kansas city mulled wine at grunauer

Mulled Wine: An Annual Tradition

It happens around the same time each year. As the cooler weather sets in, the cravings for all things warm takes over. Frosty brew? Eh, it’s too cold. Kansas City whiskey on ice? Eh, not really feeling it.

It’s become an annual winter tradition for us Kansas City locals to seek out the city’s best mulled wine. There’s just something about our cold fingers wrapped around the steaming mug, taking sips full of warming spices. 

This love of mulled wine has been going on for years – and we’ve narrowed down all the places in Kansas City to order it. It’s a shame that there aren’t many that offer it, but the ones that do make some exceptional mulled wine, just as good as the cups we gulped down at European holiday markets years ago. 

What Is Mulled Wine?

Mulled wine has been a winter staple for ages, dating back to ancient Rome. Back then, it wasn’t just about the warmth – it was believed to have medicinal properties.

They used to infuse wine with spices, herbs, and even honey, not just for the taste but also for its perceived health benefits. We like to think the Romans were correct about that. We drink for our health.

As time marched on, mulled wine became a festive favorite across Europe. In medieval times, it was a symbol of hospitality and celebration during the holiday season. The spices were not only chosen for their taste but also for their ability to mask the flavors of wines that might have seen better days.

We’re past the days of the Black Plague, but the love for mulled wine lives on. You may be wondering, what exactly is mulled wine? It’s essentially red wine infused with a delightful mix of spices – cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg – and sometimes a hint of citrus.

As you’ll see, sometimes there’s a little boozy shot added as well. 

Kansas City’s Mulled Wine

Typically, mulled wine is available beginning in December and going through the end of January or February. We find that it’s the perfect nightcap after visiting one of Kansas City’s romantic date night restaurants.

So, let’s get into it – here’s where to find Kansas City’s mulled wine this frigid winter season.

1. KC Wineworks

Neighborhood: Crossroads Arts District

What’s better than mulled wine? Mulled wine that uses our regional Missouri grapes that have been turned into a smooth red wine by a local expert winemaker. KC Wineworks offers just that! 

As if their wine wasn’t already exceptional on its own, the mulling process makes it everything you want on a cold winter evening. And you can add in a shot of brandy if you’re looking to get boozy. 

Additionally, we love that KC Wineworks sells mulled wine kits, so you can make it yourself at home for those nights that are just too cold to go outside. 

2. Affäre

Neighborhood: Crossroads Arts District

Embracing their German roots, Affäre offers glühwein during the winter months. In German, it means “glow wine” and it’s sure to do just that – after a mug of the delicious cocktail, which contains brandy, your cheeks might just be glowing. 

We love that they dress it up by putting an orange slice and cardamom pods in it. 

3. Grünauer

Neighborhood: Crossroads Arts District

Grünauer’s mulled wine, glüwein, pairs perfectly with their hearty Austrian dishes! Their offering is unique in that you have the option to add either brandy or rum.

We can’t speak to rum in mulled wine, but we can confirm that the brandy is an excellent addition. 

4. West Bottoms Whiskey Co.

Neighborhood: West Bottoms

West Bottoms Whiskey Co. is the perfectly cozy spot to warm up with some mulled wine. Their Murdock’s Mullings features their whiskey with red wine, brandy, cider, cinnamon, cloves, oranges, and honey. Yes, please!

If you haven’t had a chance to visit West Bottoms Whiskey Co. yet, you’re missing out! They are one of Kansas City’s local distilleries and offer exceptional whiskey. The cocktail parlor is located in a pre-prohibition era train tunnel, and it’s incredibly cozy – perfect for winter evenings. 

painted wall that says whiskey neat with a barrel table and chairs
West Bottoms Whiskey

5. KC Bier Co. 

Neighborhood: Waldo

In true German bierhalle tradition, KC Bier Co. serves up spiced, toasty glühwein on Saturdays and Sundays. It’s an ideal pairing to their delicious German pretzel served with sweet or spicy mustard. 

6. Fountain City Winery

Neighborhood: West Bottoms

Fountain City Winery has a unique take on mulled wine with their Hot Plum Toddy. It’s been popular in past years, and for good reason!


We feel sufficiently ready for winter weather knowing that there are so many excellent options that offer relief from the midwest wind in the form of cozy spaces and toasty, delectable mulled wine. 

Here’s to another year of enjoying all the mulled wine that Kansas City has to offer!