Move over cheese and charcuterie, there’s a new food and wine pairing in town. There are so many different flavors in our favorite Halloween candies that unique wine pairings abound. Whether it’s milk chocolate, dark chocolate, white chocolate, sweet treats, sour treats, salty snacks or more that you’re craving, there is a white wine, rosé, red wine, or bubbly out there to match.
We went through some of our favorite Halloween candy selections and compiled a list of the most deliciously spooktacular wine pairings. From rich and brooding cabernet to sweet and sticky dessert wines, we’ve got you covered when it comes to sweet snacking accompaniments. Hopefully you’ve got your dentist on speed dial.
These sweet-tart tubes of tiny candy disks are a true Halloween staple. Those little bites have a sweet and fruity flavor profile and a uniquely chalky finish, perfect for pairing with a glass of crisp, cold, sparkling wine. The freshness of the wine will stand up to the sour bite of the Smarties, while not only cleansing but slightly mirroring the chalky mouthfeel of the candy. Don’t be afraid to step outside your sparkling wine comfort zone with off-dry, rosé, and unusual selections like sparkling syrah when pairing these wines with Halloween candy. The results might be so good they scare you.
Wines to Try:Domaine Carneros Vermeil Demi-Sec, Carneros, California, $39 Mumm Napa Brut Reserve Rosé, Napa Valley, $44 Amista Vineyards Sparkling Syrah, Dry Creek Valley, California, $48
There are few more heavenly combinations than chocolate and peanut butter, which is why the classic Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup is a crowd favorite, not just for Halloween but year-round. The creamy, milk chocolate outside gives way to a salty, creamy, slightly drying peanut butter center, which demands a soft, fruity wine to go with it. We suggest a glass of velvety merlot. The warm fruit notes and soft tannins will provide another layer of heavenly flavor alongside the milk chocolate and peanut butter duo. It’s a Halloween match made in heaven.
Wines to Try:Benziger Family Winery Merlot, Monterey County, California, $20 Chimney Rock Stag’s Leap District Merlot, Napa Valley, California, $95 Markham Napa Valley Vineyards Merlot, Napa Valley, California, $29
Few candies are more divisive than Candy Corn; but, love it or hate it, next to pumpkins, these little orange, white, and yellow-striped kernels are the ultimate symbol of Halloween. Whether you like them or not, we all know a delicious glass of wine can totally change how certain foods taste, so pour yourself a sip of crisp and creamy chardonnay this Halloween and watch as the flavors of baked apple, caramel, and lemon mix and mingle with the sweet, toasty, creamy taste of those little controversial bites of Candy Corn for a match that’s so good it’s spooky.
Wines to Try:Imagery Chardonnay, California, $17 Jordan Vineyard & Winery Russian River Chardonnay, Russian River Valley, California, $40 Tribute Chardonnay, Monterey County, California, $15
These chewy, twisty straws come in a variety of flavors, from strawberry to cherry to chocolate and even orange cream pop (who knew?), which makes them extra fun to play around with when it comes to Halloween wine pairings. In our very thorough “research,” we found that the most versatile wine to pair with Twizzlers of all kinds is grenache. Soft, juicy, and fruity, with some spicy undertones, grenache plays nicely with both fruit- and chocolate-flavored Twizzlers, and even picks up that unique, slightly salty backbone of licorice-style candy.
Wines to Try:Jessup Cellars “Rougette” Grenache Blend, Mendocino, California, $60 Benovia Winery Sonoma Mountain Grenache, Sonoma Mountain, California, $45 Tank Garage Winery “Softcore” Carbonic Red Wine, California, $50
Have you ever accidentally eaten twelve bags of M&Ms in one sitting while watching a spooky movie? That’s how addictive these little candy-coated milk chocolate treats are. Now, imagine throwing some delicious wine in the mix. You might never leave your house. We love M&Ms paired with pinot noir – any time of year, but especially around Halloween. There’s just something magical that happens when you blend low-brow and high-brow, so pick a bottle of elegant pinot and watch as the flavors of cherry, raspberry, earth, and spice elevate the simple flavors of milk chocolate and sweet candy. This Halloween wine pairing also works beautifully with dark chocolate, peanut, and peanut butter M&Ms, so don’t be afraid to experiment.
Wines to Try:Kenwood Vineyards Six Ridges Pinot Noir, Russian River Valley, Sonoma, California, $30 Landmark Vineyards Hop Kiln Estate Pinot Noir, Russian River Valley, Sonoma, California, $40 Flowers Vineyards & Winery Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir, Sonoma, California, $60
Creating wine and chocolate pairings that work is harder than you think. Sometimes the tannin in chocolate (yes, it’s there!), especially in dark chocolate, clashes with the tannin in red wine, and disparate sweetness levels don’t blend well with one another. While it can be done, it takes some trickery to find the right wine with your treat. The same isn’t true, however, of sweet, fortified, and dessert wines like Port, late-harvest, and ice wine selections. Our favorite such combination is the decadent Snickers candy bar paired with a rich, belly-warming red Port. Fun-sized Snickers, packed with chocolate, caramel, and peanuts are a perfect match for the complex layers of dried and cooked fruits, spice, and chocolate found in a great glass of Port.
Wines to Try:Prager Winery & Port Works Royal Escort Port 2018, Napa Valley, California, $80 Handwritten 10-Year Tawny Colheita Port, Napa Valley, California, $85 Warre’s Late Bottled Vintage Port 2008, Douro, Portugal, $29
We sometimes see these lingering at the bottom of the Halloween candy bag, once all the Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, Snickers, and M&Ms are gone, and we never know why. Milk chocolate with a soft nougat and caramel center? What is there not to like? Especially when paired alongside a glass of cabernet sauvignon. Berry fruit loves chocolate (chocolate-dipped strawberries and cherries, anyone?), so the juicy black current notes often found in cabernet sauvignon blend beautifully with the chocolate in Milky Way. Tack on the salty, creamy, nutty flavors and textures of nougat and caramel to match the sweet and savory spices in oak-aged cabernet, and you’ve got yourself a fa-boo-lous wine and chocolate pairing.
Wines to Try:Pine Ridge Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley, California, $65 Medlock Ames Bell Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon, Alexander Valley, California, $70 Doffo Winery Private Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon, Temecula Valley, California, $82
These juicy little squares may be your dental work’s worst enemy, but they are pretty irresistible as far as Halloween candy goes. They also come in a kaleidoscope of different fruit flavors, which makes them perfect for pairing with rosé, since the same can be said for our favorite pink wine drink. Whether opting for something pale salmon, ballet-slipper, Barbie, or magenta pink, there’s a Starburst to match. We love how the spectrum of flavors in rosé – from watermelon to lime zest to strawberry to Jolly Rancher and beyond – picks up the range of classic Starburst flavors like citrus, strawberry, cherry, and fruit punch.
Wines to Try:Vina Robles Rosé, Paso Robles, California, $22 Acumen Mountainside Rosé, Napa Valley, California, $35 Shiloh “BLOOM” Rosé by Jaclyn Misch, Judean Hills, Isreal, $28