Halloween happens next week, the first of the big three harvest festival events.
It also is the start of my 11th year writing for you about wine. The first column appeared the week before, but it just introduced myself and my vision of where the column would go. The first substantive column about wine was about Halloween and wine.
Nugget of advice learned over the past decade: If you must pair wine with Halloween candy, the wine has to be as sweet as the candy. Best advice: don’t pair wine with Halloween candy.
If you plan an adult party with adult food and wine, there are plenty of clever plays to fit the irreverent mood. All these are commodity wines, widely available, reasonably priced.
• Coppola Rosso is a light, fruity red table wine made with zinfandel, cabernet sauvignon, and syrah. It is suitably blood red, costs around $10, and comes from the filmmaker of Dracula. Link to the Coppola website
• Vampire Wines are made in Paso Robles, in addition to their Vampire wines priced around $15, they make a higher end Dracula Merlot, Dracula Pinot Noir, and Vampire Gourmet Bloody Mary cocktail in a can. Link to Vampire website
• Same vein, suck in some Armida Poizin Zinfandel. It comes in bottle emblazoned with red skull and crossbones; about $25. Also available in special packaging—a wooden coffin-shaped box; that costs about $100. Link to Armida website
• If your crowd enjoys word plays, Alexander Valley Vineyards makes a tongue-in-cheek collection of zinfandels: Temptation Zin, Sin Zin, Redemption Zin; around $13 each. Michael David Winery’s 7 Deadly Zins is a similar word play; around $16. All these are serious zins, not just table wine with clever labels. Link to Alexander Valley Vineyards website Link to Michael David Winery website
• Finally, it is hard to conjure a more appropriate Halloween label than Casillero del Diablo (“Cellar of the Devil”). Produced by Chile’s monster maker Concha y Toro, the name comes from the dark legend that founder Don Melchor sought to prevent workers from slurping his finest by securing bottles in his deepest, most-forbidding cellar—The Cellar of the Devil. Casillero del Diablo produces many good values starting around $12. Link to Casillero del Diablo website
Haunted by which wine to buy? Invite everyone coming to your soulful soiree to bring their own spookily appropriate bottle. That makes the event a collective effort, and your bank account won’t give up the ghost.
Last round: Drinking the rest of the wine in order to recycle the bottle is what I call drinking responsibly.