Fun and Tasty Pairing Guide
Maybe you have young kids who will dress as a pirate and a princess and head out to trick-or-treat, and you plan to raid the booty they bring home. Maybe you are hosting a neighborhood party and want to maintain the festive feel. Maybe you just want an excuse to buy a bag of candy and sit on the sofa with your dog watching scary movies. Whatever your plans this Halloween weekend, you may need a little wine to get you through. Here are some fun and tasty pairings of candy with wines!
CANDY CORN AND CHARDONNAY
Candy corn is a sweet, buttery-tasting candy with a waxy texture. Pairing it with an oaked Chardonnay will complement the candy nicely without being overpowering. The Chardonnay will also soften the pure sugar flavors that candy corn can sometimes have. I love the Becker Vineyards 2019 Reserve Chardonnay for this pairing.
SKITTLES AND SAUVIGNON BLANC
Skittles are awesomely fruity candies but the sweetness can be a bit much. A dry wine will cut through all of the sweetness. Sauvignon Blanc is perfect because the natural acidity will tone down the sugar and complement the fruitiness. Look for Coordinates Vineyards 2021 Sauvignon Blanc.
HERSHEY’S AND ZINFANDEL
Hershey’s is the sweet milk chocolate we all grew up on. Pair it with a rich red Zinfandel. The jammy qualities of the wine will balance the sweet chocolate, making you taste chocolate-covered berries with every sip. Llano Estacado “Lahey” Zinfandel is a good match.
STARBURST AND A RHONE WHITE
Starburst are chewy, fruity candies with a slight tartness. Pairing them with a sweet wine like Muscat, known for orange flavors and aromas, can help enhance the citrus in the candy while balancing out the sweetness in the wine. I love the a combination of the lemon and orange with Whisper Path Cellars 2020 Belle Melange.
REESE’S AND A SYRAH BLEND
Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups are a perfect blend of sweet and salty. Milk chocolate is sweet and creamy, while peanuts have salt and fat. A lush, slightly tannic red blend can have the right mouth feel and complementary aromas of dark fruit pairs wonderfully with Reese’s. Wine For The People makes some great bold but smooth blends. I love the 2019 La Valentia Syrah Blend with the Dark Chocolate version of Reese’s.
GUMMY WORMS AND ROSÉ
Gummy worms are fruity, sweet, and tart, but they can taste plain after a handful. Partner them with rosé to give variety to the taste buds. The red fruit flavors of the rosé will enhance more of the fruitiness in the gummies. The acid in the wine will give your tongue just the kick it needs to fully enjoy the candies. Try Ab Astris 2021 Aurora Rosé, which is so good on its own you may not even eat the gummies!
SNICKERS AND CABERNET SAUVIGNON
Snickers Bars are a complex candy with peanuts, caramel, nougat, and chocolate, so you need something equally complex to draw out each of the candy’s flavors. Cabernet Sauvignon gives us the needed complexity. Notes of dark fruits contrast the saltiness of the nuts, while tannins oppose the creamy texture of the nougat, and the dry mouth feel is complemented by the sweetness of the candy bar. Look for Reddy Vineyards Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon.
POP ROCKS AND SPARKLING WINE
For a fun little experiment, pair sparkling wine with Pop Rocks to create a foamy burst of fruity flavor in your mouth. I like the strawberry or cherry candies with a dry sparkling rosé to bring out more fruit in the wine. If you can find Apple Pop Rocks, these are fantastic with a Blanc de Blanc Brut Champagne. Grab the well balanced, flavorful Hilmy Sparkling and have fun!
Don’t be afraid to experiment with your kid’s Halloween haul and the wines you have at home. It’s fun and will help you handle the sugar meltdown that is sure to come.