Heady joys of vin chaud
France’s oldest Christmas market and … mulled wine
By Panos Kakaviatos for wine-chronicles.com
3 December 2015
Here in the heart of Alsace, Strasbourg is known as the Christmas capital. With little wonder. Founded in 1570, the well-known Christkindelsmärik in Place Broglie is considered to be the oldest Christmas market in France.
Starting in late November, through to Christmas, the old town turns into a mecca for all things Christmasy. Throughout the city, including Place Broglie, emblematic wooden huts line up along cosy streets and feature local arts and crafts, gifts, foods and beverages for all visitors and city dwellers.
As I did last year, I plan to purchase some excellent foie gras from the Maison Kammerzell stand near the Cathedral.
But one of the most famous offerings is mulled wine known as vin chaud or – in German – Glühwein.
Some historians trace Glühwein to at least the 15th century in present day Germany. It is usually prepared from red wine, heated and spiced with cinnamon sticks, cloves, nutmeg, orange peel, aniseed, citrus, sugar and other spices.
OK, yes, I do realize that readers here are accustomed more to fine Burgundy or Bordeaux wine reviews, but, dammit, there is nothing worse than pretentiousness in the world of wine, so let’s sit back and enjoy an endearing mulled wine on a cold day, from Alsace, for a happy and warm Christmas season.
Seasons greetings to all!