Sunday, October 25, 2015

Wine and Candy - Halloween Adult Style

Admittedly, Halloween is not my favorite holiday of the year. I've never really gotten into the whole costume thing (it take A LOT of effort, y'all) and unfortunately, lately more and more of the trick or treaters are rude and don't even dress up. I do enjoy walking the neighborhood with friends who have little ones. We usually have a wagon full of adult libations and we can totally sneak candy all night long. It's a good time.

Recently, I saw this article online about pairing Halloween candy favorites with wine. Say what!? I can't believe I had never seen this before. I immediately thought that this was an amazing idea and I absolutely needed to try this. 

Luckily, I also have really awesome friends who say “that sounds fun” rather than “you’re crazy” when I ask them to help me out with this crazy idea. It was a blast munching on the yummy candy and testing all the different wines alongside them. And of course, we finished ALL the candy and ALL the wine.

Here’s the pairings I put together for this Halloween festivity. While all of the pairings were good, the hands down favorite from the group were the Skittles with the Moscato. It was amazing!

Let me know what wines you pair with your Halloween candy this year!

Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups – Taylor Tawny Port $11.99

This is by far my favorite candy for just about any holiday. The crazy thing is though, I’ve never tried to pair a wine with them before. I’ll admit it – this pairing was difficult to figure out. I pretty much scratched reds off right away. They are too heavy to hold up to the rich flavors of a peanut butter cup. I tried Riesling which wasn’t terrible but not amazing either. Then it hit me – dessert wines. This Taylor Tawny Port was JUST what the peanut butter cup called for. It’s a medium-bodied port wine with a nutty aroma and rich flavors of caramel. It is potent though so sip carefully!

Smarties – White Hall Vineyards Viognier - $19.99

I took a hint from the article mentioned above and knew exactly where I wanted to go with this pairing. Virginia is well known for their Viognier so there are a ton of good ones to choose from. The Viognier from White Hall Vineyards is one of my favorites and a perfect pairing with Smarties. It has notes of peach and cantaloupe with an interesting hint of blood orange on the nose. It’s a medium-bodied wine with a delicious orange finish that I love.

Candy Corn – Smoking Loon Steelbird Unoaked Chardonnay - $9.99

OK, let’s be honest here – candy corn is delicious (in a weird, artificial sugary sort of way) but it tastes horrible when you eat it alongside anything else. I was munching on some of this the other night and happened to have a glass of Petit Syrah in my hand as well. This is a TERRIBLE idea – please don’t try this at home. It almost ruined this perfectly lovely wine for me forever. So, what in the world WOULD taste good with candy corn? Turns out that the Viognier mentioned above is a pretty good choice but I wanted to change it up. Since the Viognier worked well, I decided to go for a Chardonnay. I knew I wanted an unoaked Chardonnay because I didn’t think the oakiness would pair well with the odd candy corn flavors. This Chardonnay from Smoking Loon was perfect. It’s a clean, crisp wine with hints of pineapple and melon and is just sweet enough to compliment the sweetness of the candy corn.

Raisinets – El Cortijillo Tempranillo - $6.98

I also knew exactly where I wanted to start my pairing with this candy. Again, taking a hint from the article I wanted something rich and smoky to pair with this chocolate treat. I knew my favorite wine region – Spain – would have just what I was looking for. This Tempranillo is one of my favorite finds and it did not disappoint when paired with the Raisinets. This Tempranillo is a fresh, complex wine with hints of blackberry and cherry. It’s rich and a bit sweet to start and drier on the finish, but not enough to drown out the flavor of the candy. I recommend this wine even if you aren’t eating candy!

Skittles – Middle Sister Sweet and Sassy Moscato - $9.99

With Skittles, I knew I needed to head back into the realm of sweet, fruity white wines. After some research, I decided to go with a Moscato. I don’t drink much Moscato wines so I decided to go with a relatively inexpensive brand that hasn’t disappointed me thus far – Middle Sister wines. Middle Sister has a special place in my heart since I am a middle sister! They have a Moscato that really hit the spot with this sweet candy. This one is smooth and sweet, but not too sweet as some Moscato’s tend to be. It has floral aromas and fruit flavors like pear and peach.

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