LUV – Oh Christmas. The twinkling lights that drift in and out of focus when you wake up in A&E after drunkenly concussing yourself on the corner of a table. The look of unbridled delight on a child’s face as you get so overwhelmingly shitfaced that you find yourself accidentally urinating into their toybox. The hush in the air that descends whenever you get on a train, because all the other passengers are worried that you’re going to violently lash out without provocation because you’re such a horrific, unfocused, sweat-sheened bladdered mess.
In short, Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without mulled wine.
Mulled wine. The only sort of booze it’s acceptable to drink as you walk around a market. Mulled wine. Tastes like Ribena on your tongue but feels like tea in your mouth. Mulled wine. It makes you fall asleep on the last train home and wake up somewhere alien and hostile, like Ramsgate. Mulled wine. Mulled wine.
Of course you love mulled wine. That’s your basic duty as a human being. But remember – if you love mulled wine, you have to be suspicious of all other hot alcohols. Toddys. Buttered rums. Cans of Kestrel Super Strength that you’ve accidentally left out on a radiator. These are the enemy. Not mulled wine. Never mulled wine.
– Stuart Heritage
HAT – No thank you. No mulled wine for me. And I’ll tell you for why:
It’s Christmas. Which means I’m so full of Iceland mini sausage rolls that I can actually feel the gout developing. I’ve spent all day battling other shoppers for giant uncarryable rhomboid presents for my family, and I’m standing here sweating beneath my itchy Fairsisle cardigan while a) the heating is on full blast, and b) it’s not even that cold outside.
What I need is a box of Rennies, a long cool glass of water, and a nice lie-down. But what do I get? Fucking mulled wine, because it’s fucking Christmas.
And it’s not even nice. Mulled wine tastes like superheated air freshener. It tastes like fermented blackcurrant Lemsip. Plus it’s so hot that it’s atomised the very meat from the roof of my mouth, and now all I can wish you is a “werrry wishwash”.
Mulled wine is awful. If I were a vintner and I had spent my life crafting the perfect wine, I’d want to deck the knobbo in a reindeer jumper who elected to throw the lot in a saucepan, stick a teabag and a pound of sugar in it, and call it “improved”. Mulled wine is a travesty.
Hmm? Pardon? Mulled gin? Why yes, I will try some of that. Why not? It’s Christmas after all.
– Robyn Wilder