What Wines Go with Halloween Candy?
Having no children of my own, I love to (under the guise of “checking”) line my pockets with candy from my nieces and nephews. I could just buy some myself, but joy of the game is to take it without their noticing while they check out their haul. Once the parents announce, “one more and off to bed!” it’s candy time and I am happy to bring some wine to the party.
Pairing wine with Halloween snacks can be a little tricky. Chocolate generally goes with sweeter or richer reds such as shiraz or port. Milk chocolate and candy bars are usually sweeter than fine chocolate, and generally want wines that are fruity, slightly oaked and aren’t too tannic.
Some Halloween candy just does not go with anything. These are the candies that are basically just 100 per cent sugar pressed into some shape. They just don’t pair with wine but if you must, a dry sparkling wine such as brut Champagne or even a lean crisp cava or prosecco might be bearable.
If you are looking to pair some wine with Halloween candy, here is a little guide to wine tasting and small portion candy.
A Canadian classic produced by Hershey Canada. You might roll with the peanut ones, but for wine, it has to be the chocolate-coated raisins. Raisins often pair best with wines such as beaujolais or grenache and fortified wines such as Madeira or tawny port. Follow your heart here, but my vote is for the fortified wine so you can toggle your candy intake between the peanut or raisin flavour offerings of Glosette.
The perfect blend of wafer and chocolate calls for richer, lusher reds. Think California cabernets or Australian shiraz, which brings red fruit, a little tannin and some hefty oak flavours. If red wine seems too easy, pair against some Spanish cava or toasty champagne.
Taste the rainbow indeed. The original flavours in the red package are sweet and each colour has its own flavour (if you consider purple is a flavour). You could try to match a wine to each flavour of this candy but really? Pair the mix with sauvignon blanc or an off-dry moscato d’asti.
Skor and Snickers
Snickers does satisfy if you have a need for chocolate, caramel and peanuts. Bet you didn’t know it was named after a horse? The similar flavours of Snickers and Skor are easy pairings with tawny ports, muscat, sherry and sweet rieslings. Try an oloroso sherry or one with a little sugar such as a cream sherry. If it’s something red you want, cabernet sauvignon is a good bet as is shiraz. If it’s beer, try a Guinness. It may blow your mind.
It doesn’t have to be Hershey’s but pairing wine with milk chocolate is a little different from pairing wine and dark or bitter chocolate. Try wines with a little acid and some sweetness, like a gewürztraminer from the New World, moscato d`asti, tawny port or tokaji. American zinfandels and Aussie shiraz are safe and when in doubt, beer such as lagers or ales can be a great match with good chocolate.
Strawberry-flavoured goodness, Twizzlers are certified Kosher and suitable for vegans. Whether they really taste like strawberry is another matter. Pairing with wine, you can either try to match up the strawberry with the summer fruits typically found in rose, or go with the classic match of Champagne and strawberries. Sparkling wine also works, and something like a cava or New World sparkler should be a little easier on the wallet.
Find a different or better match or a pairing we didn’t cover? Let us know and we will try it out and cover it in an update. See you at the dentist!
This story was part of Avenue's free weekly Food & Drink Newsletter. Sign up now and get fresh dining news in your inbox every Tuesday.