Making mulled wine is an easy and not-so-time consuming task that will scent your kitchen in the most wonderful way. All you really need to do is gather your ingredients and combine them in a saucepan, then put it on low and let it simmer until it's spiced to your liking, usually anywhere from 30 minutes to two (or more) hours. Just be sure not to let it ever get up to a boil.
The good news is you don't need an expensive bottle of wine because most of a fine wine's nuances would be lost in the cooking process. But while it doesn't need to be fancy, it should be drinkable. A good rule of thumb is to aim for the $7 to $10 range. Dry reds are typically used for mulling, like Zinfandel and Merlot. But if you're a white wine drinker, you can also use Riesling or Viognier. And if you do use white wine, the addition of turbinado sugar will add some complexity and sweetness to the taste.
Just keep in mind that wines that have been aged in oak don't make a very tasty finished product. Also, you should skip the aluminum pan for mulling, because it will give it a metallic bite. Stick to stainless steel or ceramic for the best result.