Wine & Costume Advice for Halloween

In case you were wondering why Joanie from accounting is walking around the office in a Bernie Madoff mask… it’s Halloween!

And you know what that means: We need to follow Martha Stewart’s lead tonight by turning out all the lights in the house so those cute little trick-or-treaters will think we’re not home.

No! No! No! That’s not what it means! But if you’re the member of your household who is charged with handing out the candy to the ghouls, ghosts and goblins, then you deserve a reward.

In addition to sampling the candy that’s being handed out, you have earned a good glass of wine.

Wine with candy? It’s not something I’d normally recommend, but this is Halloween — the perfect day for an exception to the rule.

I’ve read some bloggers who recommend Pinot Noir with Whoppers, or a German Riesling with Hot Tamales. Intuitively, I’d say those pairing COULD work, but since I haven’t personally tried them, you’re on your own. (I can think of a lot of other things I’d rather eat with a good Pinot Noir or German Riesling.)

But there is one wine-and-candy pairing that everyone should try one time in their life. And once you try it, I can pretty much guarantee you’ll try it again… and again.

That pairing?

A Port wine with a Snickers bar.

Almost any Port will do, but those that are labeled “10 Year Old” or “12 Year Old” are just about perfect. Why? Because they tend to have aromas and flavors that mirror what you’ll find in a Snickers bar: nuts, caramel and chocolate.

For a special treat, a Snickers bar covered with dark chocolate is particularly Port-friendly.

For a different take on Port, try the “Hazelnut Passport” made by California’s Ficklin Vineyards ( It’s a Port-style wine that has been infused with hazelnut essence.

It’s as if Hazelnut Passport were made specifically to be consumed with a Snickers bar.

So much for those who will be passing out the candy. If you’ll be accompanying your little ones as they make their rounds of the neighborhood, and want to go in costume, here’s what I’m sure is a unique suggestion: go as a grapevine mealybug ( Among those who grow grapes and make wine for a living, few creatures are more scary.


Posted in Food and Wine Pairings/Recipes
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