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How to make delicious mulled wine in a slow cooker

Our cooking expert Fiona Mair shares her festively fab recipe.

mulled wine and slow cooker
Last updated: 01 July 2020

Need to know

  • Mulled wine – also known as Glühwein (literally 'glowing wine') in Germany – is a tasty blend of warm red wine, fruit and various spices
  • A slow cooker makes it easy and keeps it consistently warm at parties
  • You can reheat or even freeze mulled wine – just read our tips below

Whether you’re celebrating Christmas in July or just wanting a new winter tipple, it’s hard to beat homemade mulled wine.

Wonderfully warm and spicy, this cozy concoction is fairly simple to make, even easier to drink and adds an international, festive flavour to any party. Importantly, it can also transform even the most average bottle of plonk into something deliciously drinkable (winning!).

“There’s nothing better than the amazing, spicy Christmas-y smells of mulled wine on a cold winter night,” says CHOICE’s home economist Fiona Mair.  

To make mulled wine even easier, Fiona recommends using a slow cooker rather than tending to it on a stove. 

"You can plug the slow cooker in anywhere you're entertaining and have warm mulled wine on hand, so guests can serve themselves," she says. "Plus, it keeps a consistent temperature and looks after itself, until you need to top up with another bottle of wine."

To celebrate Christmas in July, here's Fiona's own tried-and-tested recipe for mulled wine magic. We hope you enjoy it as much as the CHOICE office does.

Don't have a slow cooker? Check out our reviews of models ranging in price from $20 to $350 and see which ones topped our tests for cooking performance and features. 

Mulled wine slow cooker recipe

mulled wine ingredients


  • Peel zest from 2 oranges and 1 mandarin (wash and dry fruit first and don't peel white pith underneath)
  • 1 cup of juice from the oranges and mandarin 
  • ½ cup (120g) brown sugar or maple syrup 
  • ½ cup (125ml) brandy 
  • 2 x 750ml bottles red wine 
  • 2 cinnamon sticks 
  • 3 star anise 
  • 5 cloves 
  • 1 lemon, 
  • Slices of mandarin and orange.
mulled wine slow cooker

Cooking method

  1. Turn the slow cooker on low. 
  2. Add the juice, sugar and brandy. Stir until the sugar has dissolved.
  3. Pour in the red wine. 
  4. Add remaining ingredients. 
  5. Place the lid on the slow cooker and allow to heat on low for at least 1 hour before serving. 
  6. Reduce temperature to warm when serving if you have this setting – otherwise, keep on low.  

Extra tips and suggestions 

  • Running low? Top it up with an extra red wine. 
  • You can also add spices such as vanilla pod, black peppercorns and nutmeg.
  • Keep the lid on as much as possible.

Can you refrigerate mulled wine and reheat it later? 

Yes, says Fiona. You can store it in the fridge in an airtight container for up to three days. Just be sure to remove any of the fresh fruits and spices – you can add fresh fruit and spices when heating it up again. Warm gently. 

Can you freeze mulled wine?

Yes – take out any fruits and spices and store the wine in an airtight container for up to three months. 

Alternatively, for a different treat, Fiona recommends bringing the leftovers to a boil, then simmering them until they become a syrup. It can then be poured as a delicious sauce over stewed fruits, puddings and cakes served with ice cream.

We care about accuracy. See something that's not quite right in this article? Let us know or read more about fact-checking at CHOICE.

Stock images: Getty, unless otherwise stated.