It is a heated spiced wine, spiced with cinnamon sticks, star aniseed, cloves, sugar and citus which has become a staple in every Christmas market in and outside of Germany.
Germany alone consumed over 50 million litres of it last year with Nürnberger Glühwein being the most popular brand out there.
This drink was something I only discovered recently during one of my trips to a german deli about an hours' drive away. Not being a drinker or a fan of the taste of alcohol I was weary about trying it in the store. They were offering free samples and the aroma of the sweet wine permeated through my nasal passages. It's alchol free (or close to it - .05% or less) so I thought I'd give it a shot. Taking my first sip the fruity liquid warmed my throat all the way down to my stomach. I nursed the remainder enjoying every drop. It's somewhat sweet but not a hot chocolate sweet. More a tangy, fruity sweet.
Think of a warmed up sangria.
Needless to say I bought a few bottles and a couple of them became nice gifts to family and friends during the holiday season.
On a cold day this warm wine goes down really nice and is a wonderful comfort drink.