Being a grown-up means you can no longer put on a costume and parade around the neighborhood trick-or-treating for free candy, but adulting does come with perks like being able to buy the candy you want and drink wine with it. And you can just pour a glass of your favorite vino and tear into a fun size candy bar of your choice, or you could get fancy and pair your Halloween candy with the ideal wine to bring out the flavor of both.
Pedro Rusk, a wine educator at Jackson Family Wines, says "Pairing your wine with Halloween candy encourages you to savor each bite and take a moment to appreciate how the flavor intensifies with the perfect wine pairing."
These are Rusk’s picks for pairing wine with popular Halloween candies:
- Hershey’s Kisses or bars and cabernet sauvignon- Whether you prefer dark or milk chocolate Hershey’s, this full-bodied red is an ideal match.
- M&Ms and merlot or zinfandel- Both of these red wines are full-bodied and they’ll “complement the chocolate with rich, black fruit.”
- Smarties and rieslings- Sweeter white wines, like rieslings or muscats, work well with the tartness of Smarties. The rule to remember: Make sure your candy isn’t sweeter than your wine.
- Starburst and pinot noir or sauvignon blanc- It all depends on the flavor of the Starburst, apparently. For cherry and strawberry, Rusk recommends a “lush pinot noir or red blend,” because they have similar berry flavors. But if you’re more into the lemon and orange Starburst, a sauvignon blanc complements the citrus in both.
- Raisinets and zinfandel- The “plum and jammy flavors” in this red wine will round out the flavor of the chocolate-covered raisins.
- Popcorn and chardonnay- For those who prefer something salty over sweet, chardonnay is the wine for this snack. Rusk suggests finding one aged in oak barrels, which give it the butter notes, similar to the flavors in popcorn.
- Reese’s peanut butter cups and cab sav- A full-bodied red like a cabernet sauvignon is a good match for these sweet treats. The dark fruit flavors complement the nuttiness and notes of cocoa in the wine work well with the chocolate.