If you’re looking for a slightly sweet, warm and comforting holiday beverage to serve at your next holiday party, this Slow Cooker Holiday Mulled Wine is easy to throw together but always wows a crowd. Thank you to BJ’s Wholesale Club for sponsoring this post!
Is it just me or did you guys feel the dramatic shift toward holiday everything the day after Halloween? All of a sudden stores exploded with holiday decor, gift guides popped up everywhere and talks of holiday plans and parties began to find their way into conversations on a seemingly daily basis. A few days after Halloween I was at first thinking it was way too early but then I remember that I LOVE the holidays and so the longer we have to enjoy the holiday cheer, the better. And the longer we have to indulge in our favorite family dishes and holiday treats the better as well!
Today I have a recipe to share with you guys that has become a staple in our family holiday celebrations and our holiday parties with our friends. A few years ago, I found a stove-top recipe for Ina Garten’s mulled wine and the first time I made it, I knew I found a winner. Over the course of several years, I found myself tweaking the recipe ever so slightly and wound up with the recipe I’m sharing with you guys today. It’s the perfect drink to make for a party because it’s very hands-off. I am all about utilizing slow cookers for holiday parties to make things easier and this recipe takes full advantage of the benefits of a slow cooker!
Here are the steps:
- Throw everything into a slow cooker
- Allow mulled wine to warm up on “low” for an hour
- Reduce to “warm” and top with a sprinkle of thinly-sliced oranges and cranberries
- Walk away and enjoy your party
Simple enough, right? Since my priority when I’m hosting a party is the food, I don’t want to have to worry about drinks and this mulled wine recipe is the kind of warm and comforting holiday beverage that takes care of itself. It’s very hands off but also very much a slam-dunk with party guests. Every single time I make this slow cooker holiday mulled wine, people request the recipe and I take that as a good sign!
When I first began making this Slow Cooker Holiday Mulled Wine, I wasn’t really sure what kind of red wine to choose for the recipe. One of my good friends is a sommelier and said that when it comes to making mulled wine, simply choose a red wine you like to drink. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy but it simply has to appeal to you without all of the added ingredients that morph it into a deliciously sweet holiday favorite. I like to use an inexpensive red wine in this recipe but it still has to be a red wine I would happily sip on its own. For this batch, I made the Slow Cooker Holiday Mulled Wine with a $6.99 bottle of Wellsley Farms’ Cabernet Sauvignon found exclusively at BJ’s Wholesale Club. It is a smooth and slightly fruity cabernet — I taste hints of cherry — and the price point makes it fantastic for using in mulled wine, especially if you’re making a double batch to serve a large crowd.
Once you pour it into the slow cooker and fancy it up with thinly-sliced oranges and pops of cranberry, no one will know you used a bottle of wine that cost less than $7 in the recipe anyway. Please do not feel the need to use crazy-expensive wine for this mulled wine!
I prefer to have this mulled wine warm and ready to serve when guests arrive when I’m hosting a party, since it’s great to enjoy as we nibble appetizers and chat before dinner is served. BJ’s also makes a ton of simple heat-and-eat appetizers perfect for holiday parties, so check them out if you’re looking to make holiday entertaining a breeze. Their exclusive Wellsley Farms Artisan Appetizers combination is my favorite of the appetizers I’ve tried. The apple fig brie bites are a little too addicting!
Please let me know if you make this Slow Cooker Holiday Mulled Wine this holiday season! It’s one of our favorites and I hope it becomes a holiday party staple for you, too!
Slow Cooker Holiday Mulled WinePrint
A slightly sweet, warm and comforting holiday beverage to serve at your next holiday party
- 4 cups apple cider
- 1 bottle Wellsley Farms Cabernet Sauvignon
- 1/4 cup Wellsley Farms Organic Grade A Dark Maple Syrup
- 3 cinnamon sticks
- juice of two oranges
- 4 whole cloves
- 3 star anise
- 1 large orange, sliced thin, with any seeds removed
- Cranberries, for garnish
- In a slow cooker, combine apple cider, wine, maple syrup, cinnamon sticks, juice of two oranges, cloves and star anise
- Cover and heat the mulled wine on low until hot, approximately one hour
- Reduce heat to warm and sprinkle orange slices and cranberries on top of mulled wine
- Ladle into mugs and enjoy!
Recipe slightly adapted from Ina Garten’s mulled wine recipe.