Grown-up Trick or Treat: Wine and candy pairings

By Jessica Goldbourn, TDS Director of Membership

Maybe you think, “I just drink what I like.” No problem, you can absolutely do that.  But take a minute to think about how much better mashed potatoes are with butter, or grilled cheese is dipped in tomato soup. Grilled cheese with broccoli cheese soup is fine, but it’s just too much cheese. I can’t believe those words just came out of my mouth, but it’s true. Some things are just better together.  

Since tiny Halloween candy is just about as unpretentious as you can get, and you’re likely about to have a lot of it in front of you soon, here are a few suggestions to keep the wincing away while you have your drinks, passing out candy and sneaking a few or more pieces than you’d like to admit, along the way.

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I know the situation. You like sweet and I’m not going to change your mind. Good news for you.  Sweet goes with sweet. Give Dots, Smarties, or — yes, I’m saying it — candy corn a try with your riesling or sweet wine.  

Drinking bubbly is just fun — it lends itself to celebrating and, for some, Halloween is the ONLY holiday worth mentioning. Try Nerds, Pixie Sticks or Fun Dip and toast the trick-or-treaters who are clearly over 21 coming to your door.  

Sauvignon blanc can be hard to pair, but I had it just last week with Mike and Ike’s and found it difficult to control myself. Note to self: eating straight out of the HUGE bag is bad. I thought, “good thing I don’t have Skittles in the house or those would be gone too.”

Let’s not mince words here. Merlot is made for chocolate, dark preferably, but milk chocolate will do in a pinch. And if you are feeling special and happen upon an adult Halloween party with truffles, then all the better. Or treat yourself and just buy the truffles. I like Lindt for such occasions. 

Red zinfandel is commonly known as a fruit bomb in the wine industry. That makes it perfect for anything with nuts. Drink it with Reese Cups, Payday or Snickers and it’ll be like the best PB&J you’ve ever had.

Like spice? I say double up. Shiraz and Red Hots or Hot Tamales are where it’s at. Shiraz is a powerhouse and can take it. Trust me on this one, it’s the way to go, especially if it snows on trick-or-treat day. 

Of course, friends, the theme here is to have a good time. Drink what you like, eat what you like and maybe along the way you’ll find what you love. Cheers!

Jessica is TDS’ s Director of Membership and resident wine expert.