We know you’ve been eyeing the bowl of Halloween candy for weeks now and it’s finally time to indulge. Perhaps you’ve also been busy preparing costumes and schlepping your family off to this parade or party and for that, a glass of wine is in order.
Treat yourself to both this Halloween and use this guide we created with help from our friend Alie Shaper of Chronicle Wines to help you along the way. It includes wines under the entire Chronicle umbrella, including Shaper’s As If Wines, Brooklyn Oenology and Haywater Cove, business partner Robin Eppersen-McCarthy’s Saltbird Cellars and the Chronicle wine and line of CANette spritzers they create together.
It may be a far cry from the typical wine pairings you’ll come across, but rest assured there’s a wine out there to perfectly complement your favorite Halloween snacks, from rich and gooey chocolates to sweet and sour candies.
“It’s certainly not an everyday, classic pairing. But it’s fun and silly — and sometimes you need that,” Shaper said. “Since candy is so sweet, it can be a tricky pairing, but you can play with the idea of dessert.”
Let’s begin with perhaps the most controversial confection, yet also a staple of the holiday. Shaper would pair this with their Chronicle Wines pétillant-naturel chardonnay.
“Candy corn is 100% sugar but has that odd creaminess to it,” she said. “It has this very strong vanilla and our [pét-nat] has a little bit of that creamy texture to it,” plus apple and stone fruit notes that naturally align.
Peanut butter cups
A perennial favorite, Shaper would indulge in a merlot-based red blend like Saltbird Harbinger to pair with the creamy, chocolatey cups. “Chocolate and red fruit are always a great combination,” she said.
Saltbird’s Harbinger is a blend of 76% merlot, 12% cabernet sauvignon and 12% petit verdot that has luscious notes of chocolate and ripe berries.
The natural oils and fats in peanut butter, she said, also complement tannins found in red wine. “If you think of having a steak with red wine, it’s that same principle. The fat content in the meat married well with the red wine, so this is a play on a classic pairing.”
Crunchy wafers enrobed in milk chocolate make these treats one of my favorites.
Shaper would pair this with Chronicle’s 2013 red blend, made from predominantly cabernet sauvignon with 23% malbec, 10% merlot and touches of corot noir, syrah and petit verdot.
“It’s got a little power behind it,” Shaper said. “Some nice velvety tannins … I’d love to have that Kit Kat biscuit soaked in that.”
A classic candy calls for a unique pairing and Shaper opted for the As If Curiosity sparkling pét-nat rosé.
“Milk chocolate is going to have that milkfat, so it can take on a little acidity,” she explained. This wine is pink hued with dry notes of papaya and green tea and light, fine bubbles. Cheers!
Who doesn’t light up when they see these multicolored orbs? Munch on these while sipping on As If’s Serendipity, a blend of 40% chardonnay, 30% viognier and 30% sauvignon blanc that offer flavor profiles to mimic the “rainbow” of flavors in a bag of Skittles.
Shaper explained that the chardonnay contributes more apple and pear notes, while the viognier is more floral and melony and the sauvignon blanc ties it together with citrus. “It’s wine and it’s candy, it’s going to be fun!”
The yummy, smooth caramel in these treats would play well with Saltbird Cellars’ Migratus, Shaper said.
This 100% sauvignon blanc wine was fermented in neutral oak barrels, which results in a rich, creamy finish without the distraction of oaky flavors. “It’s not oaky, but because it’s been in the barrels, it develops more body,” she explained.
This pairing would also work for the delicious cookie-caramel combination of Twix.
Chronicle Wines is located at 2885 Peconic Lane in Peconic and currently open Friday through Monday from noon to 6 p.m.