Welcome to Distilled—booze news from the Globe and the world beyond. 

Star anise, almonds, cloves, cinnamon—and of course red wine, rum, and aquavit—are among the most common ingredients in a proper Glögg.

Anytime can be the right time for Glögg—so long as it’s cold outside. Intrepid reporter Becca Hensley—usually more of a bubbles person—served up  the Scandinavian beverage’s back story and also delivered a terrific recipe. It’s been a good year for such comforting fare…

“An Industry with An Outsized Sense of Moral Superiority.”

Ouch. Such is New York magazine’s description of the natural wine world, in this deep dive into the (formerly) very Instagrammable Italian label Calcarius, run by Valentina Passalacqua. Or maybe a little by her father, who might be looking at 8 years for his poor labor treatment. It’s complicated stuff.

Some Light Reading

This year, legendary retailer Morrell released its giant, drool-worthy catalog only in digital form. It’s still awfully fun to read, and can now be regularly updated. Plenty of Oregon chard, Opus One, and loads of Burgundy.

Half Full or Half Empty, All Gorgeous

Writer and editor Drew Limsky, a keen design eye, spotted some knockout whiskey glasses from Norlan. They also come in opaque black, though we’re not sure why. Other vessels in the line are designed to give cocktails a more thorough muddle, when required. Nifty. At the Globe, we are believers in first-rate barware.

Trust Us: Go Get Some of This

The always intriguing, no-frills site winerelease.com notes the appearance this month of the 2017 Napa Valley Howell Mountain Dancing Bear Ranch Cabernet Sauvignon ($175) from Cakebread. The 2016, which we sort of accidentally opened back in May, was one of the very best things we drank in 2020. Also, watch out for bears.

And Some of This:

During Bubbles Week, Renee Wilmeth (@feedmedrinkme) gave us the downlow on grower champagnes, if you’re looking for something special this New Year’s. Which you should be.

And Remember:

Things could be worse.