Tag Archives: Jamie Oliver

How to host a mulled wine party – Jamie Oliver style

Mulled wine is the perfect Winter party drink; there’s lots of it, and people can help themselves. It’s just like a Summer punch party, but in Winter.

Hold up, what is mulled wine exactly?

Mulled wine is a spiced up red wine, with flavours of cinnamon, star anise, cloves, nutmeg, and peel. It’s served warm, and is the perfect ‘cold-hands-warming’ beverage.

My friend hosted her first mulled wine party, and it went off like a flamingo hanging from the ceiling!

Photo 26-08-2016, 8 39 01 AM.jpg

Photo Credit @meghannmaee

How do you host a mulled wine party?

Take Jamie Oliver’s mulled wine recipe

Click Here for the recipe

Source ingredients from your local grocer

Coles and Woolies will have all your mulled wine needs, although if you come across a specialised spice shop like Gewürzhaus house this is a great option as well – amazing fresh produce, and they even have a ‘ready-to-use’ mulled wine spice mix, if you can’t be bothered getting all the individual ingredients.


Photo 26-08-2016, 8 39 07 AM.jpg

Photo Credit @meghannmaee

Souring the main ingredient – the wine!

This can be a tricky one. Certainly don’t go using your Penfolds or vintage red wine you’ve been cellaring in this mix, as the flavours of the spices and peel will override much of red wine notes.

Instead, use something that’s full bodied like a Tempranillo or a Shiraz.

Tip the Bottle's Tip - Source a dozen bottles of clean skin wine. 
Let's be honest, you'll be using lots of it, and it's an effective way to keep costs down.

Brew for around 15 minutes

This gives you enough time to primp yourself before the guests arrive, and sort out the record player for some cracking party tunes.

Photo 26-08-2016, 8 39 40 AM.jpgPhoto 26-08-2016, 8 39 42 AM.jpgPhoto 26-08-2016, 8 39 45 AM.jpg

Arrange some nibbles

When hosting a mulled wine party, a mulled wine host should also provide an accompaniment of nibbles. If cooking isn’t your strongest point, you can always ask your guests to bring along a snack.

Here’s a few suggestions on how to feed your guests, while they’re sipping on their mulled wine.

  • without a doubt cheese and crackers!
  • strawberries
  • cinnamon donuts
  • mini meatballs with chilli sauce
Photo 26-08-2016, 8 39 30 AM

‘Donut’ leave your guests go hungry!


Arrival of your guests

Once your guests arrive, hand them an empty coffee mug, and take them to the magic mulled wine pot to fill it up.

Coffee cups are an ideal way to serve the mulled wine, as it holds the heat of the wine and creates a bit of fun among the guests as they pretend to drink coffee.

Surprise your guests by offering a splash of amaretto

While this is not in the recipe, it is a common addition that smooths out the flavours of the mix, and adds that little bit of extra kick your guests are not expecting.

If the mulled wine pot gets low, top it up!

Lucky you have those extra clean skin bottles on hand! You’re welcome.

This is the (one of the many) best parts about mulled wine – the fact you can just keep topping it up. With the brew of spices and flavours in the bottom of the pot, it will just keep on giving throughout the night.

Photo 26-08-2016, 8 39 48 AM.jpg

Time for a refill!

Be prepared for spillage

If you’re hosting your party in a house with hard flooring, any spillage can be hosed down.

If you’re hosting on carpet, be sure you have a massive bag of salt to lap up any spillage, and newspaper to cover. This will soak up any stains quickly. Next day vacuum it up and apply some carpet cleaner. Voila! Clean again

Photo 26-08-2016, 8 39 13 AM.jpg

Quick to action with all hands on deck will fix any spillage


A fun winter party idea! With only a few days left in winter, you better get cracking!

Until next time winos



Tagged , , , , , ,

Olivier Magny – My Jamie Oliver equivalent to wine

For anyone who knows me, knows I’m a Jamie Oliver fan. A big one too. When it comes to the world of wine I think I’ve found my Jamie Oliver equivalent.

Meet Olivier Magny – a French Sommelier/Entrepreneur/Author


The man himself. Olivier Magny

I came across Olivier through his SBS show ‘The Grape Escape’.
In the series you travel along with him throughout the French wine regions, visiting many wineries, and learning about the wine making process along the way.
His excitable nature and approach to wine is infectious. His mantra is all about removing the intimidation people may have with wine, with a purpose of making it fun and factual, which I love.

In his series, one of the key highlights for me was when he visited the champagne region – it was so interesting to learn the process of making champagne from picking, to fermentation, through to storing. This all finished with learning how you should open a champagne bottle – my life changed forever when I saw this. simples tip the bottleThe trick is, rather than twisting the cork, you should twist the bottle instead. Simples!


Another region visited was the Bordeaux region. This took me back to my holiday in 2013 where I visited Bordeaux. He even ran in the Marathon du Medoc! What a champion.

Along with this great series, he’s also written a book ‘Into Wine’ (which I’m currently reading), and even founded Ô Chateau, Frances’ number one wine school located in Paris. It’s even home to a wine bar with 40 glasses on the menu to choose from. 40! With so many glasses on tap, I hope one day to visit his wine bar, as I’m sure his collection would be ‘superbe’.

Me in Paris! Oh how I want to go back!

Me in Paris! Oh how I want to go back!

Until next time wino’s,


Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Wine and Food Match test – Jamie Oliver’s Beef Tagine & a Shiraz

This week I’ve decided to road test a food and wine match suggestion I recently read about.


I came across this suggestion through Foxtel’s Lifestyle Food newsletter, featuring their wine expert Angus Hughson. His motto – ‘Life is too short to drink bad wine’. I couldn’t agree more.

Foxtel Lifestyle Food newsletter

The wine suggestion was the 2012 Angove Long Row Shiraz; an elegant spicy Australian Shiraz, described as being medium bodied, peppery, fruity with dark cherry notes.


The food suggestion was Jamie Oliver’s Beef Tagine. For those of you who don’t know me, I must let you know I am a massive Jamie Oliver fan, so this match suggestion had intrigued me from the get-go; yep, that’s me with Jamie Oliver.

Me Jamie Oliver

Armed with the wine suggestion and recipe in hand, off I trundled to my local supermarket to source the ingredients. Unfortunately my local wine seller did not stock this particular wine, however, Angus did suggest a Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon or a Grenache as the best wines to pair with Beef Tagine.

Putting my reading glasses on, I scoured the wine racks to find something that would be of similar style to the Angove Long Row Shiraz. What I came out with was a Partisan Trench Coat Vintage 2010 from McLaren Vale – a blend of Grenache, Shiraz and Mourvedre (or commonly known as a GSM wine).


Partisan Trench Coat

The label stated the style of the wine to be ‘spicy, complex and brightly fruity’, which I figured aligned well with Angus’ first suggestion of pairing it with an elegant spicy Australian Shiraz – A man in a trench coat is elegant right?







After a long 3 hours waiting for the beef tagine to cook, I could not wait to sink my teeth in to the food and wine.


The verdict? Angus you are a star. This was a match made in heaven. The melt in your mouth meat paired perfectly with the spicy and fruity Shiraz – or in my case the GSM.


The Partisan was a dream to sip on – peppery on the nose, and spicy on the palate. I could easily drink this wine without the beef, however drinking it with the tagine really did balance out the 100+ spices that went in to the dish.

Jamie oliver beef tagine partisan

If you have a few hours to spare, I highly recommend you to whip up this dish and have your Shiraz on hand to serve up at a dinner party. I can guarantee you will have your friends coming back with their wine glass asking ‘Please sir, I want some more?’


Until next time wino’s,





Here’s the recipe! Credit to Lifestyle Food channel.



  • 600g stewing beef
  • olive oil
  • 1 onion, peeled and finely chopped
  • a small bunch of fresh coriander
  • 1 x 400g tin of chickpeas, drained
  • 1 x 400g tin of chopped tomatoes
  • 800ml vegetable stock, preferably organic
  • 1 small squash (approximately 800g), deseeded and cut into 5cm chunks
  • 100g prunes, stoned and roughly torn
  • 2 tablespoons flaked almonds, toasted

For the spice rub

  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 level tablespoon ras el hanout spice mix*
  • 1 level tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 level tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 level tablespoon ground ginger
  • 1 level tablespoon sweet paprika


*Ras el hanout (Arabic for ‘top of the shop’) is a blend of the best spices a vendor has in his shop. The mixture varies depending on who is selling it, but can be a combination of anywhere from 10 to 100 spices. It usually includes nutmeg, cinnamon, mace, aniseed, turmeric, cayenne, peppercorns, dried galangal, ginger, cloves, cardamom, chilli, allspice and orris root.



1 Mix all the spice rub ingredients together in a small bowl. Put the beef into a large bowl, massage it with the spice rub, then cover with clingfilm and put into the fridge for a couple of hours – ideally overnight. That way the spices really penetrate and flavour the meat.


2. When you’re ready to cook, heat a generous lug of olive oil in a tagine or casserole– type pan and fry the meat over a medium heat for 5 minutes. Add your chopped onion and coriander stalks and fry for another 5 minutes. Tip in the chickpeas and tomatoes, then pour in 400ml of stock and stir. Bring to the boil, then put the lid on the pan or cover with foil and reduce to a simmer for 1½hours.


3. At this point add your squash, the prunes and the rest of the stock. Give everything a gentle stir, then pop the lid back on the pan and continue cooking for another 1½hours. Keep an eye on it and add a splash of water if it looks too dry.


4. Once the time is up, take the lid off and check the consistency. If it seems a bit too runny, simmer for 5 to 10 minutes more with the lid off. The beef should be really tender and flaking apart now, so have a taste and season with a pinch or two of salt. Scatter the coriander leaves over the tagine along with the toasted almonds, then take it straight to the table with a big bowl of lightly seasoned couscous and dive in.




Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
%d bloggers like this: