Festive swirling is a side effect of Gerstacker Gluhwein (pronounced glue-vine.) After going on a Rick Steves Christmas bender from the safety of our own homes, Nate (my husband) and I discovered the German market episode, where Rick Steves only mentions “warm, spiced wine” once, but Nate remembers it—and the German name (gluhwein), which I don’t think Rick Steves ever says in the episode that we watched, but oh well. Here’s what Rick Steves does say in this episode:
–The German market is a “festive swirl” of sorts.
–Shops will display “wafting incense toys.”
–“Warm, spiced wine.”
And this is what Nate remembers—and what it sounds like to me:
“We need glue vine! Would you like some warm glue vine?”
And it sounds terrible, but Nate’s really excited, so I decide that I will try it.
Nate found a bottle of Gerstacker Gluhwein and heated some of it up in a pan on the stovetop—but not to boiling—just to slightly warm. He brought it to me in a steaming mug. I took one sip, and . . . I think I now know what it means to festively swirl. In my lifetime, I’ve been festive. I’ve swirled. But up until this moment, I’ve never known the magic of smashing these two things together. The Gerstacker Gluhwein is just that: smashing in a delightfully warm and sweet—but not too sweet way. Flavors of fruit, cinnamon, cloves, and orange peel join the party—and that’s how the time just swirls away. After all of the swirling, the sleepy warm feeling takes over, and I find myself totally useless—and extremely interested in buying wafting incense toys.
Cecilia Kennedy once taught Spanish and English courses in Ohio for many years. She now lives in the Greater Seattle area, and writes horror stories. Her blog (Fixin’ Leaks and Leeks: https://fixinleaksnleeksdiy.blog/) chronicles her humorous (and perhaps scary?) attempts at cooking and home repair.