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Mulled Wine: Spice Up Your Holiday Table

This Elizabethan brew is guaranteed to please.

Susan L.M. Goldberg


December 19, 2013 - 2:00 pm


Johnson Estate Winery, nestled on the shore of Lake Erie, offers one of the most delectable spiced wines in the northeast: Red Ipocras. Modeled after the spiced wines of the Renaissance, Johnson Estate describes the delicious red brew:

“An Elizabethan recipe using cinnamon, cloves, and secret spices. Nice as a summer sangria with plenty of oranges. On a winter’s evening, it is the perfect pairing for spiced ham, for for dessert: pumpkin pie, spice cookies or cake. May be served slightly warm.”

Or, in our case, serve slightly chilled when among friends with a healthy admiration for all things Dickens and Blackadder. ”Elizabethan” and “Ipocras” shouldn’t be foreign terms to today’s wine drinkers:

“In 16th century England, Ipocras, both white and red, was a drink of the highest nobility. At a time when both sugar and spices were rare and precious, Ipocras was reserved for the use of royalty at the most precious ceremonial occasions. Indeed, Ipocras was the libation presented by the Lord mayor of London to Queen Elizabeth I at her coronation. Ipocras (the name derives from Hippocrates) is very sweet and is generously flavored with several of the spices popular in old England. These include ginger, cinnamon, and clove, and they leave a wonderfully warm and lingering aftertaste. Fortunately, we live in a time where the makings of Ipocras are not so dear, and it may now be partaken of by the lesser nobility as well as you and me.”

By far the most well-rounded spiced wine that has ever crossed my palate, Red Ipocras is rich with flavor, offering a smooth, medium-bodied mouthfeel and lingering accents of spice guaranteed to blend well with everything from appetizers to the most hearty of holiday meals. Add some character to your Christmas with this treat of a mulled wine.

Susan L.M. Goldberg is a writer with a Master's in Radio, Television & Film and a PhD in Life who would be happy roaming the fields of Prince Edward Island with Anne of Green Gables, were it not for her strong belief in the axiom "all that is required for evil to prevail is for good women to do nothing." She prefers the career title "Renaissance Woman" and would happily be bar mates with Ann Coulter, Camille Paglia and Dorothy Parker. Her writing tends towards the intersection of culture, politics and faith with the interest in starting, not stopping the discussion. Follow her on Twitter @SLMGoldberg and @winegirlblog.

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"They were brewing it in Ireland before the snakes left." (The Lion in Winter)
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