So, you're hosting a Halloween party. Worried your wine selection might conflict with, say, the appearance of supermarket cupcakes? Or a bag of fun-sized Snickers? We've got you covered. After a conversation with sommelier David Johnson of Davanti Enoteca we feel better about recommending the following choices that digest beautifully with sugar.
First, not to be missed is a bottle of Armida Reserve, 2009, "Poizin." It's what Johnson will be drinking come Halloween. He says it doesn't hurt that the label is pretty cool and he says, "it will go well with all the chocolate I will be eating." 'We found the 2010 version for $19.99. It often comes in its own "casket." 'Nough said for this girl.
He says a "masterful" Napa Cabernet Sauvignon called "Ghost Block" is a "fantastic cab" and priced at $70 and below depending on the year, it depends on your budget. Ghost Block is a label owned by Bonded Winery Number 9 in Napa, California. They've had 100 consecutive harvests and are organically certified and according to most, are still family owned.
Sometimes at a party, people may not realize that the type of food they are eating (sweet treats or coated popcorn included) is keeping them from enjoying the wine. So Johnson also recommends not spending a lot of money on Halloween wine as guests tend to view wine as a cocktail and may it give it their full attention.
He recommends an Australian Shiraz or an Argentinean Malbec. Something that is sweet but, fruitful sweet that lends itself to chocolate and egg and flour-rich sweets. Stay away from Chardonnays and Cabernets.
A themed Australian Shiraz worth a shot is the 2008 "Razor's Edge" at just $11.49. For another themed wine try the Chateau Clautiere Vineyard Red Blend by Vampire wines. This $7.99 blend has a fun feel at a fun price. The "Vampire label makes about 20 wines and a red is sure to please. They all run about $10.
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A blend you may want to try for the holiday is called "Sinister Hand," by Owen Roe. It is a bit pricey at about $20. Feel free to recycle interesting bottles and labels into something useful for next Halloween. With some sandpaper and a glass cutter, an empty bottle can hold candy the following year. Another themed wine sure to be a hit is the Transylvanian "Werewolf" brand of reds and whites.
Party tricks worth your while might include sangria with dry ice for a "witches brew," or turning a pumpkin into a bottle holder.
Whatever you do, be sure to provide a designated driver, as a DUI is too scary.