Ingredients

1 bottle red wine
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup brandy
2 cinnamon sticks
1 tsp whole allspice berries
4 star anise
1/2 tsp whole cloves
5 whole cardamom pods, lightly crushed with the back of a spoon to expose the seeds
1/2 vanilla bean, slit down the center (if you save pods this is a good time to reuse one)
a good grating of fresh nutmeg (about 1/4 tsp)
8 clementines, cut in half (remove any seeds)
garnish each glass with a cinnamon stick and a star anise

Holiday Mulled Wine
switch out the clementines for 1/2 cup cranberry juice and 1/2 cup whole fresh cranberries
add 5 sprigs fresh rosemary
garnish each glass with a sprig of rosemary and a few cranberries

Instructions

Put the water and sugar in the crock pot and turn on high. Stir to dissolve the sugar. Juice 4 of the clementines and add to the pot.

Add the rest of the ingredients and heat until the wine just gets to a simmer. Then turn the dial to the 'keep warm' setting and let it sit for about 30 minutes before serving.
You can strain the wine before serving, or not.
For the Holiday version, the process is the same, omit the clementines and use cranberries and rosemary.

NOTES
You can double the recipe, but the actual whole spices don't have to be doubled.