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Welcome to the penultimate Josh's Wine List of the year. Today's Taste includes some of our most popular Wine List wines of the year – as voted for by the comments you've shared, the extra bottles you've bought, and the requests you've sent.
Five days left on Crowdcube
There's just five days left on Crowdcube. If you're interested in investing, make sure to do it this week. We're just a few thousand pounds short of £450k – which will help us achieve our goals next year slightly faster.
2020 was our first full year in operation. It's the year I went full time on the business, and the year we started importing our own wines. Many, many, many of you email us each month to tell us about the wines. We've been keeping an unofficial (and unscientific) log of this, and now can produce this: the top 5 buzziest wines we've sent out this year.
Mulled wine... what are we saying? Yay or nay?
More than any question posed to us this year, this one has divided opinion the most.
We've got the full spectrum of opinions with "full-packet or pre-mix" at one end of the spectrum and "totally avoid, maybe mulled cider if you have to" at the other.
I'm personally not a fan of mulled wine. On the odd occasion I want warmed alcohol, a hot toddy will suffice. But that said, like with cooking with wine, there are a few rules I'd stick to if making a batch.
First – choose something reasonable as your starting point. Choose a fruit-forward supermarket red around the £5-6 mark. Something like merlot, new world pinot noir, zinfandel, or a Beaujolais villages will do well.
Second – make sure to use fresh citrus fruit, a handful of cloves, mixed spice, and plenty of sugar (roughly 100g per bottle of wine). Variations here are down to personal taste ("Make sure to add extra cinnamon" says Wine List's Customer Experience manager Fiona).
Third – top up the booze with more booze. Port is traditional (ratio should be one and a half glasses of port to one bottle of wine). "Amaretto works just as well," says growth marketer Chris – just make sure to check your sugar levels accordingly.
Fourth and finally– make sure to simmer the mixture slowly. Keen cooks will know that bringing alcohol to the boil leads to evaporation. You want your mulled wine to still have its kick and bite – so keep the pot on a slow simmer for 20-40 minutes until properly mixed together.