You do it every year, pull out that tired old punch bowl that looks like a caldron and spike it with whatever’s in your liquor cabinet.
Then, you grab a block of dried ice and hope that no one will notice you just threw anything together for your annual Halloween party. I was guilty of this for years before I realized I could actually pair treats like spider infested caramel popcorn, spaghetti with eyeballs and ghost cake pops together with wine.I came to the conclusion that if I was going to go all out on planning the perfect costume, decorations and party favors, I might as well make it an evening to remember by pouring a glass of deliciously paired vino.
My dishes, including an assortment of Halloween candies, are taken to the next level by incorporating just the right wine. And although finding the perfect wine can be a bit tricky, experimenting is the fun part!
A few Halloween inspired pairings you should try:
Reese’s Peanut Buttercups with Amontillado Sherry or Vintage Port
Twix with Cabernet Sauvignon or Syrah
Kit Kat with Merlot or Malbec
Caramel Popcorn Spider Balls with Oregon Riesling or demi-sec Champagne
Candy Corn with a sweet Riesling, Tawny Port or Ice Wine
Spaghetti and Eyeballs with Zinfandel or Nero d’ Avola
Garlic Sticks and Marinara Sauce with Barbera or Dolcetto
In case you’ve missed our most recent post, Head Thirsty Girl Leslie Sbrocco is talking wine and chocolate on Wednesday October 5th in our In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
In fact, Thirsty Girl is teaming up with Ghirardelli for a fabulous Twitter tasting of their “Intense Dark.™” We’re excited to announce this #TGTaste Twitter chat on Wednesday October 5 at 5 PM PST (8 PM EST).
My favorite pairing is featured below, as Leslie explains the perfect pairing for Ghirardelli Intense Dark.™ Twilight Delight (%72 Cacao). Since I’m all about the sweets, the flavor combination of red velvet cake and zinfandel might encourage you to pull out that mixer and bake a cake … or open a box and follow directions … or just stop by any gourmet cupcake shop, they’re on every corner now right?
It’s “He Said, She Said” time again with Leslie Sbrocco, founder of Thirsty Girl, and Ray Isle, wine editor of Food & Wine Magazine, leading Kathie Lee and Hoda on the fourth hour of the Today Show through upcoming Labor Day weekend drinks choices. Whether it’s spicy catfish on the grill, vegetable kabobs or sizzling steak, these barbeque sip options will please everyone.
This fruity but dry wine expresses the fun of Pinot Gris. Its vibrant character is an ideal match for quenching your thirst after spicy fare. It’s also a top warm-weather alternative to Chardonnay.
Ray Pick: Aperol Spritz Cocktail $22
An Aperol Spritz—which is made with Aperol, an aperitif that’s like Campari but not as bitter—is the classic start-the-evening drink of Venice and Verona. It’s prosecco, Aperol, and club soda … so it’s not too high-alcohol, too. Plus it’s a touchsweet, which goes great with spicy foods.
With BBQ Chicken (spicy and sweeter sauces):
Ray’s Pick: Samuel Smith’s Nut Brown Ale $5 (for one pint)
Samuel Smith’s is a rich, caramelly, dark, English ale, which marries well with any kind of spicy barbeque sauce.
Honey Drop Punch: Leslie’s original punch recipe is lightly sweet and refreshing making it a daringly delicious pairing for sweeter barbeque sauces or honey-glazed chicken. (Serves approximately 10 cocktails)
· 1 cup (8 Oz)Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Honey
· 1 cup (8 Oz)Stone’s Original Ginger Wine
· 2 cups (16 oz) Unsweetened Lemonade
· 2 cups (16 oz) Ginger Ale
Combine all liquids into glass pitcher, stir, then add ice, squeeze in fresh lime or lemon juice and garnish with mint.
With vegetable kabobs drizzled with balsamic vinegar:
Ray’s Pick: Nino Franco Prosecco, Italy $16
With vegetables, you want something light and refreshing. Prosecco, the sparkling wine of Italy, is a great choice and Nino Franco is one of the best and affordable producers.
A dry-style rose from Australia, this pretty pink goes as easily with the earthy vegetable kabobs as it does with fish or meat. Made from sangoivese grapes, it’s spicy, floral and packed with fruitiness.
*Both wines were served in the GoVino Glassware, which is easy to use, unbreakable, washable and the ideal option for outdoor parties.
An utterly classic pairing – the tannins in Cabernet cut through the fat of the meat, plus the flavors just work so well together. Chateau Ste Michelle’s Columbia Valley bottling is one of the best deals out there.
Leslie Sbrocco talks about olive oil (one of her favorite things) with Gene Sexton and Beth Sylver of Sylverleaf Olive Oil. Stumbling upon olive oil making by accident, the two share how they harvest over 1,110 spanish olive trees (just about 104 years old) and create oil that is soft and fruity. Believe it or not olive oil is very similar to wine in that it’s characteristics are unique to region, varietal and crafter. Drink it, cook with it, add it to your beauty regiment. I mean is there a limit to the uses of olive oil?