How To: Pair Halloween Candy
Elevate your seasonal treats with some perfect wine pairings.
October 1, 2017
illustration Spencer Flock
It is a rare October 31 that is not dusted in white to herald what is to come. Halloween is often the last hurrah before winter settles in and while it is a dream for the under-12 set to dress-up, roam around and get free candy, the kids don’t have to have all the fun. The adults can enjoy Halloween by pairing their favourite candies with wine.
Moscato d’Asti and Rockets
Lively, fruity and sweet Moscato d’Asti is a slightly sparkling, low-alcohol wine from northwest Italy. Intensely aromatic with nectarine, melon and floral notes, the moscato grape retains its up-front fruit character. With alcohol levels limited to a maximum 6.5 per cent, the delicate fruit flavours are allowed to shine through and complement almost any fruit-based dessert, including Rockets, as the candy wafer roll is the fruit salad of Halloween.
G. D. Vajra Moscato d’Asti
Sourced from three different old-vine vineyards, this is a refined example with floral, apple and mint with a savoury and fruity finish.
Michele Chiarlo Nivole Moscato d’Asti
Delicate and sweet, the name Nivole comes from the Piedmontese word for the delicate clouds found in the region.
Bual Madeira and Tootsie Rolls
Madeira hails from an island group nearly 1,000 kilometres off the coast of Portugal’s mainland. It is created through a unique process of heating and cooling that originally took place onboard ships as they plied the Atlantic and further afield. Tootsie Rolls, the chocolate-like candy with an ever-so-slight smokiness, work well with the medium- sweet, and quite rich, accents of chocolate and coffee to be found in Bual Madeira. We know Tootsie Rolls tend to stick around long after Halloween and Madeira is long-lasting. Because of the heating and cooling process, Madeira will last much longer than any wine, so if you don’t drink it all, you can safely have some more with those Tootsie Rolls you will discover in the springtime.
Henriques & Henriques 10 Year Old Bual
A classic wine from a classic producer with notes of coffee, caramel, walnuts and honey.
Blandy’s Duke of Clarence Madeira
While not officially categorized as Bual, it has similar sweetness levels. It is a little less complex, but still a lovely alternative with notes of honey, almonds and caramel.
Barossa Shiraz and Zesty Cheese Doritos
The Barossa is the center of the Australian wine industry and Shiraz is its star. Barossa Shiraz is structured, powerful and full of fruit. Zesty Cheese Doritos can stand up to the power of the wine, while sweet corn chip and piquant cheese complement the ripe fruit flavours.
Thorn-Clarke Wines William Randell Barossa Shiraz
A serious wine made only in the best vintages and from a strict barrel selection in the winery. Elegant with a dark fruit and powerful core, Doritos make for a strong sidekick.
Yalumba Patchwork Shiraz
Juicy with lots of fruit while not jammy, this is an excellent example of a Barossa Shiraz with some fruit sweetness to match the saltiness of Doritos.
Colheita Port and Mini Chocolate Bars
Also fortified and Portuguese, Port is from the Porto region in the north of the country. Colheita Port is a vintage dated oak-aged tawny that is at least seven years old. The under-the-radar style of Colheita Port paired with chocolate is truly magical. After this time in barrel the port retains its sweetness, but takes on layered complexity and nuance from the aging and wood contact. Silky and smooth with notes of chocolate, cocoa, honey and nuttiness, it works particularly well with the wafer of Kit Kat or nuts and caramel of a Snickers.
Few Port houses make this style and Kopke is the specialist. Bottled from barrel on demand, these are complex wines to be savoured.
Kopke Colheita 2001
Still youthful with candied orange, cola, coffee and spice.
Kopke Colheita 1966
A rarity — very complex and concentrated after more than 50 years of age. Only the smallest amount of chocolate is needed to draw out all the flavours and highlight the honey, caramel and hazelnut.
This article appears in the October 2017 issue of Avenue Edmonton. Subscribe here.