Version below from: http://www.yobrew.co.uk/hot.htm Will change over time.
In the midst of winter in the long dark and cold evening a warm and rosy cheer is brought about by a nice hot mulled wine shared amungst a group of friends or neighbors. The really great thing with mulled wine is it tends to be better with rough dark red wines. The trick is to heat the wine with the spices and make sure you do not boil the mixture. Boiling will drive off most of the alcohol which has a lower boiling point than water. If you have thermometer then keep the temperature at no more than say 60C (140F). Serve in hot glasses to conserve the heat.
If you have an open fire then you can try the classical method of heating mulled wine. Many moons ago in ancient Britain they produced "mulling irons" specifically to heat your ale or wine. You heat your iron in the fire. Tap the heated iron to remove any ash or scale and the dip the iron into your wine. This not only warms the drink but also imparts a ferrous taste.
Wine heated with sugar and spice is called a "mull"
YoBrew traditional mulled wine
Country wines with plenty of tannin do well. Bilberry, damson, blackberry, black plum and blackcurrant. Why the rough wines do better than the good ones when mulling wines I'll never know but its a fortunate fact and its the destiny for my elderberry which never quite made the grade.
(If you would like to do this using an open fire whilst your muffins are toasting then do steps 1 - 9 and only warm the wine (say 40 - 50 C) Then each guest dips the heated iron poker into their drink to raise the temperature and to impart a ferrous taste. Always tap the poker first and trust that your poker is not toxic.
This should overcome the winter cold and provide jollity and good cheer.