A mulled wine for contrarians (Part 2 of #FeelingFestive)

Fun fact about traditional mulled wine – you can make a couple of bottles in advance and they won’t spoil as the spices act as preservatives.

Useful to know – if you like mulled wine. Not so useful if you are one of those who find that it triggers a booze-induced semi-restful Christmas coma.


Going… going… gone.

If you are in the latter camp, you need not resign yourself to regular wine (the horror!) over the festive period. There’s an alternative…

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The perfect mulled wine (Part 1 of #FeelingFestive)


How it feels in London right now

This year, scientists uncovered an amazing revelation: contrary to prior belief, the human nose can detect one trillion distinct scents. If not more. Dogs still beat us, but we humans are doing pretty well.

To me, nothing quite smells like Christmas as mulled wine (glühwein in Germany, vin chaud in France). It has become as much a symbol of Christmas as tinsel, probably because it’s so damn cold this time of year that the notion of a hot and alcoholic drink makes the eyes of 50 million Brits light up like a Christmas tree.

You can buy it pre-prepared, but half the fun is in making it while shaking your booty to Mariah Carey’s All I want for Christmas is you”.

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A last-ditch attempt to hold on to summer

September 1st is a noteworthy day.

It’s the day the wreckage of HMS Titanic was discovered (and subsequently the ship’s magnificent cellar housing 12,000 bottles of wine – many of which were still intact). It’s independence day in Uzbekistan. It’s Gloria Estefan’s birthday. It is also the 244th day of the year – a scary thought, quite frankly.

On a personal level, I’m not a fan. The unwanted arrival of September means summer is coming to a close. We can wave goodbye to quiet roads in London. We must trade in our flip flops and dig out more sensible shoes. Yesterday I reluctantly binned the August page of my calendar (using a bit of artistic licence here; I don’t actually use a paper calendar but it’s far less impactful to say “click the September button on my Google Calendar”).

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