After the last of the trick-or-treaters have returned home, and yours are tucked safely into bed, it’s time for that final — and most important — of Halloween traditions.
Raiding your kids’ candy bags.
This tradition has nothing to do with you and your sweet tooth. It’s all about making sure the kids maintain a proper diet.
Because you’re such a good parent, you should reward yourself by eating that confiscated candy (when your kids aren’t around). And because parenthood, in general, can be stressful, I’d suggest accompanying the candy with a nice glass of wine.
Candy and wine… together?
Granted, it’s not the most conventional of food-and-wine pairings, but there are certain combinations that do work. Even dry wines come into play.
Here’s a candy-and-wine pairing cheat sheet to help you sort through the kids’ bags and grab only the good stuff…
* Hershey’s Milk Chocolate — Otherwise known as a Hershey bar, this is my favorite candy bar. There’s nothing gourmet about it — just simple, sweet, milk chocolate goodness. Because it’s so sweet, only a sweet wine will do. In my order of preference, the ideal pairing partners are Sherry, Ruby Port and Tawny Port.
* Snickers — A more complex candy bar calls for a more complex wine, and in this case that means a red. Try Merlot, Grenache, Tempranillo, Sangiovese or Zinfandel.
* Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup — The peanut butter is the defining flavor here. While you could choose any of the “Snickers” wines, other red options include Gamay and Pinot Noir.
* Butterfinger — Viognier is a go-to choice, but this classic candy bar also pairs nicely with a rich Chardonnay.
* Mounds — With coconut providing the inner goodness of this bar, almost any type of sparkling wine works well. That means Cava, Prosecco or even Champagne. The same wines also pair nicely with Mounds’ sibling, Almond Joy.
* Skittles — This fruit-flavored candy with the colorful hard-sugar shell pairs nicely with Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Grigio or Gruner Veltliner.
By the way, if some Scrooge confuses the holidays and gives your kids a Halloween-decorated pencil instead of candy, don’t get upset. You can always use it for taking notes the next time you visit a winery tasting room.