This warming drink has the flavorful depth of the classic red version but is lighter in body. Choose a white that's not too acidic, such as a Viognier or an oaked Chardonnay (wines that are more astringent can develop a harsh edge when heated).
Peel orange in strips using a vegetable peeler, being careful not to remove any pith (the white part). Push cloves into peel.
Combine clove-studded orange peel, the star anise, ginger, water, and sugar in a saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a simmer, stirring to dissolve sugar, and cook for 10 minutes. Remove from heat, and add wine. Let stand for 20 minutes to mull.
Just before serving, gently reheat mulled wine over medium heat until just beginning to simmer. Serve warm.
Mulled wine can be refrigerated overnight. (Strain at the end of step 2 to prevent the aromatics from overpowering the wine.) Reheat before serving.