Wine & Witches: A Spooktacular Guide to Pairing Wine with Halloween Candy

Welcome to a whimsically wicked journey through the world of wine and Halloween candy pairings! We know that when it comes to devouring your sweet treasure trove of Snickers, M&M’s, and candy corn, the ideal wine pairing is the one you like best. But why not elevate your Halloween festivities to a whole new level of spooky sophistication? In this delightful article by Emily Saladino at The Wine Enthusiast, she’ll unearth the secrets of pairing wines with your favorite treats. From the sugary symphony of M&M’s to the divisive delights of candy corn, she has expert advice to ensure your taste buds tango with your candies in harmonious hilarity. So grab your corkscrew and get ready to embark on a mouthwatering adventure that’s sweeter than any ghostly apparition!

How to Pair Wine with Halloween Candy, According to an Expert Taster


The ideal wine pairing is always the one you like best. But if you want to savor your Halloween haul in style, it’s helpful to keep certain tips in mind when pairing wine with Snickers, M&M’s and other candy.

“Unlike your average dessert that has layered flavors and balance, candy is basically entirely sugar,” says Fiona Adams, assistant tasting director at Wine Enthusiast. “All that sugary sweetness is delightful to eat, but it can make dry wines taste astringent and bitter.”

M&Ms, for example, have milk chocolate “with a little extra sugary kick from the candy coating,” Adams says, so you’ll want to avoid tannic pours. Instead, she recommends eating M&Ms with light, fruity, unoaked reds like Pinot Noir or Gamay.

Consider the textural components of your candy bar too.

“Kit Kats are essentially a cookie versus a chocolate,” says Adams. She suggests pairing them with Ruby Port to complement the light, fruity flavors of the milk chocolate coating.

Candy corn is a divisive treat / Getty

In 2018, a Mashable survey found that candy corn was the “most hated” Halloween candy in 21 states. If you are among the few and proud who enjoy the marzipan-like treat, however, consider fruit-forward Prosecco or sparkling Riesling.

“The bubbles will help cleanse the palate from all the sugar,” Adams says. “But this isn’t the time for heftier bubbles — stick with crisp and simple.”

Off-dry Riesling is a good foil for Starbursts.

“Wines with ripe stone fruit and melon notes will happily pair with all the different color Starbursts, and vibrant acidity keeps the wine and the candy from being sickly sweet,” Adams says.

Because Hershey’s Special Dark lacks the sugary bells and whistles of other chocolate bars, you might try it with something on the drier end of the spectrum.

“Wines with velvety texture will work best,” says Adams. “Richly fruited Zinfandel and dark chocolate creates a sultry experience.”

Adams suggests pairing Amontillado or Oloroso Sherry for Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups because “the nutty flavors found in sherry bring out the peanut butter in the Reese’s and balance the sweetness of the chocolate.”

Or you could go for broke with Sauternes and Snickers.

“Snickers have got it all going on—chocolate, caramel and peanuts,” says Adams. “Salty peanuts and caramel play well with Sauternes’ rich and sweet flavors, while the brisk, bracing acidity refreshes the palate.”

Wine and Halloween candy pairing

Decadent Delights: Pairing Wine with Dark Chocolate

If there’s one culinary duo that has delighted taste buds for centuries, it’s the harmonious pairing of wine and chocolate. Among the myriad of chocolate options, dark chocolate stands out as a versatile canvas for wine pairing. In this article, we’ll delve into the art of matching wine with dark chocolate. We’ll explore the methods employed by wine pairing experts, the intricacies of understanding both chocolate and wine, and the key factors that experts consider when creating the perfect pairing.

Understanding the Basics

Wine and chocolate may seem like an unlikely couple, but they share many complex flavor compounds that can complement or contrast each other in beautiful ways. To create a successful pairing, it’s essential to start with a solid understanding of the characteristics of both dark chocolate and wine.

Dark Chocolate

Before diving into wine pairings, let’s take a closer look at dark chocolate. Dark chocolate typically contains a higher percentage of cocoa solids and less sugar than milk chocolate. The cacao beans used in dark chocolate can come from various regions, each imparting unique flavors and aromas. Here are some key aspects experts consider when evaluating dark chocolate:

  1. Cocoa Percentage: The percentage of cocoa solids in dark chocolate can vary widely, from 50% to over 90%. Higher percentages often result in more intense and bitter flavors.
  2. Origin: The origin of the cacao beans greatly influences the chocolate’s flavor profile. For example, beans from Madagascar may offer fruity and citrusy notes, while those from Ecuador might have a more earthy and nutty character.
  3. Texture: Dark chocolate can range from smooth and creamy to grainy and brittle. The texture can influence the overall mouthfeel and how it pairs with wine.
  4. Additional Ingredients: Some dark chocolates include additional ingredients like nuts, fruits, or spices, which can impact the pairing choices.
  5. Taste Profile: Dark chocolate can exhibit flavors such as fruity, floral, earthy, nutty, or spicy notes, depending on the cacao beans and processing methods.


Wine is a complex beverage with a wide range of styles and flavors, making it a fascinating partner for dark chocolate. When selecting wine for pairing, wine experts consider several factors:

  1. Grape Varietal: Different grape varietals offer distinct flavors, acidity levels, and tannin structures. Red grapes like Cabernet Sauvignon and Pinot Noir or fortified wines like Port can be excellent choices for pairing with dark chocolate.
  2. Sweetness: The sweetness level of the wine can either contrast or complement the sweetness of the dark chocolate. Sweet wines like Late Harvest Riesling can balance the bitterness of chocolate, while dry wines can provide contrast.
  3. Tannins: Tannins, compounds found in red wines, can interact with the bitterness of dark chocolate. In some cases, they can enhance the overall experience, while in others, they might clash.
  4. Acidity: The acidity in wine can cut through the richness of dark chocolate, providing a refreshing contrast.
  5. Flavor Notes: Wines can exhibit a wide range of flavors, from fruity and floral to earthy and spicy. Experts consider these flavor notes when making pairing recommendations.

The Methods of Wine Pairing Experts

Wine pairing is both an art and a science, and experts use various methods to create harmonious pairings with dark chocolate. Here’s a glimpse into the process:

1. Tasting Chocolate

Wine experts start by thoroughly tasting the dark chocolate they intend to pair. This involves taking small, deliberate bites and paying close attention to the following aspects:

  • Flavor Profile: Experts analyze the chocolate’s flavor notes, which can range from fruity and citrusy to nutty and earthy.
  • Texture: They note the texture, assessing whether it’s smooth and creamy or has a more granular feel.
  • Cocoa Percentage: The cocoa percentage is a critical factor, as it determines the chocolate’s bitterness and intensity.
  • Additional Ingredients: If the dark chocolate includes additives like nuts, spices, or dried fruits, experts consider how these elements interact with the base chocolate.

2. Analyzing Wine

Simultaneously, wine experts examine the wine they plan to pair. They evaluate its characteristics, including:

  • Grape Varietal: Experts consider the grape varietal, as each one offers unique flavors and attributes.
  • Sweetness Level: The sweetness level of the wine plays a crucial role in determining how it will complement the dark chocolate.
  • Tannin Structure: The presence and strength of tannins are assessed, as they interact with the bitterness of the chocolate.
  • Acidity: The acidity of the wine is examined to determine how it will balance the richness of the chocolate.
  • Flavor Notes: Wine experts identify the wine’s flavor notes, such as fruitiness, spiciness, or earthiness.

3. Finding Balance

After thoroughly understanding both the dark chocolate and the wine, experts seek balance. They aim to create pairings where the flavors, textures, and characteristics complement or contrast in a way that enhances the overall tasting experience.

4. Experimentation

Pairing experts often engage in extensive experimentation to discover the perfect combination. This may involve tasting multiple wines with various types of dark chocolate to find the most harmonious match.

5. Personal Preferences

While there are general guidelines for pairing dark chocolate and wine, experts also acknowledge the importance of personal preferences. What works for one person may not work for another. Experts encourage wine enthusiasts to explore and trust their palates when making pairing choices.

Factors Considered in Pairing Dark Chocolate and Wine

When pairing dark chocolate with wine, several factors come into play to ensure a delightful and memorable tasting experience. Wine experts carefully consider these elements:

1. Sweetness

Matching the sweetness level of the wine with that of the dark chocolate is essential. Here are some common pairings:

  • Bitter Dark Chocolate (70%+ cocoa): These chocolates can pair well with sweeter wines like Late Harvest Riesling or Tawny Port. The contrast between bitterness and sweetness can create a harmonious balance.
  • Semi-sweet Dark Chocolate (50-70% cocoa): These chocolates can be paired with a wider range of wines, including Zinfandel, Merlot, or Malbec.
  • Milk Chocolate: Although not as common with dark chocolate, milk chocolate can be matched with lighter reds like Pinot Noir or a fruity Rosé.

2. Tannins

The presence of tannins in wine can interact with the bitterness of dark chocolate. While some pairings can work well, others may clash. Here’s what experts consider:

  • High Tannin Red Wines (e.g., Cabernet Sauvignon): These wines can complement dark chocolate with a cocoa content of 70% or higher. The tannins and bitterness balance each other.
  • Low Tannin Red Wines (e.g., Pinot Noir): These wines are better suited for less bitter dark chocolates, around 50-60% cocoa.

3. Flavor Profiles

Pairing experts also pay close attention to the flavor profiles of both the chocolate and the wine. Complementary flavors can enhance the tasting experience, while contrasting flavors can create intrigue. For example:

  • Fruity Dark Chocolate: If the dark chocolate has fruity notes, pairing it with a wine that has similar fruity characteristics, like a Shiraz or a Zinfandel, can create a delightful harmony.
  • Nutty or Earthy Dark Chocolate: For dark chocolate with nutty or earthy flavors, consider a wine with similar undertones, such as a Merlot or a Bordeaux blend.

4. Texture

The texture of the dark chocolate matters too. Creamy, smooth chocolates can pair differently from those with a more granular or brittle texture. For example:

  • Creamy Dark Chocolate: Creamy dark chocolates may pair well with a smoother wine, like a Merlot or a Syrah, creating a harmonious mouthfeel.
  • Textured Dark Chocolate (e.g., with nuts): Textured chocolates can pair with wines that provide contrast, such as a sparkling wine or a Zinfandel.

Expert Recommendations

Here are some expert-recommended pairings to get you started on your journey to experiencing the sublime combination of dark chocolate and wine:

  1. 70% Dark Chocolate with Tawny Port: The rich, nutty flavors of Tawny Port beautifully complement the intense bitterness of 70% dark chocolate.
  2. 60% Dark Chocolate with Pinot Noir: The soft tannins and red berry notes in Pinot Noir provide an elegant contrast to the slightly sweeter 60% dark chocolate.
  3. Fruity Dark Chocolate with Shiraz: When enjoying dark chocolate with fruity notes, a bold and fruity Shiraz can enhance the overall tasting experience.
  4. Earthy Dark Chocolate with Bordeaux: The earthy, woody notes in Bordeaux wines make them an excellent match for dark chocolate with similar characteristics.
  5. Textured Dark Chocolate with Sparkling Wine: Chocolates containing nuts or other inclusions pair wonderfully with the effervescence of a sparkling wine, creating a delightful textural contrast.


Pairing dark chocolate with wine is a sensory adventure that invites you to explore the intricate flavors, textures, and characteristics of these two indulgent delights. Wine pairing experts follow a systematic approach to create harmonious pairings, considering factors such as sweetness, tannins, flavor profiles, and texture.

As you embark on your own journey of wine and dark chocolate pairing, remember that personal preferences play a significant role in the experience. Don’t hesitate to experiment and discover your unique combinations that bring joy to your palate. Whether you’re savoring a luxurious moment alone or sharing it with friends, the art of pairing wine with dark chocolate promises a world of decadent delights waiting to be explored. Cheers to the blissful union of wine and chocolate!

Wine Calories: Enjoy Wine While on a Diet

The majority of people have a basic idea the number of calories they take in when it pertains to solid foods, although it is rather common to neglect that when we consume alcohol, we are still consuming calories. Alcohol drinkers, particularly wine drinkers, may be shocked at the calorie intake associate with wine. So the number of calories are in wine?

The response relies on your discernment. Most wines are available in under the 100 calorie mark each glass. This is assuming that you are utilizing the suitable wine glasses. There are less calories in wine compared to most other alcoholic beverages. White Zinfandel and Sauvignon blanc been available in at 80 calories per offering. Thinking about that a person glass of wine per evening benefits cardiovascular health and wellness, this can be a reasonable compliment to an evening meal.

Marsala likewise weighs in at a plain 80 calories per offering while Chablis is a mild 85 calories. Red Zinfandel as well as the bulk of other preferred wines, comes in at 90 calories per offering.

Taking into consideration that most people have more than just one glass, the staying wines are taken into consideration to be a little heftier in calorie matter. While a single 4 ounce offering may just add concerning 100 calories to a night, those that drink wine regularly tend to do so with a certain quantity of vigor, consuming between 3 and 5 glasses in an average night.

Wines such as Mosell, Pink Champagne, and also Chianti include 100 calories maintaining while Sangria and also Sauterne climbs that calorie ladder by and added ten calories. Dry Champagne satisfies them in the middle at 105 calories.

It’s not just about the calories in wine when trying to preserve a reduced calorie lifestyle and still get involved totally in social events or a charming night. The sugar in wine, also completely dry wines, makes the calories a little bit harder to shed off.

Various other wines evaluate in much larger in the calorie counting fight. Muscatel comes in at 160 as does Madeira.

Currently, keeping in mind that an ordinary gin as well as tonic can be found in around 280 calories and that most frozen savory alcohol can average 800 calories or above, wine is absolutely a reduced calorie selection offered the choices.

Normal beer can be anywhere from 140 to 200 calories each 12 ounce offering and also light beer evaluates in on typical around 100 calories. The perception that light beer suggests that it is calorie complimentary has actually created a high level of sales for the lighter variation of the fundamental favorites.

It is completely possible to keep a healthy and balanced way of living and still take pleasure in the occasional evening out or a pair glasses of wine with supper. The wine enthusiast is privileged as the calorie count in a lot of wines do not necessarily call for big alterations to diet regimens in order to enjoy a few drinks. For the periodic social wine enthusiast, removing concerning 100 calories per dish throughout minority days before a social event will certainly aid to keep a strong everyday average. The calories in wine are low enough that many people could just remove the desserts used at the get-together and also simply a couple of lighter calorie dishes coming before the event. For everyday wine enthusiasts, skimping a few calories from every dish will permit primarily typical eating and also prevent the build up of additional calories.

Avoiding dishes prior to a get-together is not most likely to maintain the calorie matter down. It is likely to increase the general calorie count for the evening, as alcohol in any kind of form reduces blood glucose degrees and informs the mind to signal to the body that it is experiencing appetite. A couple of drinks in the system and also what would usually be a decision based on health comes to be a choice based upon a lack of determination or the attitude that “it’s just one evening, it can not harm to toss my cautions to the wind!” Which can be true, yet in many cases those that are trying to maintain a reduced calorie diet are attracted to “make up” for their sinful night by crash dieting the complying with 2 or 3 days which just produces yo-yo weight loss.

The calories in wine can easily be readjusted for merely by monitoring the fundamental consumption for each and every scenario and also adjusting by about 100 calories for each glass of wine. Unless somebody is a hefty as well as constant wine enthusiast, the daily food consumption truly should not suffer as a result of the alcohol consumption. It is time to get some aid if it is.

The majority of people have a general idea just how numerous calories they consume when it comes to solid foods, although it is rather typical to neglect that when we consume, we are still consuming calories. It’s not simply about the calories in wine when trying to preserve a low calorie lifestyle as well as still get involved totally in social occasions or a charming night. The calories in wine are reduced enough that the majority of individuals can merely reduce out the treats offered at the social event as well as simply one or two lighter calorie dishes preceding the occasion. For day-to-day wine enthusiasts, cutting corners a couple of calories out of every dish will permit for basically normal consuming and also stay clear of the develop up of extra calories.

The calories in wine could easily be readjusted for merely by keeping track of the fundamental usage for each situation and adjusting by concerning 100 calories for each glass of wine.

Why Joining a Wine Club is a Great Idea.

Why join a wine club

Reasons why You Would Join a Wine Club?

Uncertain what wines to get? Always buy the identical thing? Searching for a frequent supply of wines to be delivered direct to your house? In the event that the answer is yes to the above, then you should contemplate participating in a wine club membership. Wine clubs have become considerably preferred in recent years, because they deliver a number of real benefits when it comes to purchasing wine.

“It’s great to have wine delivered to to your door”

The prime benefit of participating in a wine membership is that you will get to delight in a periodic delivery (month-to-month or quarterly depending upon the wine club) of expertly picked wines. Unlike a market or wine shop whenever you are confronted rows and rows of wines and unclear what to get, using a wine club all of the groundwork is done for you. You can sample a whole lot of prize-winning wines, client’s favs, and unexplored treasures that you otherwise may not have chosen. Additionally, you’ll be sure to have a bottle of wine suitable for every occasion.

Learn about the wines quickly to help you pick future wines yourself

Another convenience of enrolling in a wine club is that you will get in-depth information about all of the wines in your case. This can be used in picking wines down the road (particularly if you’re brand-new to wine), as you have the chance to learn more regarding what you’re drinking and about the wine makers who make the wines. Several wine clubs encourage you to rate or post on the wine. This can be helpful as you will get to recollect your most-liked and you additionally come to see what other members think about the wines in advance of you sampling them.

Signing up with a online wine membership is among the fastest methods of learning and buying wine. As you kick back and indulge in your wines, you can rest assured that the labor is being conducted on your behalf to create your custom subsequent order for you. And with mailing straight to home, you really don’t need to do anything.

As a member you will often receive discounts not available to non-members

Some wine memberships provide a reward to motivate you to sign on, for instance, a rate reduction or reward. As soon as you have enrolled, you’ll additionally probably benefit from additional markdowns including reduced orders or exclusive offers. Some online wine memberships goes above and beyond and makes available a money back guarantee, so if you discover that you really don’t enjoy a wine that has been chosen for you, you can obtain a refund.

Meet other wine lovers at exclusive events

In addition, as a participant of a wine club, you might be given invitations to tasting gatherings or functions. All these could be a great means of meeting other individuals attracted to wine, conversing with the masters who select your wines and trying new varieties.

Many memberships are flexible and offer guarantees

Lastly, with lots of wine memberships from which to choose, it’s definitely worth selecting one that provides you versatility. So if you find that you need to bypass a case or would like to customize the selection, because you do not like a particular wine, this shouldn’t be a problem.

Tip: Make sure you check the fine details and terms of a wine club before joining

A wine membership is a great alternative if you’re wanting to discover more about wine and they’re a hassle-free way of maintaining a supply of wine. Wine clubs can be very different from one another, so it’s recommended to check the particulars and terms to ensure that you decide upon the most suitable one for you. To learn about the multitude of wine memberships, that specialize in introducing to you boutique wines from the newest winemakers, and which offers the advantages stated above and more, visit’s Wine Club’s Comparison Table.

Is the millennial driven canned wine trend here to stay? You be the judge.

It is no surprised that canned wine is the new trend. Millennials are the trend setters here and they are not invested in the old way of doing things. They are as individual as they come.

Everything we see as a new invention now-a-days is an evolution of tastes from each prior generation, so although millennials are the driving force for the popularity of canned wine, the retailers are inudated by people of all generations buying canned wine. All are enjoying the benefits of the new container which are basically the convenient and the economical price point.

Retailers cannot keep it on their shelves:

Does canned wine have a metal flavor?

No. Like various other items marketed in a container (beer, soft drink, etc) the canned wine tasted didn’t have a metallic taste. Some producers use lined aluminum canisters and also others do not. Again, this choice didn’t appear to influence the taste in either instance. There was, however, a big distinction in the taste based upon just how it was served-up.

Here are some serving tips:

Serve them chilled: All the wines we tasted were better chilled, even the reds. Better served in a glass: Wines aroma profiles are greatly improved served from a glass. Camping wine: Try Govino glasses or other unbreakable wine glasses.

Should you age canned wines?

It is not recommended to age canned wines.


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Best Summer Wines $25 or Less and Grilled Food-Wine Pairings

Pairing wine with smoked foods is a forgiving job

The majority of grilled dishes are reasonably easy; there’s a cornerstone (generally a protein of some kind), plus the possibility of various flavorings through sauces, rubs as well as sauces.

  1. To select a wine to couple with something off the grill, consider 2 points: First, how hearty is the food, and also 2nd, exactly what’s the dominant taste? For lighter foods– white-fleshed fish, vegetables, chicken busts– select a lighter wine.
  2. For heartier foods– sausages, burgers, steaks– pick a more durable wine. (Both reds and whites could be light-, medium- or full-bodied.)
  3. Now consider flavor. For steaks as well as butterflied legs of lamb– even if they’re marinaded beforehand– the leading flavor will certainly usually be the meat itself. But with foods like hen slathered in barbecue sauce or shrimp with a fiery garlic-habanero vinaigrette, the sauce or seasoning is by much the major flavor of the dish. The leading taste is a crucial point to think about when choosing a wine.

What follows is a choice of terrific rose and white wines, all readily available for $25 or much less, to select grilled foods of all kinds..

Unlike many every little thing else that Americans prefer to consume, such as milk and beer, wine is high in level of acidity, which rejuvenates the palate; most reds have fat-cutting tannins, too. Actually, wine might be one of the most flexible food companion there is, except possibly for water. But when it pertains to a huge, juicy, grilled steak, who in the world wishes to have it with water?