Happy Halloween! That glorious holiday where everyone turns into a kid again at the thought of Halloween candy. The tiny packaging.
The favorites that you scramble for and if you’re like we are, we specifically pick what Halloween candy to give out, based on what leftovers we want to consume and that consumption may or may not have already started a night or two ago. And of course, living in beautiful Northern California, in the very heart of Wine Country, the only question that remains unanswered it how to properly pair up the candy to the perfect wine to bring out it rich and unique flavors. Let’s get a few ideas going!
Pop Rocks and Bubbly
Get this party started right by uncorking and opening the bubbles! This pairing will also have you walking on the wild side because it will remind you of that urban legend you heard as a kid involving pop rocks, soda, and death. Full disclosure; I have tried this pairing and I am still, indeed, alive. It really doesn’t get more fun than this! Pairing is just as much about texture as it is about taste. So what else would match beautifully with a bubbly beverage than a food item that quite literally BUBBLES? The fruity flavors will tickle your tongue, and the sharp acidity of a Sparkling wine will glide them effortlessly along. This is really a winning combo.
Sweet Tarts and Rosé
Naturally, Rosé is our next stop on the wine portion of this evening. Sweet Tarts are great because they give you just that little bit of an electric sting as you bit into them so what would want to pair with that to bring out that perfect bite? A lean, clean, dry Rosé with an equal little “sting” of tart red and tropical fruits. And no matter which color you leave at the bottom to be eaten last, each and every color tastes delicious while you’re sipping Rose alongside. Or even better, try it with Skittles or Nerds.
Lemonheads and Chardonnay
Let’s get specific here, because this is a fun one. Chardonnay is sort of a chameleon; it can take many different forms depending on how it’s treated. And even better, an unoaked Chardonnay will often exhibit very bright, fun tropical notes including- you guessed it- lemon! When fermented in stainless steel rather than oak, Chardonnay has a nice lean texture and zestiness. Lemonheads are often overlooked, but quite delicious. They’re sweet, but have a nice sour pop when you chew them and when paired as you sip away on your Chardonnay it’s a winning combination. This lemon-on-lemon flavor POW is guaranteed to excite the tastebuds. And if Lemonheads make you pucker a little too much, it’s Lemon Starbursts for the win.
Red Twizzlers and Red Wine
This one is open to interpretation on your part but ideally what you’re looking for is a nice amount of bright red cherry and strawberry, which can be found in many-a-red wine, but if you’re going for the ultimate pairing then it is all about the wines of Spain which offers such tremendous values that they are the .perfect option. Tempranillo and Grenache are going to be your two most common; yet two more grapes that can assume many forms, but their fresh, young incarnations have marvelous red fruit to offer and of course what goes better with a Red wine than that old time classic candy- Twizzlers. They don’t make you feel TOO guilty for eating them and at the end of the day, Twizzlers are the gift that keeps on giving.
Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups and… Pretty Much Anything
You know what goes with a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup ? LIFE. A Reese’s cup is heaven embodied in a little bite of heaven and the best part is that this pairing is especially fun because you have two distinct elements to pair off of: the milk chocolate and the peanut butter. The creaminess of milk chocolate, to me, often goes beautifully with a nice silky Merlot. But then we must reconcile the nuttiness at the heart of the Reese’s Want to go outside the box on this one? Try an Amontillado Sherry or a Madeira because fortified wines are an epiphany for nutty flavors and as an added bonus one you have it in the house means you’ll have the perfect cooking tool on hand in the kitchen, and these keep much, much longer than your average still wine.
Now the only question left to answer is what is your favorite wine and Halloween candy pairing?