Happy Hallow-Wine everyone!
We’re aware that Halloween isn’t necessarily one of the wine dominated holidays, but we’re hoping to change your mind with this Halloween inspired food and wine pairing guide!
After some gruelling research, we’ve found some matches which will raise the spirits of any Halloween party! (pun intended…)
Food and wine pairings tend to go one of two ways (as we’ve mentioned before in our Cheese Blog with the Cheesery.) You want the wine to either compliment or contrast with the food, enhancing flavours present in both in the former, and highlighting the good parts of both in the latter. We’ve given a couple of options for each Halloween treat – but these are only suggestions! There are no wrong answers, so do some experiments of your own to see what suits your palette.
While traditionally a more “American” classic than a British one, it’s hard to ignore the full-on flavours present in pumpkin pie. Any gourds are easy to match – they’re rich and sweet at the same time, and roasting or baking concentrates any flavours that were already present.
To match the richness present in pumpkin pie, we’d suggest an oaked chardonnay from Burgundy. We’re loving the butteriness present in this Macon Villages Jocelyn at the moment if you need some inspiration.
To enhance the spice traditionally added to pumpkin pie we’d suggest a bold Primitivo or Sangiovese. We’re still enjoying Matthew Jukes “Wine of the Week” I Muri Primitivo, and this full bodied fleshy Farnese Sangiovese.
Whether you make them yourself or get a store bought one, toffee apples are a sure sign that winter is fast approaching! They’re a tricky one to pair, as the sweet toffee is in direct contrast to the crisp sharp apple. After numerous trials and errors, we think we’ve nailed the combination. Royal Ambrosante PX Sherry NV has an intensely fragrant aroma combining lush ripe fruits, raisins, toffee, coffee and spice. It’s full and luscious on the palate, as well as being smooth, sweet, complex and endlessly concentrated on the finish. It’s a great balance for toffee apples, and we strongly recommend you end an evening of guising with this combo!
We’ve taken a little bit of creative license with this next part. We’ve crudely split the remaining “sweetie” category into two – “fruity” sweeties, your Starbursts and Skittles etc., and “chocolate” sweeties, any Kit Kat, Mars Bar or Dairy Milk etc. Listen, we’re wine merchants, not chocolatiers or confectioners. We’re trying, ok!
It’s not just fruity flavours we’re trying to contend with in this scenario, it’s the actual residual sugar which is present in sweets. If you pair sweet foods to wines that are dry, the wine will appear to taste more acidic and tart than it actually is. They need to match the sugar content in order to compliment them well. For this reason, we suggest a sparkling Moscato. Off-dry, and fruity in flavour themselves, these wines will lend themselves to be paired with fruity sweets! Try this Innocent Bystander Moscato from Australia.
Chocolate and wine is one of those classic pairings which differs from person to person. You might love an organic dark chocolate with a big peppery Australian Shiraz, like Yalumba’s Organic Shiraz which we’ve just put into The Wine Press’ newest wine list. You might enjoy some white chocolate with our super fruity, off dry Californian Rip-tide White Zinfandel.
All of these are great choices, but we want to push your comfort zone ever so slightly. We’d like to go completely left field and suggest a couple of sparkling red wines: La Pamelita, a sparkling Shiraz from Scottish wine maker Pamela Geddes, or Cialdini Lambrusco, a step up from the Lambrusco you may have come across or heard about in the 80s! Both smooth and full bodied, they’ll complement most dark or milk chocolate perfectly!
And if all else fails, you can’t go wrong with anything sparkling! Check out our sparkling wine collection for more!
(And if you’re still not convinced that wine is a great Halloween drink, we sell lots of spirits (no pun intended…) and beers in store! Pop by and see for yourself!)
We’d love to hear what you’re drinking this Halloween, and what food matchings you’d like to see us pair next!