One of my favorite ways to celebrate Halloween and autumn is with an intimate dinner or dessert paired with a batch of homemade mulled wine! Cheers! 

Mulled wine is actually pretty easy to make and only takes about 20 minutes to prepare. 

Grab a bottle of red wine, I prefer a Cabernet Sauvignon for this recipe. You also need about 4 cups of apple cider, 1/4 cup of honey and an orange. For spice, gather 2 cinnamon sticks, 4 whole cloves, and 1 1/2 tsp. of anise seeds (or 3 star anise). 

Pour the wine and cider into a large saucepan or medium pot. Add the honey. Zest and juice the orange into the pot. Add the spices directly into the pot, but note that if you use loose anise seeds to use a tea ball or later strain the seeds. Bring the mixture to a boil and then simmer for 10 minutes. Pour into a mug with a ladle or large spoon, and garnish with an orange slice and/or cinnamon stick.

Serving for desert: fall harvest apple pie. As a snack while the mulled wine is being prepared, in place of nuts or chips, serve gummi worms! Because its Halloween, the only time during the year that spoiling your appetite with candy is ever acceptable.

 Add fresh apples to the table scape to tie the meal and the atmosphere together. Black paper straws and an orange slice make a boring water glass more festive. Dim lighting and free standing red candles add a fun and spooky vibe to the table - especially when the wax begins to drip onto the table (I prepared for this with a plastic, disposable table cloth; but another great option is a thrifted repurposed/vintage table cloth that can be stored away for the season)

Just add friends.

The wine used in this post was a delicious 2017 Matchlock Cabernet Sauvignon - which arrived in the mail from my Winc subscription! I actually ordered two bottles: one for this recipe and another to enjoy on its own, because its so good! Definitely consider adding it to your next Winc order. If you haven't heard about Winc, head over to their website now! They offer an incredible selection and their Wine Club subscription is a game-changer! If you're like me and love cooking with wine and enjoying a glass with dinner, you need to try this! So easy and convenient! Click HERE to try now and get a $22 discount!

This post features affiliate links. Dear readers, by supporting my sponsors you are supporting my blog and for that I'm truly grateful. Thank you to Winc for kindly supplying product for this post. All opinions are 100% honest & completely my own.