Lake Tahoe Drink of the Week: The Idle Hour’s Mulled Wine |

Lake Tahoe Drink of the Week: The Idle Hour’s Mulled Wine

One of the largest components of Tahoe’s nightlife is the mix of countless breweries, bars and restaurants that offer unique drinks difficult to find outside the basin.

In our Drink of the Week segment, we’ll showcase one type of beer, wine, cocktail — you name it — to try around the basin.

Full disclosure: I’m a wine lover. Hard to believe since I write a drink column, I know. But bear with me here. As a wine lover, I have to admit I was a little tepid in trying this week’s drink – I just wasn’t sure how I was going to like hot wine.

Another full disclosure: I really liked it. While I’m not going to be jamming on mulled wine during the summertime, it does seem to be the perfect fit for the holidays.

Much like I associate sangria with summer, this wine cocktail is equally as enjoyable as it’s winter counterpart. The similarities are there and while wine is used as the base, it’s more wine-like than actual wine.

The red wine used as the base is a blend of cabernet and zinfandel. Both of those are typically big reds, but they need to be in order to stand up to the sweet spices that are added.

While I couldn’t pry the ingredients away for a complete run down, I was told this recipe has been rocking around the Christmas tree for 30+ years.

It’s essentially some spices, a little cider and something that’s secret – maybe Santa knows, I’ll see if I can ask him.

Nevertheless, the result is a hot and savory sip with hints of apple and berry.

It definitely drank with the feel of an upscale English tea party.

But dammit, this is Tahoe. My pinky stayed curled up and each sip was had with the backdrop of the Lake and snow-covered mountains. Give me that over the English countryside any day of the week. Aaaaand, give me the drink, too.

The Idle Hour is located at 3351 Lake Tahoe Blvd. in South Lake Tahoe. For more information visit them online at or by calling them at 530-600-3304.

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