In a few plain words, glühwein is a mulled wine — a wine combined with spices and typically served warm.
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It is pronounced “Glue-vine,” and most people start sipping it mid-November. Nothing inspires the feeling of Christmas more than huddling together in the brisk winter air with a mug of steaming hot, sugared wine. There’s even a Christmas song devoted to its American relative; ever whistled the song “Here we go a Wassailing”? In high school, friends who were with me in the show choir would all gather one night during the holiday season and wander around the block singing to their neighbors. We would enjoy being together with cocoa or warm apple cider while the parents sang a little more boisterously, their sound pipes fueled by their cups of mulled wine.