No matter how you celebrate the holidays, you can make them even merrier with this easy Slow Cooker Mulled Wine. It’s perfect for warming up after a day of wintery adventures or entertaining outdoors. The best part is that it’s low in sugar so you can save some room for cookies.
This post was originally published on December 20th, 2016. Updated on December 20th, 2020.
Warm, spiced, and very European
Mulled wine, otherwise known as Gluehwein or Gluhwein, is a European staple sold in outdoor winter markets and offered up in homes when guests come calling. It’s typically made by steeping rings of oranges with spices and ample amounts of sugar to create a warm and cozy beverage that’s incredibly festive.
Our version keeps the oranges and festive spices, but cuts out the added sugar (so you can save it for your favorite holiday cookies!). Making it in the slow cooker means it’s almost entirely hands-off and ready when you are.
Ingredients for Slow Cooker Mulled Wine
- Red wine of choice – A bright, young, fruity wine such as a cabernet sauvignon, malbec, syrah, or shiraz are great choices for making mulled wine. Not sure which one to choose? Visit your local wine shop and ask the staff for recommendations.
- Oranges – Choose fruits that are heavy for their size which indicates that they’re juicy. Oranges are at their peak in the winter (which is all the more reason to raise a mug of this mulled wine)
- Star anise pods – Star anise is the fruit of a small evergreen tree. It’s pungent, licorice-like aroma and flavor pairs well with cinnamon and cloves
- Cinnamon sticks
The Best Mulled Wine Recipe
This might not be the most traditional recipe, but it is EASY and so delicious. While some mulled wine recipes are loaded with sugar, this one is a simple spiced wine. The short ingredient list really allows the warm flavors (and delicious smells!) of the mulling spices (AKA orange slices, cloves, cinnamon and star anise) to shine.
Bonus: making this recipe in the Crockpot means you can dump + forget it (and your house will smell amazing!).
3 Reasons to Make Mulled Wine in the Crockpot
- It’s delicious and perfectly festive,
- It warms you from the inside out,
- You can easily make it ahead of time and let it hang out in the slow cooker until you’re ready to enjoy it.
Wondering how alcohol can fit into a healthy lifestyle? Check out our 5 Tips to Help You Drink Smarter
What Kind of Wine Can I Use to Make This Mulled Wine Recipe?
When making crockpot mulled wine, you’ll want to use a young, bright, fruity red wine such as cabernet sauvignon, malbec, syrah, zinfandel, or shiraz. Avoid wines that are have been oaked as their flavors will mask that of the orange and spices.
Make more merry this season with this easy Slow Cooker Mulled Wine
Seriously, do it. Whether you’re a long-time fan of mulled wine or a mulled wine newbie you’ve got to give this recipe a try. It’s perfect for low-key entertaining during the holiday season, or for warming up after sledding or other outdoor adventure. You literally just dump everything into the slow cooker and let the oranges, cinnamon, cloves, and anise infuse the red wine while you get outside and enjoy some fresh air. It just doesn’t get much easier than that!
- 2 750-mL bottles red wine of choice (such as cabernet sauvignon, syrah, malbec, or pinot noir)
- 2 oranges, sliced into rounds
- 4 cinnamon sticks
- 4 star anise pods
- 12–14 whole cloves
- Optional garnish: orange slices, cinnamon sticks, star anise, etc.
- Place all ingredients (except garnish) in a slow cooker. Turn heat to LOW and cook 2-3 hours.
- Ladle into glasses or mugs and garnish as desired. The slow cooker may also be turned to ‘Keep low’ if you’d prefer guests to serve themselves.
- Serving Size: 5 oz.
- Calories: 112
- Sugar: 3g
- Sodium: 0mg
- Fat: 0g
- Carbohydrates: 6g
- Fiber: 0g
- Protein: 0g
Pin it now, make it later!
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About Jessica Beacom
Jessica is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist living in Boulder, CO with her hubby and two daughters. She’s been described as a ‘real food evangelist’ and loves sharing her knowledge with others to help them break free of the diet mentality and find their own food freedom. In her spare time she enjoys CrossFit, telemark skiing, mountain biking, teaching herself how to play the banjo and camping out under the stars.