Mulled white wine, an Obernai specialty
The winemakers started serving mulled white wine to set their stand apart at the Obernai Christmas market. The drink quickly conquered the visitors: it's spiced but not tart, delicate, and jovial like Sylvaner. On Place Beffroi in the city centre, our first stop is the cauldron of the winegrowers' cooperative, eager to taste this unique mulled wine brimming with character. We chat with the winegrowers and choose one of the bottles of Alsace wine. ‘S gilt ! (Cheers!)
Obernai and its Christmas market
While we love the warm atmosphere around the cauldron, we still need to see the rest of the Christmas Market. It’s entirely dedicated to gastronomy and crafts. A glass of mulled wine in hand, we stop in front of the other gourmet stands: gingerbread, foie gras, jam, Christmas beer, cheese ... you’ll only find local products with incomparable flavours.
We continue on to explore the artisans' chalets, and admire the Christmas tree decorations, wooden and blown-glass objects, hats, and plenty of other handmade creations. We can't help but look up to admire the lights: this Christmas market is truly charming.Find out more
Mulled wine: a long history
The Romans made spiced wine for its digestive virtues and to warm up in winter. Their wine was called "Conditum Paradoxum". The Greeks called it "Hippocras" after Hippocrates. In France, cloves, cinnamon, and citrus fruits were added to the recipe beginning in the Middle Ages. It's starting to get interesting ...
Then, throughout Northern Europe (Sweden, England), mulled wine became more and more popular, until it became a genuine festive drink. What a history!
To make our own mulled white wine, we jot down the winegrowers' recipe on display at the stand. We get all the citrus fruit and spices. But which wine should we choose? We opt for a dry Alsace wine: Pinot blanc, Pinot gris, Sylvaner, Riesling, Edelzwicker ... (Did you know 90% of Alsace wines are white?) The secret is to cook the wine without bringing it to a boil. We should ask the Obernai specialists for some tips!
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