In Germany it is a tradition to drink warm wine in Winter called Glühwein, especially during the weeks before Christmas. Additional ingredients are (among others) cinnamon, clove, star anise and cardamom. When cooking it should not produce bubbles. Some people like to add a shot of rum, whisky or Amaretto.

Are there other countries with comparable warm wine drink traditions for winter?

up vote 6 down vote accepted

Glühwein is part of a larger category of heated and spiced wines called Mulled Wines. They are popular all over Europe and go by more names than I can cite here. The tradition is first recorded in ancient Rome in the 2nd Century. I could just cut and paste the excellent Wikipedia article, but here is a link to save us all the hassle. Mulled Wines

In Brazil, we have some festivities on July, and in this period it's common to drink warm and hot wine, pure, or with some fruits and spices. It's called "quentão" and is usually made with cubes of apple and cinnamon.

  • Where in Brazil do they practice that? I assume it is in the South where there are the European immigrants, right? – Salt May 25 at 10:43
  • It's the other way around. I only know this practice in São Paulo and above, and the ones who made it popular in São Paulo were the northern people. I'm talking about "quermesse" and "festa junina" where people dress like rednecks (caipira) , dance "quadrilha" and drink hot wine, called "quentão" – res May 25 at 10:54

Sweden - and by extension Scandinavia - has Glögg, which is also a mulled wine, albeit more often spiced with cloves, cinnamon and the like compared to the Glühwein I've tasted.

In addition, one may add a shot (Schuss) of brandy to Glühwein, whereas Glögg most often already contains additional alcohol.

In Québec, we drink Caribou. Its "fortified" red wine, served warm. We drink it mostly in winter around the holidays.

Within the Catholic Church and traverse many international borders mulled wine is a favourite drink in many a Catholic homes on the Feast of the Apostle St. John (December 27).

Of Course mulled wine is a very popular tradition on this day and throughout the Christmas season.

St. John the Apostle, is the disciple "whom Jesus loved". It is a custom in the old countries to drink of "St. John's Love". The Church provided a special blessing of wine in honour of the Saint. According to legend St. John drank a glass of poisoned wine without suffering harm because he had blessed it before he drank. The wine is also a symbol of the great love of Christ that filled St. John's heart with loyalty, courage and enthusiasm for his Master; he alone of all the apostles was not afraid to stay close to Our Lord during the Passion and Crucifixion. - St. John's Wine

Nowadays the faithful drink mulled wine (Glühwein) on the Feast of St. John. Many different cultures still take part in this tradition.

This hot mulled wine can be served on St. John's feast day. On St. John's Day, the Roman Ritual tells us that "wine offered by the faithful is blessed in remembrance and in honour of St. John who without any ill effects drank a cup of poisoned wine." It was by faith that St. John was saved, and through the mystical union became the disciple whom the Lord loved best. By love and faith man comes to God. We, too, pray as members of the mystical body. - St. John's Wine

Then there is the Nordic Glögg mulled wine tradition which is served on St. Lucy's Day (December 13) in Sweden.

Glögg, gløgg, glögi and similar words are the terms used for mulled wine in the Nordic countries.

In Sweden, ginger bread and lussebullar (also called lussekatter), a type of sweet bun with saffron and raisins, are typically served on December 13 to celebrate Saint Lucia's Day. It is also traditionally served at the julbord, the Christmas version of the classic, Swedish buffet smörgåsbord. In Denmark, gløgg pairings typically include æbleskiver sprinkled with powdered sugar and accompanied with strawberry marmalade. In Norway, gløgg is paired with rice pudding (Norwegian: riskrem). In such cases, the word graut-/grøtfest is more precise, taking the name from the rice pudding which is served as a course. Typically, gløgg is drunk before eating the rice pudding, which is often served with cold, red cordial (saus). - Mulled Wine (Wikipedia)

Many European countries including Germany celebrate Silvesterabend (New Yerar's Eve) with mulled wine.

Austria, and its neighbour to the north, Germany, call New Year's Eve Silvesterabend, or the eve of Saint Sylvester. Austrian revelers drink a red wine punch with cinnamon and spices, eat suckling pig for dinner and decorate the table with little pigs made of marzipan, called Marzipanschwein. New Year's food traditions around the world

The last day of the year is called "Sylvester" in Europe. This word is derived from the liturgical feast, celebrated on December 31, of St. Sylvester, pope and confessor, who died in the fourth century.

The end of the old and the beginning of the new year was, and still is, observed with popular devotional exercises. Special services are held in many churches on New Year's Eve to thank God for all His favours in the past year and to implore His blessings for the new one.

A distinctive feature of the traditional celebration is the feasting and merrymaking during the night, often combined with masquerades, singing, and noisemaking. This is a relic of the pre-Christian reveling in ancient Rome; its original significance was to salute the New Year and to drive the demons away.

The main item of Sylvester drinking is the punch bowl. Today we have quite a variety of punches. The modern form of punch originated in England in the early seventeenth century. It consists of alcohol, water, spice, sugar, fruit essence. The word seems to be an abbreviation of "puncheon," which was the name of the cask from which grog used to be served on English ships. - Mulled Wine

In Russia we call it глинтвейн (glintveyn), and I believe the central ingredient is a melted sugar. Maybe not so much for the taste, but for the magic. It is important for the entire party to watch its making.

Sorry could not resist, here is how it goes.

  • Ahead of time make a strong sirup and let it recrystallize in a cylindric mold, about 1" thick, and as long as your saucepan.

  • Put wine and spices into the saucepan and bring to a slow heat.

  • Soak sugar cylinder in brandy and arrange it above the wine (you'd need some metal frame to hold it).

  • Now the magic: set it on fire, and watch the sugar melting and dropping into the heated wine. Keep pouring brandy over sugar as necessary.

The process is not easy, but once you've mastered it, your success at the party is guaranteed.

We also drink it in the Czech Republic. We call this "svařák" or the "svařené víno".

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