One of the best costumes we’ve ever seen is a man dressed as a box of wine, which made us laugh out loud. His wife was handing out the regular large-size Snickers® and Hershey’s®, so that house was a big hit for the whole family! And it got us to thinking … just what wine should you serve after the kids are in bed and you’re checking out their haul?
Let’s start with candy corn — the classic Halloween candy. It has a buttery, vanilla taste that makes it perfect with a simple, oaky Chardonnay, a dry Riesling or Sauternes. These complement the vanilla and butter flavors and work to downplay the sweetness of the corn. Note: handfuls of this treat will probably work against the pairing. Eat one or two and then have a sip.
Traditional pairings for chocolate include red wines, mostly of the hearty family, such as Port, but given the casualness of the evening, consider anything substantial from the red-wine family such as Shiraz, Merlot or Malbec. Tootsie Rolls also fit in this category.
Chocolate bars with nuts, such as the aforementioned Snickers, or Almond Joys, will benefit from a Sherry or Madeira. Sparkling wines or Champagnes are also a nice, celebratory choice (maybe once you get home after trick-or-treating and soak your feet), and dark chocolates (though you won’t get many of these) are excellent with a full-bodied, sensual California Zinfandel or a California Cabernet.
Sweet, fruity hard candies such as Jolly Ranchers and Skittles are definitely made for the dry or demi-sec style sparkling wine category. We like these with a Prosecco, and on the lighter side, a Vinho Verde to keep you on your toes. A Rosé also works nicely with fruitier candies and a Chenin Blanc with gummies of any kind.
If you are up for a little tartness, such as Sour Patch Kids, pour a Pinot Grigio. The floral notes of the wine are up to the tangy, zesty bite of these candies. So good, it’s a little scary.
Treats that feature butter or butterscotch, such as Butterfingers®, pair well with a Muscat or Gewürztraminer. The acidity of these white wines stand up well to the sweetness of butterscotch. If caramel apples are your pick, try Banyuls, a fortified red wine from southern France. Like Port, but made with Grenache, it offers fruity flavors that cut through the gooey texture of caramel. Icewine, Sauternes or a Sauvignon Blanc also do the trick (or treat).
Treats with peanut butter, such as the traditional Reese’s®, are perfect with a Torrontes. This spicy white has a balanced acidity to help wash down and bring out the rich flavor of the peanut butter.
But what about hot candies like Hot Tamales®? Here, we definitely go with a slightly sweet Riesling. The fruity flavors calm the heat and the pairing is as they say, dead on!
Here’s wishing you a happy (and safe) Halloween from your Market District Foodies!