Wines for Halloween

Add some spirit to your Halloween table with this collection of seasonally apt wines.

Bogle Phantom is back for its seasonal run. The bracing blend of Petite Sirah, Zinfandel, Cabernet Sauvignon and Mourvedre offers bright red cherry flavor and black pepper spice with hints of blackberry and boysenberry in the background. The long finish carries tones of spicy vanilla and toasted coconut with moderate to firm tannins.

Only good things will come your way if this black cat crosses your path. Adam Puchta’s Cat’s Meow is a sweet red wine, rich with jammy flavors of plums, dark cherries and currants. It was a big hit at last month’s Pie Palooza in Hermann when paired with German chocolate pie.

Poizin is a Sonoma County Zinfandel with a “to die for” taste of fresh plums, Bing cherries and blackberries, accented with a bit of spicy peppercorn and an undercurrent of chocolate. The 15 percent Petite Sirah gives this fruitful fancy some backbone.

Dead Bolt Winemaker’s Red Blend is a full-bodied mix of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Zinfandel, Petite Sirah and Syrah. The deep, dark purplish wine boasts cherry, plum and mocha flavors.

Spellbound Petite Sirah is a rich red wine, full of black fruit flavor with hints of vanilla and roasted coffee. Light oak highlights on the finish bring out the best in early fall barbecue.

Ravenswood’s Besieged is a Sonoma County blend of old-vine California heritage varieties — Carignane, Petite Sirah, Zinfandel, Mourvedre, Alicante Bouschet and Barbera — with a taste of deep crimson berries, plums and spices. The wine’s label pays homage to the early days of the Ravenswood vineyards that were besieged by ravens at harvest time.

Ghost Pines Red Blend is a melting pot of Bordeaux varieties Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot mixed with Petite Sirah, Zinfandel and Sangiovese. The resulting taste treat is a mashup of blueberries and blackberries, underscored by caramel, spice and truffles on the long finish.

So inky it’s almost opaque, Apothic Dark is a limited release wine. The smooth, rich blend of Petite Sirah, Teroldego and Cabernet Sauvignon features mocha and black cherry flavors with a bit of smokiness.

Candy Is Dandy …
If the trick-or-treaters don’t clear out your candy stash, give these wine pairings a try.

Port is the classic pairing with chocolate, but you could opt for the jammy fruit flavor of Zinfandel to accompany chocolate bars, Hershey’s Kisses or M&Ms. Nutty candy bars such as Snickers or Baby Ruth — even peanut butter cups — play well with Ruby Port or Madeira. Try Merlot with Kit Kat or Twix. The rich toffee in a Heath bar pairs well with Sherry.

Got some Starbursts or Sour Patch Kids in that treat bag? Pop open a bright Rosé or add some sparkle with Prosecco. Pair Skittles with Moscato. And Pinot Noir complements red licorice whips nicely.

Muscat and Gewürztraminer highlight the fall flavors of caramel apples and popcorn balls. For a sweeter palate, grab some Icewine or late-harvest Vignoles. When nibbling on candy corn, sip some Chardonnay or Riesling to bring out the buttery vanilla flavors.