In a heavy saucepan over medium heat, combine the red wine, spices, orange and sugar. Heat gently, but don't bring to the boil. Stir in 2 tablespoons of the sugar, and once dissolved, taste to see if you'd like to add more.
Keep hot on medium to low heat for 15 to 20 minutes to let the flavours infuse the wine. Add the brandy, if desired. Serve your mulled wine hot in glasses or mugs.