Hellllooooooooooo! (please imagine in a spooky voice)
Back by popular demand, I have created another wine n candy pairing challenge! Yes indeed, you can count on me to suggest things to drink after the kids are finally down from their sugar rush and zonked in their beds. Follow these three steps to play along at home.
First: Once the kids are asleep, strike quickly and snag the premium candy from their bags and plastic pumpkins. Reeses Peanut Butter Cups, Hershey’s Minatures, “Fun Size” real candy bars…stuff like that. (Leave the Smarties – even your kids won’t eat those. Who hands that crap out anyway? Lame.) It should be noted that some children do keep track of their loot in great detail. If your kid has an excel spreadsheet detailing their haul, you will have to alter that too. Can’t be too careful.
Second: Select one or two or eight of the wines mentioned below. You will need to purchase them ahead of time, so swing by the wine store on your way home from the Mega Mart when your getting candy for the neighborhood. You’ll be glad you did.
Third: Pour yourself a sample of wine and taste with the recommended candy treats or anything else you could weasel from the little ones’ stash. Relax and enjoy. You deserve it. After all, you created a Sponge Bob costume from foam rubber and an old swim suit. Note to self: try to sell the tyke on “ghost” next year.
Marenco Scrapona Moscato d’Asti 2006: light, slightly fizzy, and very floral. Very refreshing.
Beringer Nightingale 2004: A Sauternes-style white made from Semillon and Sauvignon Blanc. Quite rich with aromas of peaches, apricots, and vanilla.
Banfi Rosa Regale 2005: A sparkling, lightly sweet red that smells of cranberry juice cocktail in a good way.
Graham’s 6 Grape Ruby Port NV: Thick and rich sweet red with lots of rasiny, cherry Jolly Rancher-type goodness.
Quinta do Noval 10 year Tawny Port: Viscous and sweet with aromas of nuts, caramel, and maple syrup.
Twizzlers Cherry Bites
Reeses Peanut Butter Cup Miniatures (note higher chocolate to peanut butter ratio than standard size)
Turtles (Chocolate, pecan, & caramel)
Chocolate covered raisins
For those of you keeping score, I switched up the control groups quite a bit from last year, but the tasters remained the same. Me and my husband Marc.
The following were the best match ups as voted on by our very scientific committee of two:
Twizzlers cherry bites and Moscato : NEVER would have guessed this. The bubbles and acidity actuallu cut through the plastic-y texture and make the cherry flavor more intense.
Tawny port and Reeses: A repeat of last year. The tawny port really highlights the nutty flavor and sends up the hint of salt. One note, this pairing definitely worked even better with the standard size cup vs. the mini. More peanut butter filling to play with.
Graham’s Port and Chocolate Covered Raisins: The port made the raisins taste more…raisiny. However, the low quality chocolate was accentuated. Best to look for an upscale version of this treat. Perhaps even dark chocolate.
Truffles and ? Sadly, NOTHING went well with the truffles and several selections were downright nasty. Usually, you need a dessert wine to be sweeter than your dessert and its tough to find anything that’s sweeter than a milk chocolate/caramel combo. Live and learn.
So…enjoy your Halloween with some boozey treats and candy. Maybe even toss a little Amaretto or Bailey’s in your coffee. Go nuts. Before you know it, your kids will be asking for the keys to the car and you’ll need something much stronger. I suggest Bourbon.