It might be the scariest thing about Halloween – the Halloween Candy Wine Pairing. I think it is the result of a bunch of sommeliers who either A. Were bored with wine pairings B. Got tired of being asked about this pairing from other people who were bored, so they finally gave in. or C. No one asked but they wanted to see if people would believe them and try weird pairings.
Don’t get me wrong, you can pair dessert wine with Halloween candy all day long. If I am going to open that bottle of Pedro Ximenez I have been saving I want roasted figs with a caramel drizzle, not a Snickers. Not knocking Snickers. In fact I am having a fun size bar with my coffee as I write.
So when my friend and the editor of the Oregon Wine Press, Hilary Berg, invited me over for dinner followed by wine pairing and Mexican candy research, I had a dilemma. A. Free Dinner – check B. Free wine and the amazing view at Chris and Hilary’s winery Roots Wine Company – check C. BUT What the h*ll is Mexican candy and why would I want it with wine?
We have an “if invited we attend” rule so Mark and I found ourselves with a spread of candies we had never encountered and a line up of Pinot Gris, Chardonnay, Grenache, Pinot Noir – etc. Wines I would normally steer clear when pairing sweet food. See Pairing Sweet Wine and Food for one of the few pairing rules we obey.
First, where has Mexican candy been all of my life? I am no stranger to the Super Mercado. These Mexican markets are my “go to” for A. Cilantro out of season plus Mexican specialty items. B. Superior customer service C. An ego boost. The male employees are always good for a little flirtatious yet respectful appreciation of my lovely form. Yea, I still got it.
My fave, and I had to stop myself from inhaling it, was the De la Rosa Mazapan – like a peanutty flavored cross between a crumbly soft cookie and straight out powdered sugar. Mark’s favorite, and he really would not stop talking about it with EVERYONE he knew – Rollos de Koko. If coconut cream came in a chewy stick form, this would be it.
Also fun was the Kranky K which was like chocolate covered cornflakes. Not my fave but the perfect named candy for that special time of the month.
Second, we were shocked at how well some of the wines paired and only one was a dessert wine (port style). Maybe it is because Mexican candy seems a little more sophisticated? Not sure but there were definitely some winners. See Dulce y Delicioso, authored by Hilary Berg, for a full list of the best pairings we tried.
And if you really must pair a grown up libation with a childhood fave straight from the wrapper, try these pairings with a 10 Year Tawny Port recommended by our friend Jeff Burrows at Foodwinecllick.com
Tell us your fave candy and wine pairings. We promise we won’t make fun of you.