Some suggestions if you plan to pour wine at your Halloween party.
If you begin the evening by accompanying your children on pillaging forays demanding treats you forbid your darlings to eat any other time of the year, you might want to re-think the whole scheme. While you can—sort of—pair wine with candy, such an effort mostly benefits dentists and wine sellers. If you insist, wine must be as sweet or sweeter than the candy or the wine will taste bitter.
Let’s assume you are past the kiddy daze days and are throwing an adult fright night fandango. As the first of the end-of-year harvest feasts, Halloween is the most irreverent and silly—after all, we are dancing around dread of death on eve of remembering saints, martyrs, and faithful departed. Fortunately, there are a lot of clever and affordable wine ways to go.
Consider Francis Ford Coppola Rosso & Bianco. It is suitably blood-red and made by the filmmaker of Dracula. If that is a little too obscure cinéma d’auteur for you, stain your fake canine teeth with Vampire Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, or Pinot Noir. All four of these party-pleasing pours can be had for around $10 a bottle.
If your theme is more Beelzebub than blood, it’s hard to conjure a scarier name than Casillero del Diablo. Produced by Chile’s monster maker Concha y Toro, the name comes from dark legend that founder Don Melchor secured his finest bottles in his deepest, most-forbidding cellar—“The Cellar of the Devil.” Heavenly news—you can mock Mephistopheles for around $10.
Alexander Valley Vineyards makes a tongue-in-cheek collection of quality zinfandels: Temptation Zin, Sin Zin, Redemption Zin. Michael David Winery makes 7 Deadly Zins and Freakshow—all are very drinkable for around $15.
Armida Poizin Zinfandel comes in bottle emblazoned with red skull and crossbones for around $16.
Kitschy wine decisions still freaking you? Invite everyone to bring their own spooky bottle(s) to your All Saints Eve soiree. It makes the event a collective effort, and your bank account won’t give up the ghost.
BTW—Every wine mentioned here beats giveaway candy from strangers.
Last round: You misunderstood me. I did not say “Halloween.” I said “Hello, wine.”
Email Gus at firstname.lastname@example.org. Facebook: Gus Clemens on Wine. Twitter: @gusclemens. Website: gusclemens.com.