Now, this holiday is one for pure enjoyment-- no planning and prepping your whole house to accommodate your extra-large family (just a bucket of candy), no dieting to fit into a tight dress as long as my queen-sized ghost costume still fits, and no good manners needed for tonight’s Haunted House party! My absolute favorite part is that the food I make and the tasty treats I bake don’t need to look, in fact, it’s even more “on theme” that they look awful-- a feat I don’t have to try hard to accomplish. But I digress. I am here to help you make the most of the holiday by adding a crucial element that is often overlooked for this one: VINO!
If you are looking for the spookiest Halloween Wine Pack, be sure to check out our SPOOKY Pack to share at your Halloween events this year.
So let’s talk: Wine & Halloween Pairing. Is it possible, and how can fermented grape juice really be a pairing to something that is “happening”-- a culmination of spooky excitement centered around October 31s every year? Well, my friends, let me tell you that wine pairing is not just sparkling wine and mac ‘n cheese; dark chocolate and port; steak and Cabernet. There are wine-making choices, wine styles, and themes are woven throughout the wine world that pair perfectly to an event. So, without further ado, here is how to stock up your wine cellar with a menu of shocking, lively, haunting wine selections for your upcoming Fright Fest.
THE WITCHES BREW
Let’s kick off the night strong with a hit of something you’re used to coming right out of a cauldron: a bright and bubbling cup of witchy brew. To pick the perfect potion we look right into the winemaking style. While a witch may throw a mixture of this, that and the other together and watch as the liquid starts to bubble and change color, a winemaker can mimic this magic in other ways to come up with the perfect concoction: Pet Nat! Short for Natural, this increasingly popular wine style stands for “naturally a little bubbly.” Winemakers take bits and pieces of different grape varieties and winemaker secrets and throw them all under bottle-cap, and as the magic of turning into wine happens the wine starts to fizz and change inside. Then, when you open it...HSSSSS...you have a steaming, fizzing bottle of potion that, when consumed by the goblet-full, can make you do very funny things!
PUMPKIN BREAD AND POPCORN
Now here is an interesting one that takes a lot of thought and intricate winemaking skills. I know for a fact that at your holiday parties, pumpkin and popcorn will both make their way into the hands of your guest, likely topped with cream cheese, caramel, and other Hallows Eve delicacies. While these flavors are not commonly naturally occurring in wine, they still exist in final wines. Enter, winemakers that use oak-aging or other special practices to encourage flavors of spice, hay, butter, and cream to emerge during the transformative process of fermenting grape juice into wine. Certain grape varieties play home to these flavor characters best, one of them being the Texas-loving grape Roussanne. Already filled with creamy textures and aromas for fall-time, the spice and butter flavors encouraged by playful winemaking go hand in hand.
We recommend our 2020 Roussanne, La Pradera Vineyards
MOVIE NIGHT MONSTER MARATHON
The moment that man comes out of the forest with a knife chasing after their victim screaming bloody murder, and we all duck our heads and cover our ears until the gore scene is over, all you need is a glass of wine in hand to focus on. My perfect pairing to this moment is a lovely little grape called Syrah (or Shiraz). Blood-red in color, filled with tantalizing aromas or forest berries and intriguingly dark black pepper, this grape will have you mesmerized. So much has this wine hypnotized me that I duck into it to avoid the mounting suspense on the screen, only to look up to the credits and rewind back to where I left off an hour ago! Guess I’ll just have to pour another glass and rewatch it again...We recommend our 2018 Syrah, Alta Loma Vineyards
THE TRICK FOR ADULT-TREATING
Finally, the kids come home with their pillage of candy. You watch as they separate into two piles: I’m going to eat right now, and To save for later even though I don’t like that candy. You have one window of opportunity to sneak from the lightly guarded save-for-later pile and hope that either you won’t be noticed, or that the eat-now pile will serve as a distraction. You manage to sneak one or two candies...most likely an Almond Joy, as always. We in the wine industry hope you know just how wine-friendly this forgotten candy is! Not too sweet, natural fruit flavor, and nuts in the center-- it’s like it was created to pair with a little grape called Tempranillo. This red grape is known for being exotic and spiced in character, not typically fruit-forward like the many wine grapes out there.We recommend the Lost Draw Cellars Day of the Red wine (Tempranillo Blend)
However, when you plan to devote some real time to picking through and “sampling” many candy styles with your friends and family, the trick is to wine-pair with something that is as sweet as the candy, or more. Why? If you select a dry wine the sweetness of the candy will cause your tongue to perceive the dry wine as bitter, even though it wasn’t originally. A sweet wine will taste much less sweet if you are eating dessert alongside it! Such is the spooky and delicious magic of wine.
We recommend our Cibola!