Vin Chaud recipe from France

Written by on December 6, 2019 in Wine and Drinks

Woman holds a glass of steaming mulled wine with spices and fruit

The most sensational, lush, delectable French mulled wine, deep ruby red, spicy and deliciously warming, this recipe outranks all others…

This vin chaud recipe takes a somewhat different approach to flavouring the wine compared to other recipes. Instead of simmering the wine with the mulling spices, leave it to steep for three days along with the spices, pureed apple, honey, marmalade and France’s unique Picon Biére liqueur (a bittersweet liqueur flavoured with orange and herbs). You could also use Cointreau or Armagnac a l’Orange. The process of soaking lets the flavours slowly infuse into the wine. This eliminates the need for a lot of heating which can evaporate the alcohol (which you certainly don’t want). It can also bring out bitter and other unwanted flavours from the spices and wine. Try this recipe. You won’t regret it.

Ingredients for Alsatian vin chaud

1 bottle Alsatian Pinot Noir or other light, fruity Pinot Noir. You can also use a fruity Merlot, Beaujolais, or Syrah
50 ml Picon Biére (a liqueur from France) or half the amount of Cointreau, or Armagnac a l’Orange (both of which are stronger)
2 Tablespoons of honey
2 Tablespoons of orange marmalade

Apple paste:

1 large apple
1 Tablespoon honey
1 Tablespoon brown sugar

Quatre épices * (a traditional French mix of four or five spices):

1 Teaspoon white pepper
1/2 Teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 Teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 Teaspoon ground cloves
Optional: cinnamon stick and/or star anise pod


1. Prepare the apple paste. Cut apple into small pieces and add to a small pot with 2-3 tablespoons water, 1 tablespoon sugar and 1 tablespoon honey. Cover and simmer until soft, about 5 minutes.

2. Turn the softened apples into a paste by mashing or using a food processor.

3. To make quatre épices, grind the spices and mix together.

4. In a pot, mix together the wine, 3 tablespoons of the apple paste, 2 tablespoons each of marmalade and honey, 50 ml of Picon and 1-2 teaspoons of the spice mix. You can adjust the amount of spices, honey and marmalade according to the level of spiciness and sweetness you like.

5. Cover and leave for 3 days. This lets all the flavours soak in.

6. When ready to drink, heat wine on low, but do not let boil. Serve hot in mugs, straining out the spices and pulp if you like. If you just can’t stand to wait for three days, enjoy right away by warming wine on very low heat for 20-30 minutes and serving immediately.

* The quatre épices spices amounts are not set in stone. There are numerous variations and you might be able to find it sold as a pre-made mix. Feel free to adjust. Some mixes include more or less white pepper (or use black pepper) and some include cinnamon and star anise.

How to make spiced mulled pears

Felice Forby is a food writer and web developer with a passion for learning about authentic, local cuisine. Find her at, a community-driven recipe website focused on mapping and recording regional recipes from around the world.

Related Articles

SomMailer Wine Club | Bringing French Wines to America

We chat to Laurent Yung of, a French wine club that brings unique, exclusive and difficult to find utterly delicious French wines to America… Can you tell us a bit about you and where you live? I was born in a small village near Bordeaux, France and I’m the youngest of three brothers. I […]

Continue Reading

Rosé wine | The taste of summer in France

You would have to be a tea-teetotaller not to have noticed the explosion in popularity of rosé wines in recent years, they are everywhere. Exports of Provence rosés, the main production area in France,  to their largest customer, the USA, have increased 10 fold in just over 7 years. As soon as the sun stars […]

Continue Reading

Stay home and still enjoy French wine

Whether you want a glass of French wine to enjoy over a Zoom or FaceTime call to catch up with friends, or to pair with a delicious dinner in the garden after staying indoors all day working, these trying times call for a glass of wine… With in the US you can have your […]

Continue Reading

French wine is the most romantic valentine’s gift

What makes a great gift for your loved one for Valentine’s Day? It’s a question that never gets old. Do you choose a heart-shaped box of chocolates to woo your partner? Or, an exuberant bouquet of flowers? Or better yet – an elegant bottle of red wine or even Champagne? According to a study by […]

Continue Reading

Perfect guide to wine pairing at Christmas

In France, Christmas meals lasting anything up to 6 hours are de rigeur. But, with more than 200 wine varieties to choose from – how do you know which are the best wines to drink at Christmas? We asked Laurent Yung of the renowned French wine club, SomMailier for some tips! How the French drink […]

Continue Reading


If you enjoyed this article, subscribe now to receive more just like it.

Subscribe via RSS Feed

Comments are closed.