I ran a wine club for a few years for our military spouses’ club. Each month we would have a different theme but we always did a Halloween Candy Wine Tasting in October. This is super fun and a huge hit because who doesn’t love wine and chocolate. Decide for your event if you want to do a tasting or a pairing. You can Google Halloween candy wine tasting and a variety of charts and websites will come up. I personally like Vivino because not only does it provide a chart with the pairing it also provides tasting notes from partner sommeliers like Joel Caruso who pairs Pinot Noir with KitKats.
“Although variations of Pinot Noir can be dramatic, they always tend to carry a tense and nuanced red fruit quality. This makes the milk chocolate and wafer combo feel like a chocolate dipped raspberry pulled straight out of the fridge. I’d suggest terroir driven Pinot Noirs like those from Sonoma Coast or Burgundy that will bring out earthiness and tannin for a more complex pairing. Tannin is mellowed by the chocolate, and the earthy qualities can create a mushroom-flavored effect,” says Caruso on the Vivino website.
To plan your event, decide which candies you will want to pair with wine. For a group pick about six candies and select mostly chocolate and try a few like starburst or jolly ranchers. Next pair with the wine. Reds go very well with chocolate while tart candies pair well with sweeter whites such as Moscato and gewürztraminer. Plan water for each guest and add one or two charcuterie platters with meats and cheeses with a French baguette to help break up the sweetness from all that candy. Provide each guest with a pen and small notebook or printed sheets to take notes with. I think it is important to have a leader read tasting notes like the one above from Vivino and have everyone taste one wine at a time. It is interesting to hear each person’s take on the wine you are tasting.
For a more casual event, have a post Halloween impromptu wine get together with left over Halloween candy and have guests just bring a bottle of wine they have at home. Make up your own pairings based on what everyone brought. It is a fun way to “wine” down after all the Halloween chaos.
If you want to learn more about wine check with your local military spouses club. Many have wine subclubs and it is a great way to gain more experience in a comfortable environment.
Marguerite Cleveland is a freelance writer who specializes in human interest and travel stories. She is a military brat, a veteran and now a military spouse. Her military experience is vast as the daughter of a Navy man who served as an enlisted sailor and then Naval Officer. She served as an enlisted soldier in the reserves and on active duty, then as an Army Officer. She currently serves as a military spouse. She lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and two sons. Visit her website www.PeggyWhereShouldIGo.com