Good Gluhwein includes the right mix of ingredients. The best Gluhwein recipes live in the heads of those stirring steaming wine in blackened pots at Christmas Markets throughout Europe. That’s why I went to those markets and did the thankless research of stumbling my way through wooden stalls and drinking at Apres Ski parties to bring you the recipes you can’t find anywhere else. 

One recipe, Gluhwein made with Fruit Wine I travel to the Midwest to find. I discovered a perfect compliment in the Cherry Wines of Door County, WI, but gluhwein made with any fruit wine will work. 

A delicious cherry or blueberry wine adds an extra dimension of flavor when combined with spices. Plus, a sweet fruit wine will cut down or eliminate the amount of sugar you need to add, depending on the sweetness of the wine.

What is Fruit Wine?

Fruit wines are made from fermenting fruit. Sounds simple. But, we often only think of wine as produced from grapes. Grapes aren’t the only fruit that can be fermented to produce wine, and lots of different berries and fruits contain the potential for wine greatness. 

Aside from grapes, other fruit wines you might see on store shelves (or winery menus) include:

– Apple wine

– Apricot wine

– Blackberry wine

– Cherry wine

– Peach wine

– Elderberry wine 

– Pomegranate wine

The process for making fruit wines is similar to that of grape wines, but with a few key differences. First, the fruit is crushed and the juice is extracted (usually through pressing). Then, yeast is added to begin the fermentation process. Once fermentation is underway, the new wine must be aged before it’s bottled and ready to drink. 

During aging, fruit wines often undergoes racking (a process of transferring the wine from one container to another) and fining (the addition of agents that clarifies the wine). Once these steps are complete, the fruit wine is ready to be enjoyed.

There are many different types of fruit wines on the market, so there’s sure to be one that appeals to your personal taste and pairs well with the other spices added to gluhwein. If you’re looking for a fruity, refreshing wine, try a white fruit wine like apple or apricot. For a richer, fuller-bodied fruit wine, go for a red variety like cherry or blackberry.

Fruit Wine Gluhwein

Just follow a traditional gluhwein recipe, using fruit wine in place of the red wine. You can use any type of fruit wine you like, but we recommend something semi-sweet or sweet for best results. One of the wines mentioned above will work perfect. When selecting a fruit wine, just make sure it is not too sweet. You want the German gluhwein to have a balance of sweetness and acidity. 

For a fruit wine Gluhwein, you’ll need:

1 bottle fruit wine

  • 1 bottle fruit wine
  • 2 sugar cubes
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1 medium orange, sliced
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 6 whole cloves
  • 8 allspice
  • 1 star anise (optional)


1. Put all of the ingredients into a pot over med-low heat and stir until the sugar has dissolved. 

2. You want to ensure your gluhwein is piping hot before serving. 

3. The best method of determining if the wine is hot enough is the ol’ finger test. Stick a finger in and if the gluhwein is hot, you’re good. 

A note here. PLEASE DON’T BE SILLY. DON’T BURN YOURSELF BECAUSE THAT CAN HAPPEN. This temperature range help release the aromas of the spices without making the drink too hot. You also don’t want it burning the roof of your mouth off. 

4. At that point, turn off the heat and let the mixture steep for about 10 minutes.  This will give time for the ingredients to mix and meld.

5. You can then either strain it or serve it as is. 

6. If you want to keep it warm, put it back on the stove over low heat. 

7. Serve in mugs or glasses with pitted cherry, cranberry, raspberry, blueberry and a cinnamon stick. 

*If you want a truly festive Gluhwein, try making it with cranberry fruit wine. 

 It’s delicious.