We’re excited for our first Halloween with Baby Sophie! In prior years we would get dressed up in costumes and bar-hop (read: drinking and people-watching, which is at it’s peak on Halloween with all of the amazing costumes people put together!) or we’d have spent the evening at a friend’s costume house party.
This year we are hoping to go trick-or-treating, but obviously the baby isn’t eating candy yet so tonight we’ll probably turn on “Hocus Pocus” after her bedtime and take full advantage of the little bite-sized treats in our house! I thought it might be fun to make the experience a bit more “grown up” and turn our night into a candy & wine pairing!
Just like a sommelier would recommend a wine pairing for your meal, there are recommended wines to pair with candy! I truly love this idea so much. It doesn’t have to be Halloween specific… this can be done at any time, but if your house is like mine then you know that there are always a few “fun size” candy bars floating around during this time of year.
This would be a really fun thing to do with your friends (even over Zoom)! Everyone can grab their favorite candy and corresponding wine(s) to share with the group or enjoy over the video chat. I think it would be interesting to hear everyone’s favorite wine / candy combinations or even just details on any tasty wines they’ve discovered (there are seriously so many affordable gems at Trader Joe’s, and Drizly will deliver if you want to stay home!).
*Wine Disclaimer: this list is based on the American way of determining wine flavor, which is by the grape varietal, as opposed to going by the region that the grapes are grown in like the rest of the world. I definitely don’t consider myself an expert, but I sure do love to drink wine and we’ve visited Napa Valley multiple times so I’d like to think that we’ve learned a thing or two during those trips!
I will share my wine picks just in case you’re looking for a suggestion for a certain variety or two, but if you’re reading this post I have a feeling that you already know what types of wine and brands you enjoy! If not, don’t be shy if you need a recommendation from someone at the wine shop — employees love to help customers pick out the perfect beverage!
I hope that you find at least one or two types of your preferred candy represented here. We personally tend to gravitate toward chocolate-y candy in our house unless it comes to gummies and then all bets are off (Haribo’s are our weakness)! That being said, if your preference is more fruity or even of the sour persuasion, there will be suggestions for you too!
Sparkling White Wine
This type of wine can easily be paired with chocolate and fruity candies alike. My favorite is this wine that can be found at most Total Wines, Beer & Wine shops, some grocery stores with a large wine program.
3 Musketeers // Butterfinger // KitKat // Milky Way // Mounds // Snickers // Candy Corn // Nerds // Twizzlers // Swedish Fish
Rosé (Still or Sparkling)
If you’re a fan of fruity candies, a fruity rosé will be your best bet for a pairing! If you’re looking for a recommendation: this is my favorite still rosé (so affordable!) and this is my favorite sparkling rosé.
Candy Corn // Haribo Gold Bears // Jolly Ranchers // Laffy Taffy // Nerds // Sour Patch Kids // Starburst // Swedish Fish // Sweet Tarts // Twizzlers
A crisp, tart white wine will perfectly balance the richness of a Butterfinger or basically any fruity candies (both sweet or sour!).
Butterfinger // Haribo Gummy Bears // Haribo Sour Snakes // Skittles // Sour Patch Kids // Trolli Brite Crawlers
I love a lighter-bodied red wine, mostly because it pairs better with the type of food that I eat (which is vegetarian with occasional poultry), but I also love the juicy, jammy-ness of them. This flavor profile makes this varietal a candidate for a fairly wide assortment of candies!
Almond Joy // Hershey’s // KitKat // Milky Way // Peanut M&M’s // Reese’s // Twix // Whoppers // Starburst // Twizzlers
A spice-forward wine like this works well with bolder or more complex flavored candies.
Butterfinger // Dove Dark Chocolate // Heath Bar // M&M’s // Mounds // Milky Way // Reese’s // Rolos // Snickers // Stroopwafel // Tootsie Rolls // Twix // Whoppers
I feel like most people aren’t familiar with port wine, but it’s a “fortified” wine (which essentially means that it is a very sweet and condensed wine). You only need a little bit to sip and it’s most often paired with desserts (hello, candy tasting!). My husband and I prefer the tawny varieties because they tend to have a more… raisin-y(?) flavor that works really well with desserts.
Baby Ruth // Peanut M&M’s // Reese’s // Snickers // Tootsie Rolls
If you are trying to streamline the candies that you purchase by determining which ones will pair with the most varieties of wine, according to my research they are:
Butterfinger // Milky Way // Reese’s // Snickers // Starburst // Twizzlers
Apologies to those of you who have an allergy of the peanut persuasion. 😬
If you don’t find a wine in this list that suits your fancy (maybe you prefer a buttery chardonnay or a velvety merlot?), there are a lot of options if you do a quick look around Pinterest (be specific regarding the preferred wine type in your search terms!). I felt that this selection was a decent sampling of the different varietals and their flavor profiles (dry vs sweet; spicy vs. fruity, etc.).
Top Tip: be sure to drink lots of water during or after your tasting or else all the sugar will likely give you a terrible hangover the next day. I suggest experimenting with different flavor combinations to see if maybe you like something else that wasn’t suggested! Enjoy and have fun with it!
Happy Halloween, friends!
Sending hugs —
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