I Never Drink … Wine

When Hungarian actor Bela Lugosi first uttered those immortal words in Tod Browning’s 1931 movie Dracula, he didn’t realise he would be giving birth to one of the most famous lines in vampire folklore. These words never appeared in Bram Stoker’s novel. They were unique to the film which is loosely based on the 1924 stage play by Hamilton Deane and John L. Balderston. It was this play that introduced us to an urbane, tuxedo wearing Count Dracula, much different to Stoker’s quite repulsive vampire. The romantic, cape wearing Count would become one of the most popular versions of the mercurial vampire in literature and cinema. His popularity does not appearing to be waning.

To celebrate Bela’s upcoming 134th birthday on Thursday October 20, I thought I would drink some wine in his honour 🙂 Sangria, a chilled Spanish red wine drink, is supposedly named after the Spanish word for blood – sangre – which reflects its dark red colour. I have chosen to meld a chilled Spanish sangria with a warm mulled wine. After all, if Dracula did drink wine he most certainly would want it served warm – like blood!

Hot Blooded Sangria


1/2 cup blood orange juice
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
2 cinnamon sticks
750ml bottle of red wine
1/3 cup brandy
1 blood orange, cut into pieces

Place the juice and sugar in a medium saucepan on medium heat. Stir until combined.
Add the cloves and cinnamon sticks. Simmer, stirring frequently, for 5 – 10 minutes or until the mixture becomes syrupy.
Add the wine and brandy. Cover and simmer, without boiling, for 5 minutes.
Add the blood orange pieces to a heatproof jug.
Pour wine over the blood orange pieces.
Drink while warm.
Refrigerate any leftover wine and enjoy cold over ice.

Spanish Rioja is traditional but you can use any red wine you like. I used a Vampire Merlot from Transylvania 🙂
You can use any variety of oranges when blood oranges are out of season.


      1. I would have loved that! We had a show called Deadly Earnest’s Awful Movies that showed b-grade horror films. I wasn’t allowed to watch it but I would sneak in when my older brother was watching. I think that was when I first saw Christopher Lee! When I was older we had Elvira 🙂


  1. Bela Lugosi, like all Hungarians, was very fond of Tokaji. All whites. Drink the Hungarian ones, a tad expensive, but avoid the US knockoffs, which are just sweet wine. Tokaji Furmint can be used with dinner–nice compliment to a chicken paprikacs, but Tokaji Aszu is possibly the best dessert wine ever. As a friend said when I poured some for her and her husband–it’s like drinking honey. Another wine Bela was supposedly fond of–it may have been PR because of the name–was Egri Bikaver–“Bull’s Blood of Eger.” When I tasted it back in the 60s, it was a REALLY strong-bodied red wine, but it may have been too young to drink (as was I 😀 )

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    1. Thank you so much for letting me know about these fabulous Hungarian wines! The Tokaji Furmint sounds divine. I love honey flavoured wines. Bull’s blood also appeals to me as I am a Taurus. 🙂 I’m going to have fun searching for these and especially drinking them!


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