and homey.
– 2 bottles red wine
– 2 cinnamon sticks broken into halves
– 6 cloves
– 1 fresh orange peel
– 1 inch chunk of fresh ginger, thinly sliced
– Cheese cloth
Cut a 6” square of cheese cloth and place the cinnamon sticks, cloves, orange peel and ginger in the middle of the square. Pull the corners of the cheese cloth together and use the kitchen twine to secure a tight pouch around the ingredients. Place the spice pouch in a crock pot along with the wine. Cover the crock pot and cook on low for 2 hours, string every 20 minutes. Ladle the wine into cups or mugs and garnish with cinnamon sticks.