You know that we can’t resist a laugh or a good-hearted poke at parent life, which is why we put together our Halloween candy and booze pairings, but we also love taking our food and wine seriously. It’s that combo that makes us so special. If we do say so ourselves. It’s also why we asked Jason Malumed, sommelier extraordinaire, to put together a list of Halloween candy and wine pairings.
Like, real ones.
Check out which wines you should grab on your way home from work today (or anytime this week) so that you have the vintage you need in the coming days when candy-stealing from your kids hits high gear.
You may also learn about a few new great wines, like we did, even if you don’t steal candy to accompany it.
Though, if you’re not stealing candy, we may be judging you. Just a little.
Snickers, Baby Ruth, Butterfinger, Reese’s, Peanut M&Ms, and Heath Bar pairings
With the salty nuttiness and toffee flavor in these candies, a rich sherry like a Palo Cortado or a Manzanilla Pasada is the way to go. Equipo Navazos has some amazing renditions, but also search out the Gómez Nevado “Dorado,” which tastes like liquid hazelnuts, caramel, and sea salt. Delicious.
Almond Joy pairings
This is a perfect match for a traditional style Rioja Crianza, like one from Bodegas Akutain or Lopez de Heredia. Generally, these wines get some extended aging in old American oak barrels, which are known to give a coconut note to the wines (as opposed to French oak, which tends to be more toasty). As the wines age, they can also pick up some nutty and even chocolatey qualities, which should make this a match made in heaven.
Kit Kat, Nestle Crunch, and Whoppers pairings
The crunch in these candies tend to lighten them up, so a lighter red, like a Pinot Noir could work. Specifically, Pinot Noirs from volcanic soils, such as in Baden, Germany or certain parts of Oregon, can give a light milk-chocolately flavor to some of the wines. Check out Shelter Winery “Lovely Lilly” for a great intro to German Pinot Noir or Omero for a classic example from the Willamette Valley of Oregon.
Twix and Milky Way pairings
Twizzlers, Starburst, Skittles, and Lollipop pairings
For any fruit-based candy, you want to go with a young, fresh Beaujolais. Made from Gamay using a process called carbonic maceration, this gives the wines tons of freshness and lots of juicy fruit that would pair well with any fruity goodness. Check out producers like Domaine Thillardon or Clos de la Roilette.
Candy Corn pairing
This is a tough one! Candy corn is so sweet and waxy, they don’t even taste like normal human food. That’s why we say to go with an old sommelier rule of thumb: When in doubt, go with bubbles. In this case, an off-dry pétillant-naturel from the Loire would be a great choice. In particular, Les Capriades, who make a cuvée called “Piège à Filles,” are a favorite producer. There is some sweetness, but balanced by plenty of acidity so you don’t feel like you’re going into a sugar coma.
Tootsie Roll, 3 Musketeers, Hershey Bar, Plain M&Ms pairing
These are classics! Something from the Languedoc in southern France, like a Minervois or Pic Saint-Loup, would be fun to pair with these. They are predominately Grenache-based red wines that can almost take on some sarsaparilla notes that would be fun with these lighter chocolates. Look for producers like Le Clos des Jarres or Mas Foulaquier.
Jason M. Malumed is a partner in M.F.W. Wine Co, an importer and distributor of wines focused on small, family producers, people who work organically or biodynamically in their vineyards, and who work in a “hands-off” method in the cellar to produce classic, terroir-driven, real wines — which is fancy for fantastic wines that you can feel good about drinking made by fantastic people who you can feel good about supporting. You can also find Jason on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.