Everyone knows that Halloween is all about the wicked costumes and the sweet treats, but it’s not only kids who can indulge this All Hallows Eve!
Sommelier Natalie MacLean brews up five of the best wine pairing for your sweet Halloween treats. Trust us, these monster matches will satisfy your wine night and your sweet tooth.
Before you start, remember this tip: look for core flavor matches between the wines and treat, but don’t forget to have fun and experiment!
Salty Treats and Sparkling Wine
Crisp, refreshing wines go great with salty and bready treats like chips, pretzels and Doritos. Sparkling wine is perfect because the bubbles and acidity cleanse the palate of the fat and salt. It also works with lemon flavor Starburst candy.
Dark Chocolate and Full-Bodied Dry Red Wine
Dark chocolate that’s not sweet or moderately sweet, like Tootsie Rolls, pair great with a full-bodied dry red wine like an Italian amarone. The wine must be high in alcohol, around 14 per cent or more, to help melt the chocolate and match the weight and flavor of it. Other foods that pair well with this type of wine are anything with just a touch of sweetness such as chocolate-dipped biscotti, dark berries, or even a dish like Mexican mole.
Sweet Chocolate and Vintage Port
Mini chocolate bars like Snickers and KitKat go well with port. The wine’s voluptuous body and texture encases these little treats and makes them melt in your mouth. Ports are fortified wines with extra alcohol, so a little goes a long way. That extra alcohol and sweetness can handle milk chocolate which is sweeter and creamier than dark chocolate.
A bonus is that an open bottle will keep for a couple of weeks, so you can continue enjoying it long after Halloween. Vintage ports are made from grapes from a specific year, and then aged in oak barrels or stainless steel for up to 2 years. They have dark berry and spice flavours. Ports would pair beautifully with Black Forest Cake, chocolate cheesecake, and a deep and delicious fudge brownie.
Toffee, Caramel, Tawny Port and Sherry
The caramel and toffee flavours in this tawny port pairs well with Coffee Crisp bars, Crispy Crunch or toffee. Tawny ports are aged for 10-30 years in barrels — that’s what gives them their gorgeous tawny colour and the caramel flavour.
Hungarian Tokaj and Canadian ice-wine like Jackson Triggs, with their apricot and peach flavours, also complement the coffee “nuances” in Coffee Crisp, as well as the toasted rice “accents” in Crispy Crunch. Sherry is a dessert wine that’s fortified with grape spirit to give it extra sweetness and alcohol. The Spanish wine has a toasted almond, nutty flavour that is divine with toffee treats.