Every few years I recklessly throw caution and good judgment to the wind and confront pairing wine with Halloween candy. So here it goes.
First, if you are a prudent person you will not pair wine with candy. But, heck, prudence is not a common virtue around Halloween, the first and most willfully foolish of the great harvest feasts of fall.
M&Ms with their milk chocolate and extra smack of sugary coating will never do well with tannic wines. If you must, you can go with light, fruity, unoaked red. Gamay can work, sort of. So can sweet wines—white zinfandel, many Barefoot offerings. When you pile sugar upon sugar, however, consider low alcohol and responsible consumption or the real horror of Halloween will be your morning after.
In some surveys, candy corn scores as the most-hated Halloween candy. If you are someone who does not detest the marzipan-like treat, think a sweet, sparkling riesling or sweeter, fruit-forward prosecco.
If you are a little more discrete and go with Hershey’s Special Dark you have a plausible opportunity to enjoy. Special Dark lacks the sugar assault, so you can venture into the drier nether realms of your wine stash. A nice, fruity zinfandel will work, and you can even do a Halloween play with Seven Deadly Zins or other kitschy-named offering from California.
A plausible opportunity exists with Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups and oloroso sherry. The oloroso nuttiness and some sweetness will balance with the peanut butter flavors and sweetness of the chocolate.
If you do not have children who are empowered this one night to become extortionists roaming the neighborhood promising property damage if they are not paid off with cheap sugar confections, you can always enjoy the frivolity of a costume party and real wine pairings. Charcuterie boards work well with almost the entire panoply of wine. Answer the doorbell, pay off the moppets demanding tribute, practice moderation, and wake up the next morning to prepare for the next holiday, giving thanks you survived this one.
• Zenato Valpolicella Superiore DOC 2017: Ripe, rich, supple, very easy drinker. No big tannins or acidity, just a delicious red wine delight. $14 Link to my review
• Angels & Cowboys Brut Rosé NV: Lively, fun sparkling. Creamy easy drinker with excellent acidity. Straightforward bubbly. $23-26. Link to my review
• The Mill Keeper Cabernet Sauvignon NV: Smooth, easy-drinking 100% cab from esteemed, environmentally responsible Napa wine family. Vibrant, balanced. $32-38. Link to my review
Last round: What do you call a medieval lamp? A knight light. Wine time.